A change of period and place from recent historical, mostly American, novels of this author turns to the Bible, as in First The Blade, (1950) and here to the worship of Baal in the palace of Solomon's Temple and the part that desert raised Zibia had in its dispersal. For the Prince of Judea, Ahaziah, thinking her a barbarian, was repulsed and taunted to try to win her; through his daring and her music the romance led to marriage, to Zibia's disdainful treatment by Ahaziah's mother, the idolatress Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel, and to Zibia's hope that her husband could be strong enough to uphold the Jewish faith. Athaliah, with Jebezel, was stronger, even when Ahaziah became King; forced her son and his guard to war in far places; believed the charges of her priest, Mattan, against Zibia and ordered the slaughter of all the seed of David which included Zibia's young son. But the secret return of the Judean captains, loyal Jonathan among them, brought news of the little Prince Joash' survival, instigated revolt and gave Zibia the chance to see her son crowned and to be free for Jonathan's long devotion. Again there is the feeling for the conflict, here between two religious and two laws, for the culture and the customs, for the human elements involved, and for careful reconstruction, that maintains a steady dignity.