"THE LAST KING OF BABYLON" is the first novel of a planned trilogy bearing the same working title.  The trilogy will cover the 17 years of the rule of Babylon's last king, Nabu Na'id.  Book one covers his first year in office, book two, with a working title of "EXILE," will cover the years 555 B.C. to 552 B.C., and book three, with a working title of "DESERT QUEEN," will cover the remaining years of his rule ending in 539 B.C.


Imagine a civilization at the apex of its power.

Imagine a culture whose free market economy has eliminated all agricultural slavery.

Imagine a country that has far outstripped its rivals in:
    --science and technology
    --commerce and economics.
    --arts and culture.
    --military weaponry, tactics, and strategy.

Imagine a people so besotted with:
    Their multi-culturalism, personal wealth, and drunken orgies . . . .
    That they no longer have the desire or the will to defend themselves—even when
    The Iranian hordes are banging at the gates.

Imagine a political ruler trying to resurrect the vitality of his nation through his fanatical belief in the holy trinity—even while factions of his people are betraying him to the enemy who comes armed with his own rigid monotheism and a holy book that prophesies the end of the world and the last judgment day.

Imagine a nation whose chief political ruler gets so disgusted with the internal decay and irreverence rampant throughout his country that he leaves his capital city and retires to a desert hideaway and resort hundreds of miles to the southwest—even while Iranian agents are co-opting his country.


History usually portrays Babylon’s last king Nabu Na’id in a negative light as a tyrant—or even a psychotic.  But since that history comes down to us from the Greeks via the Persians, who considered themselves to be the liberators of Babylon from Nabu Na’id’s alleged tyranny, the conventional interpretation is somewhat suspect.

I was personally attracted to doing a story about Nabu Na’id due to my three-year stay in Saudi Arabia during the late nineties when I was fortunate to have visited the ruins of Tayma a number of times.  Nabu Na’id had made Tayma the capital of his empire for ten of the seventeen years that he was king of Babylon, and so I thought that there was an excellent story there.  Little did I dream that this project would blossom into three full-length novels but such is the way of the writing muse.  Actually, the story was first conceived as a single novel which I found it necessary to divide into three parts when it grew beyond publishable lengths.  Each novel of this trilogy ends with a major war that dramatically changes the situation of one or more of the major characters which in turn provides a convenient place for a break between novels.  The plots and storylines entail answering the questions as to how the major characters (and their supporting casts of thousands) came to be involved in these wars.  


As I began delving ever deeper into my research of Nabu Na’id, I began seeing numerous contradictions and problems in the conventional interpretation much of which stemmed from Achaemenid Persian propaganda.  Instead of a tyrant and a psychotic, what I found was an internationally respected diplomat and peace-maker, a scholar king, the world’s first true archaeologist, and a man who may well have been initially reluctant to assume the kingship when first asked.  As a king, he was a legal reformer, and a religious reformer, and yes, he may have been a bit fanatical in his urge to reform Babylon’s religious ideals, but he had very good reason for that desire based on his knowledge of Mesopotamia’s very long history—a knowledge that the Marduk priesthood (his primary domestic rivals) lacked.

Nabu Na’id’s religious differences with the Marduk priesthood eventually led to a great deal of friction between the palace and the temple, and this conflict was to drive one of the chief plots introduced in book one of the trilogy and brought to climax in books two and three.

THE LAST KING OF BABYLON is the first volume of the trilogy bearing the same working title and which covers the seventeen years of the rule of Babylon’s last king, Nabu Na’id.   The working title of the second book of the trilogy is EXILE and the working title of the third book is  DESERT QUEEN.

The novel, THE LAST KING OF BABYLON, deals with the first year of the reign of Nabu Na’id, a son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar.  The issues covered will be how he came to be king, how he deals with the powerful Marduk priesthood and his religious differences with them, and how he deals with the on-going threat of the immense Mede Empire closing in on Babylon from the east, north, and west. 


The primary storyline of the novel, and the trilogy as a whole, is based on actual history thanks to a number of cuneiform accounts we have from that era.  Many of the characters and certain particular events are historically documented, though I have taken the liberty to add various details, and some fictional characters, and in some cases entire fictional scenarios, to give purpose behind the historical events that we do have record of.

For more details about Book One, the novel "The Last King of Babylon," please read the synopsis given on this website. 

Since this is a trilogy, there will obviously be certain subplots introduced in book one which will not find their fulfillment until book two or even book three.  Yet each book can be read as a stand alone.

People who enjoyed reading Colleen McCullough’s epic "Masters of Rome" series will love "The Last King of Babylon."   This novel, and its two companion novels to come, should also appeal to readers who have enjoyed the works of James Michener and Edward Rutherfurd.  Those who have an interest in ancient history, the Bible, the historical settings of Biblical developments, and the origins of the stories that have come to underline the belief systems of the modern world’s three great monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, should also enjoy this trilogy.  The continual reprintings of the above-mentioned works of McCullough, Michener, and Rutherfurd, along with the shelf space they continue to take up in Book Stores, indicates that there is a huge, permanent, and mostly unsatisfied hunger on the part of the reading public for "serious" historical fiction/faction written in the epic style that deals with subject matter outside of the 16th-18th century Western Europe-oriented clones that are being currently mass-produced by the industry.

For those interested in more background, as well as additional arcane knowledge about the Ancient Near East, please refer to the trilogy’s companion website:


EXILE (Book two of the Last King of Babylon trilogy) deals with the 2nd through 5th years of the reign of Nabu Na’id (555 B.C. – 552 B.C.).  After dealing with an assassination plot, promulgating a new law code, and otherwise shoring up the domestic situation, Nabu Na’id left his son, the Crown Prince Belshazzar, on the throne, then he himself left the capital to put down rebellions among the Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites—only to learn that the domestic plots against him had intensified.  The Marduk priesthood preformed a special liver reading and discovered that king Nabu Na’id was under a curse and was too ritually “unclean” to return to Babylon.  They had hoped by this stratagem to turn the army against him so they could seize the crown and hand it over to his son Belshazzar who was more amenable to their religious points of view.

In response Nabu Na’id, who had taken the gold crown of Babylon and the scepter of authority with him, conquered most of northern and western Arabia as far south as Yathrib (the modern Medina), and moved his capital to Tayma—thus essentially by-passing the Marduk priesthood and their rituals. 


DESERT QUEEN (Book three of the Last King of Babylon trilogy) deals with the final eleven years of Nabu Na’id’s reign.  The first half of the book revolves around Na’imah bint Sadad al-Azraqi, a young woman from Tayma who saw her parents killed by the Babylonians, her childhood home destroyed, and then fled into the desert to seek refuge with the aid of her Bedu relatives.  Her heart filled with desolation, bitterness, and the need for revenge, she organized and led guerrilla operations against Babylonian interests in the region, killing many men in the process. 

Na’imah was eventually captured and brought back to Tayma for trial before king Nabu Na’id.  But when Nabu Na’id, the king of Babylon, laid eyes upon her something about the young woman reminded him of his first love when he was a young man, and her story reminded him of his own youth when his own home town was destroyed by the Babylonians and his own father was killed.  So instead of implementing the penalty for murder, which is death, he had compassion for her and decreed for her instead only a form of house arrest within the palace.

At first Na’imah chafed at the restrictions and hated the man who she thought was ultimately responsible for killing her parents, but then when the king had one of his scribes teach her how to read and write, she began to forgive him.  And then, when the ability to read opened up new worlds for her, she began to fall in love with her captor. 

The May-September romance resulted in marriage and a child, but this happy state of affairs could not last long in a turbulent world.  By 543 B.C. the united Persian and Mede Empire under the rule of the young and ambitious Cyrus the Great was making increasing inroads into Babylonian territories which the crown prince, Belshazzar was incapable of handling on his own.  Consequently, the Marduk priesthood performed another special liver reading and found that the gods now had no complaint against Nabu Na’id, the curse was lifted, and he was asked to return to Babylon.

Nabu Na’id had to bid his young wife farewell and return to Babylon to once again try to shore up a crumbling empire.  But this time, the odds against him were much greater than earlier in his reign, and the internal dissensions much more severe.

While his son Belshazzar was being killed before his eyes and his army decimated by the Persians, traitors inside Babylon were opening up the impregnable Ishtar Gate to the enemy cavalry.  In the end, Nabu Na’id was taken captive by Cyrus the Great who ordered that he be taken to a distant province in Persia where he would be kept under house arrest.

But, then, while being marched under guard to Persia, Na’imah, his desert queen, staged one last daring raid to free him from his captors.