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King Cyrus The Great Of Persia

The Deadliest Fever, the fourth book in the Miriam bat Isaac Series, is about recovering the gems stolen from the mantle that clothes the Torah in Alexandria’s Great Synagogue. Miriam’s only clue to the identity of the thief is that he was bitten by a rabid bat.


According to the story, the gems—an emerald, sapphire, and ruby—were a gift from Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. Miriam’s friend Amram explains their history:


Just imagine six hundred years ago, the Babylonian army stole these flawless jewels from Solomon’s Temple during Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem. Then some sixty years later, miracle of miracles, King Cyrus the Great of Persia returned them to our people when he conquered Babylonia. The liberated Israelites were led back from exile to Jerusalem, where they rebuilt the Temple.


In addition to ending the Babylonia captivity of the Israelites, Cyrus was known for expanding the Persian Empire so that it stretched from modern-day Iran to Anatolia in modern-day Turkey. But unlike other monarchs, Cyrus, respecting the traditions and cultures of the people he conquered, allowed them to worship as they chose.


The symptoms of rabies came to be the way I chose for Miriam to track down the thief. This disease has been recognized, even feared, since ancient times. It’s deadly, and its incubation period can vary from a few days to several years depending on how close the bite is to the brain. Accordingly, this deadliest of fevers gave me the freedom to develop the story along my own timeline. To read an excerpt and see the video, click here. 


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