In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father’s throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Now new alliances to the North threaten the trade routes that are the lifeblood of her nation. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world—or of Sheba’s queen. Thus, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king.
I thought this book's prose was beautiful. Tosca Lee is so eloquent. This
imagining into the life of a legend was vivid, extremely intelligent, and full of heart.
The only thing I wanted more of was a bit of the culture. At one point, the queen noted that one of her courtiers was extremely devoted to her and "he hadn't even seen" her face. I had to stop and remind myself that in her society she would have worn a veil throughout the day. This is not a common image for me, so a bit more of her day-to-day dress, the look of the men around her, and more of her daily routine would have been nice to help establish this foreign culture. The epilogue also felt rushed and a too brief few pages to close the story. **spoiler** It was not clear when or why she left her throne or what her relationship was with her son. And I really wanted it to end with that moment of her son meeting Solomon. *end spoiler* Otherwise, I enjoyed every bit of this book.
Lots of thought-provoking moments and exploration into what it was like to rule a country as a woman, unmarried, and yet expected to sire an heir. Lots of girl power in this book. That being said, I think the author did a very good job of keeping her Bilqis with a mindset that fit the time period of the story. I loved the minor characters around the queen also. They were good parallels to the multiple aspects of her life.
Gorgeously written, intuitive, and with extremely clever thought processes, "The Legend of Sheba" is a fantastic journey into the life and mindset of a queen who was so much more than history remembered her as.
"Descendants of Avalon"
Released via Inklings Publishing
("The Forgotten" volume 2)
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse