The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

by Tosca Lee
4.8 16

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The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
The biblical account of the queen of Sheba is short. It is located in I Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9. In these verses there are very few details about who she was and what surrounded her visit. In The Legend of Sheba Tosa Lee has used her vast amount of research and her brilliant storytelling abilities to fill in some of the gaps. This book is a literary delight. It is both gritty and beautiful at the same time. If you have delicate sensibilities you may consider passing on this one. But if you aren't faint of heart, you should really enjoy the story. Remember that it is primarily about an ungodly group of people that worshiped multiple idols. During this time in history bloody sacrifices were made by both pagans and believers alike. Temple prostitutes and priests participated in immoral sexual practices and some of these rituals are portrayed. (I should add that Tosca doesn't sensationalize this part but does politely say what is happening.)  If you stick with the story you will eventually come to the point where Solomon and Bilquis begin to exchange letters. Those exchanges are some of the best writing from Tosca's pen. I know it is fictional but I love the voice that she gave to king Solomon through these missives. She also does a brilliant job of intertwining some of Solomon's other writings into the storyline.  Once again Tosca has used her amazing skill with words to pen a compelling tale about two legendary figures. The Legend of Sheba is bound to be another big hit to add to her growing list of titles.
mesuloveshim More than 1 year ago
Wow. Just, wow. I'm so thankful the Lord chose Tosca Lee to write about Eve (Havah), Judas Iscariot (Iscariot), and now the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon (The Legend of Sheba). The amount of research and imagination she weaves into her novels is the work of an inspired artisan, and I so appreciate the care with which she handles God's Word. That being said, however, I will warn you that Tosca's writing is edgy, and she doesn't mask the hard truths about the ancient cultures explored in this book. We first meet the Queen of Sheba--Bilqis--as a young girl, loved and protected. But when her innocence is stolen, wheels are set in motion that shape a lifelong search for a real God and the true meaning of love.  The Legend of Sheba is, in my opinion, more of a character-driven novel than plot-driven, meaning you don't experience the riveting, action-packed storyline, but rather delve deeply into the heart and mind of the fascinating characters. And no one "delves" more beautifully than Tosca Lee with her lyrical style of writing. Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever read anything more beautiful than chapter twelve! I'm talking serious goose-bumps! Again, this is not a puffy clouds and lollipops story. It's gritty and real and raw, revealing the harsh and pagan realities of ancient cultures of tenth century BC. Bilqis was an unmarried queen who saw a husband as a threat to her throne but needed an heir to succeed her. Solomon was one of the (if not THE) single most enigmatic characters in the Bible--his sensual passions unequaled in word (Song of Songs) and in women (700 wives and 300 concubines, 1 Kings 11:3). I didn't find any explicit love scenes or profanity in this book, however, it isn't a novel I'd recommend for young teens because of the mature contemplations of both Solomon and Bilqis. What pre-teen or even early teen would fully embrace this internal dialogue from Bilqis: "Who am I? Daughter, princess, victim, exile, lover, queen, priestess...all identities in relation to someone else--until that other person was gone. And Solomon, the voracious prince...this man missing the first blush of romance with his God who chased it with the concubines, wealth, wives, and treaty." As adults, we understand the identity crisis Bilqis is working through, and as Christ-followers, we realize that we will one day appear before Him alone--with no one else to lean on or blame. Also as adults, we might identify with the emptiness Solomon experienced when his relationship with Yahweh was hindered by sin. He undoubtedly tried to fill the void with women, wealth, and power as many do today. The Legend of Sheba has at its core an overarching theme. I believe it's the thing that drives every human being to seek some form of companionship, and I believe we have this natural yearning--this craving--because we were created in God's image--though God experiences the desire perfectly and without sin, of course. What is this desire? I hope you'll read The Legend of Sheba to discover it for yourself. I think you'll agree with me that Tosca Lee has captured the human spirit magnificently. BTW...be sure to check out her extensive Author's Note at the end of the book for fascinating insight into her research process. If you're a biblical history junkie like me, you'll be astounded by her research journey!
kpeck More than 1 year ago
I really can't say enough about The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee.  This book is so well written and beautiful. I have been a fan of Tosca's work for a few years now, and I was very excited to read this newest book.  I was not disappointed. Once again Tosca proves her ability to weave words together to create a vivid story and take you with it, never lessening its hold. I was spell bound for 18 hours. Completely enraptured! As soon as I finished I wanted to start it again right away.  If you like historical fiction even the smallest bit, you will love this! Fan of romance? I would direct you to this book. Suspense? This book again! It really has it all I think. A little of something for anyone.  That's what I love so much about Tosca's work, she delivers everything you need in a book and then some! She is truly talented and devoted to her work.  I will be buying this book in all formats and recommending it to everyone! It is a magical tale, so artfully woven together.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
The legend of the Queen of Sheba has captured the imaginations of people for many centuries. Now, in a newly written, lushly described novel, author Tosca Lee brings this fascinating, enigmatic woman to life. It is the 10th century B.C. and a young woman with three names, Bilqis, Sheba, Makeda, has inherited her father’s throne. Through a traveling merchant, she learns about King Solomon of Israel. Soon she exchanges letters with this distant king, who piques her interest and fills her with wonder. So in a bold move, against the wishes of her advisors, she compiles a vast hoard of riches and treasures and arranges for a caravan to make a near impossible and treacherous trek to visit him. What follows is a wonderful tale of passion and intrigue.   This novel excelled at breathing life into the Biblical characters of Solomon and Sheba. Rich, quippy, intelligent dialogue are exchanged between these two monarchs, luxuriant with hidden meanings, and ripe with hidden love. An comfortable read, brilliant descriptions, and a story line with plenty of peril and intrigue makes this new novel definitely one to savor. I thoroughly enjoyed it and definitely recommend it! 
VillaSyl More than 1 year ago
This description had me intrigued: “Here is the tale that is told: A desert queen journeyed north with a caravan of riches to pay tribute to a king and his One God. The story of a queen conquered by a king before she returned to her own land laden with gifts. That is the tale you are meant to believe. Which means most of it is a lie.” 1000BC, the king of Sheba is dead and Bilqis, also called Makeda, his exiled daughter, has gained the crown after a desperate overland march and battle for the capital. Solomon, the brash king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world, or the riches of Sheba. With the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon, undertakes the journey of a lifetime, in a daring bid to save her kingdom. In this novel, Lee has so thoughtfully and diligently researched all aspects of the rare Queen of Sheba who was never married and thus ruled her kingdom without the aid of a King. You get a sense of how difficult it would have been to be one of the only woman to rule a kingdom without a man by her side as King. The uncertainty of what would become of her, if there was no heir to her throne. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history. Lee has written a powerful new novel about a queen’s torrid love affair with King Solomon, filled with love, illicit passion, the illusion of possession, and the ultimate surrender to God. I love, love, this beautiful story of power, worship, and romance in a time long forgotten but still captured in fragments in time. Captivating and thought-provoking, it will change the way you see; the relationship between King Solomon and the legendary Queen, and King Solomon’s writings. I received copy of eBook from Net Galley and publisher Howard Books for my review.
The_Observer More than 1 year ago
I thought I knew the story. Well, I vaguely remembered the name Sheba from the Bible. However, Tosca made the story into a captivating impossible-to-put-down book. Thoughts you don't usually stop to ponder like "What is the king's (or any human's) deepest desire?" or "Do we choose God or God chooses us?" Love, courage, loyalty, disappointment, politics: all this is blended together in a delicious mixture. The queen comes for a visit, to see the great Solomon himself, the ruler of a baby kingdom. She thinks he's a weirdo (and far from wise, having over 400 wives). He is torn between being angry with her and desperate to see her. What will their meeting be like?
