Judah’s Scepter And The Sacred Stone, by D.A. Brittain
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookCrash. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Given my upbringing and the popularity of stories about the Israelite origin of the people of the British Isles, and the fact that I read the Lebor Gabala as a college student for research, it is perhaps little surprise that I would be intrigued by the history behind this pleasant piece of historical fiction. While I am not sure that this is a book I would reread on a regular basis, it was certainly an enjoyable historical romance that takes the legends of Tea Tephi being taken from the ruins of Jerusalem to marry an Irish prince whose line through the Dal Raida would end up as part of the Scottish monarchy and eventually the British royal family. Not being someone who tends to read a great deal when it comes to historical romance novels of a biblical nature , I was unsure about how the author would handle the material, but overall I have to say I was pleased, and though there were plenty of perilous moments, overall at least I can say that the novel was not an exploration of the horrors of PTSD as seems to be de rigeur for this sort of fiction, so that was a plus.
There are at least three different plots that the author manages to skillfully weave in this play. Overall, the novel is a frame story with its beginning and end in the present day with a look at the importance of the stone of scone in the coronation ritual, where the author looks at the coronation of the (likely) future Charles III as king over the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the prophet Jeremiah and an entourage that includes Baruch and two daughters of Zedekiah seek to recover from the trauma of Jerusalem’s destruction and find a place to fulfill the mysterious will of God. Third, one of the princesses, here given the name of Teia Tamar (in most of the accounts I am familiar with she is known as Teia Tephi or something like that), has a meet cute with a prince Eochaid of Meath, one of the Irish kingdoms, who has his own struggles with the Druidic religion of his homeland and in ruling over the fractious and easily divided Irish kingdoms after he inherits the throne from his father. In the end, the various plot lines are held together and the author shows a believable romance with plenty of intrigue and danger and even some messianic overtones.
How much you like this novel will depend on a few things. The novel is written competently, but is not classics-level literature, and it has an appealing set of leads, but one where the prince is dashing and brave and the princess is rather in need of frequent protection and rescue. Those who dislike the damsel frequently in distress aspect of this novel will probably be a bit irritated. However, this novel will earn some points from those readers who believe that the British Isles are inhabited by various Israelite tribes, and especially who believe in the transferrence of the royal family of the House of David through Teia to a royal house of the Zarahite branch of the tribe of Judah. Additionally, those readers with a premillennial worldview and a belief in the sooncoming return of Jesus Christ will probably appreciate the conclusion of the novel as well. In the case of this reader, at least, I was mildly diverted by the plot, intrigued by the writing even if there were some anachronisms in terms of naming (at one point more than two centuries before the founding of Alexandria someone says they are from that city, to give one example). All in all, it was a pleasant read.
 See, for example: