The Heart of a King: The Loves of Solomon

The Heart of a King: The Loves of Solomon

by Jill Eileen Smith

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King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could--and did--have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you'll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you'll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you'll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon's wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493417698
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 96,737
File size: 12 MB
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About the Author

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the biblical fiction series The Wives of King David, Wives of the Patriarchs, and Daughters of the Promised Land, as well as the nonfiction book When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at

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The Heart of a King: The Loves of Solomon 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
MyBeautifulBrownLife 25 days ago
Masterpiece! This is the first word that comes to mind when I read "The Heart of a King". I have been a fan of Jill Eileen Smith's authorship for three years now and have read all of her books published. Every time I re-read any of her books my mind is blown away! I love how Jill brings the thoughts, desires, and motives of each of the character portrayal to life and allows us to get a deeper look into the lives of God's patriarchs. Speaking from the perspective of a former notorious non-book reader, having this experience of reading such beauty is worth a thousand years. I received this book via the Jill Eileen Smith Launch Team book review and so glad to apart of a team who reflects on the servants of God. This book is HIGHLY recommended, please read it.
Debragg 3 days ago
Author Jill Eileen Smith has written another book in that wonderful series called , "Daughters of the Promised Land Series." This book is called , " The Heart of a King". Who was King Solomon? Was he really rich? Was he even smart enough to know what to do with it all? How many women did he really love? He was able to have whatever he wanted. This is the story of 4 women in his life. The daughter of a pharoah named Siti, a princess of the desert called Naamah, A shepherdess named Abishag and the queen of Sheba. They all were part of his life. This is a very gripping story. Anyone who loves ancient times where kings and queens were in charge will love this series. I give this 5/5. I was given this book for a review and all opinions are mine.
DarkWolf707 3 days ago
So for the story itself. It focuses on Solomon, of course and 4 women (out of a thousand) who loved him. Naamah, the Ammorite who has come to accept God; Abishag the Shulamite who is first wife to King David and then his son and entrances Solomon with her passion for songs and poetry; Siti, the spoiled Eygptian princess whose intelligence and desire to challenge his belief in God; and lastly Nicaula, the great queen of Sheba who alone he felt to truly be his equal in life. What I have always liked with Jill Smith’s work is how she manages to portray the people we read about in the Bible and in my opinion, captures their essence perfectly. Solomon’s life was filled with abundance and love, his wisdom unmatched with any. But with all that he had, it was never enough, and Solomon could never find true peace. Even the gift of wisdom he so desired felt like a burden. I felt both annoyed and sorry for him. Honestly, you can’t help feeling at least a little disgusted how he reuses the same lines of mushy poetry you read in the Song of Solomon on each woman he comes across. But reading on, you can see how in his own way, in those moments he really did love the woman he was with, but his heart was never content. In this you can’t help but feel for him. For how many times have we made “things” in our own life more important than the One who made them and allowed us to have them? And in so doing, we feel nothing but emptiness inside, only able to feel some spark for the briefest of moments before seeking some new pleasure to try to awaken it back in us again. Jill portrays that accurately with Solomon, a man who had it all and sought to have so much. He became so enamored with his own wisdom and power he forgot to honor and seek the One who gave it to him. And so nothing in his life satisfied him. Not even love. Of the women who loved him, Siti was probably my least favorite because she was so whiny and spoiled. But I did like in the end how she started to question her belief in the Egyptian gods and was beginning to make an effort to understand the one God. Naamah was a like a promise that went unfulfilled. She loved Solomon since they first met as children, and marrying him was like a dream come true, even though she knew he would take other wives. In the end, she had to stand off to the side and watch as he went with woman after woman, and ended up forgetting her. And poor Abishag. She had a lot of love to give, and was probably the most understanding woman ever. She knew what her fate was, but didn’t complain. Even though her moments with Solomon were few, she was happy for them. Because of her gentle nature, she ended up even befriending Naamah, who before was seeing her as just another rival. And then there is Nicaula. She is beautiful and intelligent, with enormous wealth and power. But she longs for the one things denied her: love. When she hears the tales of Solomon’s wisdom she sets forth to not only see if the tales are true, but find the answers to the burning questions in her soul. While the story lagged a bit in spots and some moments lost their impact because they were chopped short, Heart of a King is a great read that shows how empty life can be when pursuing things and ignoring God. Because without Him, everything truly is meaningless. Verdict: Buy (I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author from the blogging program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.)
AdventurousBookworm 4 days ago
I feel like this book had potential, but the content did not cut it for me. Let's start with what I liked about this book. First, we see that Soloman had struggles with trusting in God. He had started worshiping wisdom instead of the One who gave him it. It makes him seem more human instead of this 'wise guy from the Old Testament' that is taught in Sunday school. The setting seemed well-researched and I enjoyed the tidbits of what life looked like back in Biblical times. From the musicians at the festival to the architectural details, this book was accurate in its portrayal of Ancient Israel. However, what I had an issue with was the content. There were too many unnecessary details strewn throughout the whole novel. Rating: 2 Stars Content: 1 Star *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
ARS8 6 days ago
In The Heart of a King, author Smith takes us into the courts of King Solomon and the politics and schemes that surrounded him, his family, and his kingdom. Starting out when King David was still alive, Solomon has promises from his father about being his heir; however some of his brothers see otherwise. This book is written around scripture and if you are familiar with Solomon’s story you will see these familiar passages of his reign. Now this book specifically focuses on four of his wives, whom as many of us know Solomon had many wives and concubines. The author gives us a look at why Solomon may have married so many women: some for political gain and power, some he loved, and he also seemed to really like women and “collecting” them. As we read in the book of Ecclesiastes, the Teacher lived how he wanted and to any extravagance he wanted. But from the very first page, we see that this has not made him happy, that it is all “meaningless”. Not only that but he has done things that the King of Israel was never supposed to do. So his heart turned away from his God, the God of his father. We also get the viewpoints of the wives, their feelings and concerns, some just accepted life as it was. Other tried to be the one for him. I was very moved by their stories. This was a very interesting read, especially trying to dissect Solomon’s life and loves. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Sandra Denman 7 days ago
My Thoughts: What can I say about this book? Well, I really enjoyed reading it! I was so excited to receive a copy of “The Heart of A King: The Loves of Solomon” from Revell for review. I love this genre..Biblical, historical fiction. The cover of the book is amazing. It is eye-catching and of course, just beautiful! Of course the genre really speaks to me, so I knew that I wanted to read it. Two things going for it right there! When I got this book, I really wasted no time in getting started. I was not familiar with the author, so this was the first book from this author that I have read. I really enjoyed! I gave this 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. To me, the attention to detail is what really took it to the next level, along with the author’s writing style. You felt like you were right there in the book! I liked the characters….some more than others. I understand this book is fiction, but based on Biblical truths….but it definitely gives you a better understanding of Solomon as well as the times that they lived in. Why 4 out of 5 stars? It was jammed packed and it almost seemed that in some parts, there was something missing. Maybe the time gaps….I don’t know…but with that being said, I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it! If you love historical fiction, Biblical fiction, or just love a good read, I think this is a great book for you to read!
hes7 9 days ago
In The Heart of a King, Jill Eileen Smith imaginatively explores the life of Solomon, king of Israel, lover of many women, and receiver of God’s wisdom. It’s a story rich in history and detail, proving absolutely captivating. Smith focuses on four women in Solomon’s life: Naamah, Abishag, Siti, and Nicaula. Each woman comes to him with a different background, yet prompts similar questions of whether Solomon is living in accordance with the wisdom granted him. As the story unfolds, all five of these central characters come to life on the page with their strengths, flaws, and emotions, as well as a thought-provoking message, vividly displayed. I enjoyed this fictional peek into the life of Solomon. Though I would have liked to see a little more of the women throughout the novel, I understand that the accompanying novellas dive deeper into each woman’s perspective—I will most assuredly be reading those soon. I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
amybooksy 9 days ago
The Heart of a King is a collection of four novellas from Jill Nelson Smith’s The Loves of King Solomon series. It tells the stories of Naamah, Siti, Nicaula and Abishag. I loved this book. The details of the book made me feel as though I was right there taken back in time of the Kingdom of Israel in the presence of these admirable women and King Solomon. I give The Heart of a King five plus stars and highly recommend it for readers who enjoy Biblical Fiction. It most definitely not a book to be missed this summer. Great read! I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
AtyomenkoReader 12 days ago
I love reading biblical fiction and this author is talented in telling a story. They do a very good job of capturing the life of a king with the love for God, but also the draw to women to obtain more peace, power and lands. Her skill weaves a tale of the confusing facts of polygamy, and its downfalls, even when you think it is sort of ok. I loved Solomon, and yet, I didn’t like him at all. He was the hero that you wanted to do the right thing, but felt like he kept going back to his desire for power, but had a good heart in it all. If you want to understand more about this unique king that married, what seems like half the world’s princesses, pick this book up. It is fascinating with a lot of stories in it.
LoriP123 15 days ago
The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith is part of The Loves of King Solomon series and a book you definitely don't want to miss. Jill Eileen Smith is one of those authors that draws you in and transports you back in time with her wonderful stories and characters. While reading The Heart of a King I felt like I was witnessing King Solomon and his loves first hand and it makes me want to read more of the stories in this wonderful series. I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
Reading_Bee 15 days ago
The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith is an intriguing imagining of the life of King Solomon and “the women he loved.” Although I cannot say I agree with all of the author’s creative licenses, I believe she did a masterful job of weaving a fascinating story of “what might have been” in the life of the wisest man who ever lived. I enjoyed being able to see, not only through the viewpoints of the different wives, but also through Solomon’s eyes as well. I appreciated the uniqueness of each woman’s story, and how they intertwined, not only with King Solomon, but also with each other throughout their lives. I have not yet read the individual Loves of King Solomon books, but I thought this book read well by itself, although I may have received a more “rounded” view of the women had I read them beforehand. This book was fascinating and unique, and I would recommend it to those who enjoy wonderful Biblical fiction—the story is captivating, and certainly inspires the reader to dive even deeper into the real world of the Bible, and find out more about the truth in this powerful story. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for FREE, and a positive review was not required.
luvnjesus 15 days ago
The Heart Of A King” is the first book that I have read from author Jill Eileen Smith. Portions of the book are part of previous e-books, however I don’t feel it is necessary to read those to understand King Solomon. The author is a master story teller and the reader will be pulled in from page one bringing scripture to life. I love reading biblical historical fiction and King Solomon did not disappoint. I look forward to reading the author’s other books. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of the book mentioned above in the hope that I would review it on my blog. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
jess_baker_614 15 days ago
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The more I read biblical fiction, the more I love it. Jill Eileen Smith has managed not only to perfectly blend scripture into her story, but give what I think is a great portrayal of the thoughts and Solomon's wives, as well as Solomon himself. Here is a man who loved the Lord, and yet he made mistakes. While he may have thought they were for good reason, they were still mistakes. Jill Eileen Smith has the ability not only to draw you into the character's minds, but understand the reasoning behind why they do things. I didn't know much about these four women before reading this (unfortunately I have not read the full novels about them by Smith), so I found myself learning so much. Yes, I understand that it if fiction, however I think there is some truth in how they were portrayed. The thing that surprised me the most was how my feelings of Bathsheba changed after reading this. She was presented in a whole new light, one that I really didn't think of. Yes, I need to read about her in my bible again, and while I do I am going to remember the words that I read here. And then try to piece it all together and learn more about her. I think that's the goal of biblical fiction - to make you want to dive into your bible and learn as much as you can. Jill Eileen Smith makes these characters come to life, and they get into your mind and stay there awhile. Yes we see their love for the Lord, but we also see their failures. We see how they pick themselves up, and try again. The other neat thing to see in reading this was the references to Song of Solomon. He really was poetic, and seeing that side of him presented here was really neat. The men of today certainly don't talk like this, nor do most of them in contemporary romance novels to be honest, so it was very sweet to read. Don't misunderstand - I know that it was also Solomon's downfall. But let's be real - if you were one of these ladies you can see how easily they could be swayed by Solomon. We read mostly in the bible about his time ruling, and to see this side of him was just so interesting to me. This novel was a home run for me. It brought the bible to life, and made my longing to dive in deeper that much greater. I look forward to reading more of Smith's novels, and reading them with my bible nearby so I can reference as I'm reading. I can certainly see after reading this why so many people love her books! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
3404499 15 days ago
I received an advanced copy of this title via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. People take the characters of the Bible very seriously. An author must be careful not to misrepresent the image that has been accepted by the masses. When a person has only been mentioned briefly, it allows for greater flexibility. Solomon has been identified through the ages as being the wisest of kings. He loved deeply but sinned against God despite the blessings that had been given to him. Smith crafts a wonderful compilation on the lives of several of Solomon's wives. As there isn't much written about the lives of the wives, Smith had to use historical and biblical content to craft a rendering of their lives in the most accurate way possible. In order so that these individual stories could be presented seamlessly, Smith gives Solomon center stage. The reader is taken on a journey with Solomon as he struggles with the depth of love he has for God and how he rationalizes the love he has for some of his wives despite their foreign birth. Smith leaves the door open to expand on each of these characters more intensely in other works.
Patricia Hinojosa 16 days ago
I have always been intrigued by King Solomon’s story and have always questioned myself how can a man so loved and gifted by God and life itself could have erred so deeply in his ways. So when I read the title of this book by Jill Eileen Smith, I knew I had to read it. She has some ebooks of each of the most important women is Solomon’s life, but I hadn’t read them. This is a compilation and improved story of this women. I like that the book is written from Solomon and the women’s point of view. So this is the story of Solomon and the four women he most loved. The Bible doesn’t give much details about them, so this is a work of fiction. But it seemed to me that it is very well researched and it totally transports you to ancient Israel and the traditions of the jewish people and the other cultures that interacted with the jewish. The woman were: Namaah, the desert princess, Abishag, the shepherdess, Siti, the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh, and Nicaula, the Queen of Sheeba. These are four women, but we know Solomon had a very ample harem, although these ladies are the most important. This is not a Hallmark movie with its happily ever after. This is a true story, and a sad one at that. But there is so much to learn behind Solomon’s atittude. From the start you can see he’s obsessed with being designed his father’s –King David- Co-Regent. It’s understandable to be afraid of what would happen if one of his jealous brothers would get to the throne, but still he was too focused on gaining power. It was evident he cared for his women, but he was too much distracted with his personal issues to be a good husband and think of them instead of him. He was a true King that worried and cared for his country and people and apparently “wanted” to honor God. But he always found excuses for doing just what God had advised him not to, maybe trying to please others and to gain other Kings graces. At the end, he didn’t have the strength and sincerity to listen to God’s Word in his heart and follow Him, even if that meant some kind of earthly loss. He was probably given one of the biggest gifts on eart, the godly wisdom, but he seemed to use it wisely in everything except his personal life. I think this is a great lesson of what doing God’s will sometimes entails. It entails doing different than what your desires might dictate. But in the end, doing God's will is what will make you happy and full inside. Having all those riches and women strayed Solomon away from God, instead of honoring Him by doing what he knew would please Him. He focused on the gift, but lost the vision of the Creator of his gift. I think this can help us be grateful with what God has given us, and try to always acknowledge that it is His gift, not our merit, and due to His Mercy. And also, to never stop giving thanks to Him, in good times, as well as the bad. Because it is in those bad times where we learn the most and to focus on what’s truly important: Loving God and others. I liked the book, in spite that I’m usually attracted to books that I know that end well and have a happy ending. I still think God loved Solomon so much, that He forgave his sins because he really repented. But there is so much to learn. And from the women’s perspective too. I especially liked Nicaula’s story. The Queen of Sheba has always been a mystery to me and it was so interesting to know about her, even if fictional. I think this is the woman that impacted Solomon the most. I totally recommend this!
Anonymous 16 days ago
The Heart of a King sweeps the reader off to the Kingdom of Israel in the magnificent days of King Solomon. The stories of four of Solomon's wives that Smith published as eBooks are united into one large volume and are interwoven with Solomon's story as he goes from being the unofficial official crown prince. I loved getting to jump between Solomon's point of view and the four women because it gave me a better perspective of their lives. The author does a masterful job with portraying how the wisest man in history lost sight of God's commands as well as how his wives dealt with their situations. Their stories and emotions appear real and plausible. In the end, this was a book that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a good book to read. You won't be disappointed! *I received an ARC in return for an honest review*
Changed-by-Christ 16 days ago
Wow. That’s how I felt when I finished this wonderful novel. Just wow. I have never read any of Jill’s fiction before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was not disappointed. She really gave me a new and better perspective on King Solomon and kind of helped me to understand him a bit better. As Jill has said, this is kind of a follow-up to her The Loves of King Solomon e-book series, so this book did not dive as much into the characters of Solomon’s wives as it did his, which I didn’t mind much at all. I thought that all the characters were well fleshed out and written so well. I was able to see the human flaws in Solomon that often get glossed over and, like I said above, I was able to understand him much better. I did think that this was a bit slow to begin, definitely not a super fast read, but that didn’t take away from it too much. It is also a heavier book, as I have found most Biblical fiction to be, but I rather enjoy heavier books, so that didn’t bother me one bit. Once again, the writing was captivating, the descriptions impeccable, all together a wonderful story and perfect for lovers of Biblical fiction and really any historical fiction. **I was given a complementary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts in this review are mine alone.**
grammy57 16 days ago
I received this book as part of the Revell Reads blog tour. I chose to be a part of this and my review is my own opinion. I truly enjoyed this book. Jill Eileen Smith does research into the Bible and history and it shows. This is a fictional book based on her research and opinion of what King Solomon might have been like and what his life may have been like as an adult. The characters are very believable and the background of the story is well written. You feel like you could be reading an autobiography, it is that realistic in my opinion. The story flowed well and it was very well edited. The grammar and punctuation were done well and it did not detract from the book at all. That is a very important element, in my opinion on my enjoyment of a book. I give this book 5 stars out of 5. I would recommend it to my friends.
Bookworm_Debbie 17 days ago
This is an incredibly well developed Biblical novel! Of the five main characters in this book the only one that we know very much about from the bible is Solomon. We have bits and pieces about the four women in this story. I found the way that the author presented them to be very plausible and the story held my attention. I had never given much thought as to how it might have come about for Solomon to have married so many women. This book has definitely given me much to think about as to this king with amazing God-given wisdom. He was called to be a King of Peace. Yet as a mere man I’m sure he would have struggled with trying to fulfill that. I thoroughly enjoyed the look at what it would have been like for Solomon’s first wife. Human nature would have her wanting to keep him to herself. Yet that was not how her life and marriage played out. It had to have been extremely hard for her each time he married another woman and she knew she would have even less time with him. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
benhli38 17 days ago
This is a completely amazing book by Jill Eileen Smith about King Solomon. While there are certain names we know of for sure from scripture, namely Abishag and Naamah, I find that Smith's storytelling around King Solomon and at least four of his wives is very well written. Smith has done a great deal of research for the book, and it truly shows. I would say I recommend it if you're a fan of historical, Biblical, and romance, too. As I said it is an amazing read. What makes this book stand out to me, first off, is the great job Revell did on the cover of it. Whoever did this artwork from Revell did a lovely job. My wife took one look at the book, and her comment was, "I can't wait to read this once you're done!" She will get her chance as of this moment. Another part I love about Smith's book, Heart of a King, is the poetry that we have in Song of Songs, or if you're a huge fan of the King James Version, Song of Solomon. And that makes Smith's job, as a storyteller so well done, in my opinion. I can tell you a little about this wonderful author: she has written some of the best, award-winning books the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. What most readers have taken away from reading her books is that she is thoughtful, careful, and treats each subject with the care and love they all deserve as being founders of the Christian and Hebrew faiths. You cannot understand how God moves and enjoys His people of faith unless you dig deep enough and enjoy those you learn about. Jill Eileen Smith has done that job wonderfully. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review.
PrincessGlor 18 days ago
I enjoyed this fictional account of Solomon and 4 of his wives. I haven’t read much if any Biblical fiction to date and this was a fantastic start to my introduction to this type of fiction. Jill weaves the story in an easy to read format and it was hard to put down when life intervened. Before reading this book, i had no idea that Solomon had that many wives and concubines! Definitely mind blowing. Getting to “know” Solomon and the wives featured in this book was interesting and eye opening to say the least. It definitely makes me want to go and read the actual Biblical account in Samuel and Kings. So I love the fact that it is increasing my wanting to read the Bible(which I struggle with if I am honest)! I am adding more of Jill’s books to my to read pile-especially “Redeeming Grace” which features Ruth. I received this book from the Author and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
RaechelK 19 days ago
Before I go into my review, I want to state how much I love this cover. The colors just pop and it is beautifully designed! And the spine of it too - it's beautiful! The inside of this attractive novel was very enjoyable as well. Not once was I bored or lacking interest. I found this book to be very well-written, and captivating. It was really interesting to see into King Solomon's life, as well as a few of his many wives' lives. I was really impressed with how the author wrote King Solomon's character - he was likeable and understandable, and yet so frustrating with his weakness for many, many women. I have always wondered about him and his many wives, and honestly, he was irritating in this aspect but I couldn't hate him. His flaws made up his character, and his strengths were shown as well. Like I said, I was impressed with the overall respect the author wrote into his story. And I also found the four wives highlighted in this novel to be fascinating and well-written. I felt for each of them and enjoyed getting to know them. I think Naamah and Abishag were my favorites, but they each were unique characters that had complex stories. I would like to add as well that it was all tastefully written. I was a little cautious about how...passionate it might become at times because of the nature of the story, but the descriptions never went too far, and it was handled really well. I was very appreciative of this! The historicalness of the story felt natural, and I would easily classify it as such; historical fiction. "The Heart of a King" is definitely my favorite of this author's work thus far, and I would recommend it to fans of Historical/Biblical fiction. This novel felt similar to the author Mesu Andrews' writing, so if you've enjoyed her novels, be sure to check out this one as well. :)
Alicity 19 days ago
Jill is such an amazing writer and you can always tell she is well-versed at research. This story was a bit different from some of her other stories. This one covered FOUR of Solomon’s wives in one book. I’ve now learned that they were originally four separate e-novellas. I loved the honesty about Solomon’s struggles. CLEARLY he loved women. To have a thousand wives? I can’t even fathom. To be in LOVE with at least four of them? I had a hard time with this. Solomon’s struggles with his gift of wisdom were very well demonstrated in this book. His truly became a situation of loving the gift more than the Giver. I look forward seeing what Jill Eileen Smith comes out with next! This is a stand alone and would make an excellent book club pick.
connywithay 20 days ago
“Sometimes foolishness is overconfidence in one’s own wisdom. And pride had changed everything,” the Teacher writes in the Prelude of Jill Eileen Smith’s Biblical fiction novel, The Heart of a King: The Loves of Solomon. ~ What ~ This four-hundred-and-twenty-five-page paperback targets those who enjoy an enhanced version of the Biblical story of King Solomon and four of his many wives. Containing no profanity or explicit sexual scenes, topics of murder and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. An author’s note, acknowledgments, biography, and advertisements complete the book. In this loosely retold story taken from the Old Testament, Solomon marries his first wife and childhood friend before he becomes the king of Israel. An Ammonite who believes in Solomon’s God, Naamah is in love with Solomon and wants to be his only wife. When Solomon’s father dies and Solomon becomes king, he marries Abishag, King David’s young wife, a Hebrew shepherdess who takes care of him before he dies. The marriage is not only to establish Solomon’s kingdom but also one based on love for one another. Factitious Siti, the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh, becomes another wife of Solomon as a political pawn to control Gezer. Although Solomon struggles with his new wife’s pagan foreign gods, he slowly allows her to keep her idols outside the city of Jerusalem. Years later, Solomon is fascinated by Nicaula, the Queen of Sheba, who desires a husband and child yet cannot give up her status and position in her homeland. The two devise a way to love while not putting their countries in jeopardy. All four of the marriages test Solomon as he looks toward God for answers. When he focuses on what wisdom can do for him and those he loves, he forgets the One who gave him the wisdom, later realizing the meaning of life is to fear God and keep His Word. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not like fictionalized Bible stories may pass on this one as the author has used ample liberties to enhance the story. With the Queen of Sheba marrying Solomon and multiple added characters, the story is fabricated. Some may find the romantic love the king had for these four women repetitive in conveying although he supposedly loved them for different reasons. ~ Wish ~ I liked the detailed descriptions of life in Israel in the Old Testament, I found Solomon’s hunger for love and lust not what I expected compared to the Scriptures and wish the novel was more accurate (which may be hard since the Bible contains little information about his wives). With a plethora of characters, it would be helpful having a list at the beginning of the book. ~ Want ~ If you enjoy learning about King Solomon’s love of women in a fictionalized setting based loosely on Scripture, this historical story shows how the man became caught up in his wisdom while disobeying God’s law about marrying foreign wives and allowing them to worship their gods in Israel. Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am not obligated to review.
JustCommonly 20 days ago
". . .be strong. . . act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires." (112) Jill Eileen Smith continues to bring Biblical characters to life in her latest Biblical Fiction, The Heart of a King focused on the various loves of Solomon. With creative interpretations mixed with biblical truths, the author present to readers the inner thoughts and turmoil within the "wise king," Solomon, son of David. "Only God can give us all that we need. Only He can feed the hungriest places in our soul." (42) It's always surprising to see how sometimes, people we think are smart can do something so unwise. Throughout The Heart of the King, we see Solomon's heart for the Lord, yet had we ever wonder about why even the wise king can falter and disobey the One he loves? The author gave us an imaginative understanding the characters' emotional state, but more importantly shared with us the message of human nature. Justification and denial seeps into our minds more often than expected. A timeless struggle, yet our God will feed us with reminders of His love and laws. Not only does The Heart of the King gives readers a story, but a message to ponder on, and the desire to dig deeper into the Bible for affirmation. In my mind, that makes this novel worth the read. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.