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
The Legend of Sheba is a wonderful story. I really enjoyed Tosca Lee's creative vision of how Sheba lived. I loved how she imagined Sheba and King Solomon together. I felt like I was part of the story, being transported back to Biblical times. This is the first novel I have read by this author and it definitely will not be the last.  5 stars I received this book from Howard Books in exchange for my honest review which was given . 
PurpleAnime More than 1 year ago
A desert queen journeys north with her caravan of riches to pay tribute to a king and his one God. The story goes that she was conquered by him and returns to her home with gifts. It’s the question that drives us. This is the story we are lead to believe, but with exquisite storytelling ability and intricate historical detail, Tosca Lee, breathes life into this legend and give us a story that is filled with sorrow, intrigue, and love. Bilqis never wanted to be queen, but then a shocking death happens in her family and she is thrown in the midst of pain and war within her soul. She is then hurt physically and after a while suffers another loss. This one makes her a queen. But she is now queen with questions. Who is her god Almaqah? Who are the priests praying to in their temples? And most importantly, who is this king who speaks often of his one God who is faceless? An intricate weave to choice parts. Honestly, hands down Tosca Lee is in a league of her own. Her books are a reflection of hard work. She can describe a garden so well you feel as if you are in it watching Bilqis and Solomon talk and touch one another. And this can be daunting as well. Even with knowledge of how the story of the Queen of Sheba goes, I wanted more of her and Solomon; more romance than intricacies of seasons, storms, and treaties. This is not Tosca’s fault because ultimately it is all connected. However once we get to the queen's time with Solomon(which is in the middle of the book), the pace of the book picks up so well. Their intelligent discussions, the way she fascinates Solomon even though he has 400 wives at this time, made my heart thump. Solomon was smooth but cunning. He reminded me of a panther playing with his prey- it was quite thrilling. The Legend of Sheba earns 5 stars mainly because it seemed as if the events really occurred. As if Tosca’s third eye witnessed what we can not. The book also earned its five star place because Bilqis was a head strong yet sensitive woman and her talks with Solomon were witty and seductive. The entire story is a seduction- kind of like how God brings us unto Him, coaxes us to ask of Him, to learn of Him. A brilliant story from a hard working author. *This review is based on an ARC(Advanced Reading Copy) provided by Netgalley for Howard Books.
CordiallyBarbara More than 1 year ago
On a scale of cotton candy to Brussels sprouts, The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee is a toasted English muffin drizzled in honey. Although a an English muffin is a simple food, the honey enriches every bite. Honey heals and sweetens. Bilquis never expected to be queen. In fact, she preferred her life of exile and peace. But when her kinsman call upon her to take the throne from her step-mother and step-brother, Bilquis rises to the occasion but refuses to play a pawn. Bilquis becomes Queen of Sheba and truly rules, but she is dogged by her advisers to bring an heir. But more than that, she is haunted by questions and loneliness. Tosca Lee takes you into the very skin of the Queen of Sheba. While I journeyed in these pages, I became Bilquis. And I delighted in her strength of character, her wisdom, her smarts. I wonder if every reader has felt the same kinship as I have with Tosca Lee's Bilquis. Moreover, I like that Tosca Lee didn't shy away from sharing about the religion/worship of the god of the moon. She didn't ignore the sexual promiscuity, and she created a story that makes sense. Although I tend to not choose to read Biblical fiction, I would definitely recommend Tosca Lee and The Legend of Sheba.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheAddLibrarian More than 1 year ago
As one of Ted Dekker's* co-writers, Tosca Lee is already set up as a big name. With her most recent title, The Legend of Sheba, she sets herself up to gain even more ground. Sheba isn't typical Inspy biblical fiction. It reads more like a secular novel. It doesn't sugarcoat Solomon's shortcomings and it's not really a love story. It is a story about Sheba and her fight to win and keep her throne and to safeguard her small country from her greedy and powerful neighbors. Sheba is a fascinating character, and Lee's depiction of her world and struggle to keep her throne and find the love she craves has a depth that is indicative of just how good of a writer Tosca Lee truly is. I do have to be honest and say that The Legend of Sheba isn't my favorite Tosca Lee novel. That honor goes to Havah, Lee's novel about Eve.
Kerry_Nietz More than 1 year ago
“The Legend of Sheba” is an engaging read that boldly explores a character, and a period of history, about which little is known. As with every Tosca Lee novel, the writing is stellar and the characters are fully realized. I appreciate the lengths she went to make the setting and situations feel accurate, or at least seem plausible. I like Sheba’s backstory and the circumstances that brought her to Israel. Loved the nods to the different views on Sheba and Solomon’s relationship, and also to the “Lost Ark.” (I read portions of Hancock’s book many, many years ago.) There are portions of “Sheba” that I’m conflicted about. King Solomon is primarily known for his wisdom, yet I feel we see little of that on display here. Granted the book is set at a time nearing the end of his reign (which I liked—especially the intrigue and context it added) but I would think there would still be glimpses of his former greatness. Maybe a situation or two that would leave the Queen surprised and impressed, not only with Solomon, but with the God he serves. Also, it might have been interesting to see how the relationship between the two rulers was perceived by the priests and prophets of the time. I think where the book went with Sheba and Solomon’s interaction was fine, given the legends, but the consequences and perception felt a little abstracted to me. It seemed like it needed a direct confrontation, even if it was brief. Those are quibbles, however. “The Legend of Sheba” is a well-crafted novel. Well worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely fictionalized story of the Queen of Sheba, once of the most enigmatic people of the Bible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy from Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest review. I have never read a Tosca Lee book before and I have to say that this book was a real delight. I can only imagine the hours of research she must have done to make this compelling story. The characters were well developed and I found myself wanting to know more. She painted a vivid picture of that region and the trials of that time period. If you enjoy historical fiction than you will love this tale. (less) 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tosca Lee is an author I found somewhat by accident. After looking her up and reading her first book I was hooked enough to read another that had me itching for the next. This finally ended up with me reading her most recent book “The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen”.  I was anxious to read it for two reasons. One to learn more about this mysterious Queen of ancient times and two, to see how Tosca might tell her tale.  Tosca Lee did not let me down. Though hard details of this woman’s life are precious few Tosca was able to weave what “is” known with some literary license to leave us with a story of a woman we would wish to know in the end. It is also the story of the ancient King Solomon. Within the story you have a king that when asked by God what he desired in the world choose wisdom.  Tosca was able to take what we know about the king and with some imagination and embellishment leave you feeling how the king might have felt. The feeling of having everything in the world that one could want except one thing… Love. True love. Then, once he finds it is unable to keep it. He is torn between his duty and his love for a Queen. The Queen is torn between her love lost and a new love found and her kingdom.  I love what she does with a story. How she is able to bring out the passion in the people she writes about and how she tells their story.  I am left looking forward to her next book. What it will be about? Who’s story it will tell. Mark Russell
Adirasan More than 1 year ago
Welcome to a story of intrigue. Of lands forgotten, and riches fables. Inhale the scent of pages, and have it been transformed to the musk  of incense as you suspend yourself to the land of Sheba. But who is the queen known for her beauty and riches? How did she come to rule in a world of patriarchy? Explore the mystery that is The Legend Of Sheba by Tosca Lee. Meet Bilqis, the Queen of Saba, or Sheba as we know it today.  Come speculate with Tosca of how this queen of legend and unimaginable riches came to the throne.  Of how she met the wisest man and king:  Solomon. Be enchanted by poetry, philosophy, and the musings of two souls given unattainable destinies.   In her newest installment of speculative fiction, Tosca opens a land of the past that becomes nearly palpable to the senses as the plot thickens around you.  Together with her research. and story weaving, Lee brings an unforgettable experience in the reading of The Legend of Sheba.  This novel is an adventure you won’t want to miss.