This retelling of the story of Samson and Delilah is more like the song of a bard than historical fiction. Focusing on the turbulent political atmosphere, betrayal and a searing passion, Edghill allows the reader to see a man and woman caught up in a doomed love.

As a child Delilah is given to the Temple of Atargatis, where she flourishes under the tutelage of the high priestess, Derceto. She grows into an unrivaled beauty that Derceto sees as the perfect pawn in her political schemes.

Unrest has been growing in the Hebrew camps. The people pin their hopes on Samson, a young man of unusual strength, yet a man dedicated to peace. The rulers of Canaan know that in order to maintain control they must eliminate him. When Samson sees Delilah he falls so deeply in love that he risks his life and freedom for her. Derceto wants to control Samson through Delilah, but Delilah has fallen in love with Samson and ponders the choices she has even as he decides what must be done to best help his people and the world. (ST. MARTIN'S, Dec., 384 pp., $25.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin