The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith – Book Review

Posted April 30, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

Sign up for e-mail notifications of posts

I have always loved Biblical fiction and the way the authors who write it give a different perspective on the events recorded in the Scriptures. So when I was given the opportunity to read this book, of course, I accepted.

The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith – Book Review

The Heart of a King: The Loves of Solomon
by Jill Eileen Smith


Published by Revell
Publication Date April 30, 2019
Genres: Biblical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Setting: Israel 1000 - 732 BC
Written for: Adults
Pages: 420

Synopsis:

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?

I would like to thank Jill Eileen Smith, Netgalley, Revell for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Goodreads Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository



The Heart of a King is a fascinating look at what it might have been like to be one of Solomon’s wives. Beginning with Naamah, the mother of Rehoboam, and ending with the Queen of Sheba, each women’s thoughts and motivations are examined.

The author speculated as to which woman Solomon married first and chose Naamah for this distinction. Seeing her perspective as the first wife – how she would have reacted in finding out that Solomon was to marry again. And again. And again. Ouch!

My favorite aspect of the story is the way the author pulled so in much of the Old Testament. I loved Solomon and David’s excitement as they planned the temple and the descriptions of the temple and the sacrifices once it was built. Bits of wisdom from Proverbs and portions of the Song of Solomon were sprinkled through the book as were portions of Ecclesiastes. This was done quite well.

Solomon’s character as shown in the book was quite multifaceted. He sought to follow God and showed a deep love and concern for following His ways – at first. Though in some ways he appeared strong – in his rulings – he also seemed quite insecure and unsure of the right actions to take, especially after the death of his mother. His portrayal was a bit smarmy in the way he related to the women. Then again, this is probably the way it really was. Seeing his alleged reason for taking on all his wives was quite thought-provoking.

Each wife portrayed had a different personality and experience with Solomon, as would be expected. Seeing things from the viewpoint of his Egyptian wife was interesting, especially considering she is the one who had a palace built for her outside Jerusalem. As a result, we learned the author’s speculation on how this came about to be mentioned in the Bible. While I didn’t much like the personalities of the women, I very much enjoyed their stories.

The subject matter here is a little mature, in my opinion, for younger teens. While entirely clean, there are numerous preludes to lights-out liaisons.

Jill's Loves of King Solomon Series Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
  • Sheep - for The Sheperdess
  • Author imagination for a King's banquet hall
  • Possibly ancient Israel
  • Another side of King Solomon
  • Another image for King Solomon
  • King Solomon's model - for the author's imagination
  • King Solomon - idea images
  • King Solomon's mines images
  • King Solomon's temple image
  • King Solomon's court image
  • More Queen of Sheba images
  • Model inspiration for The Queen of Sheba
  • Model inspiration for Abishag's character - The Shepherdess
  • Model inspiration for Naamah's character - The Desert Princess
  • Inspiration for the Egyptian Princess's character
  • Ideas for Naamah's wedding to Solomon - Desert Princess

About Jill Eileen Smith

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and the Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Tags:

To see all current giveaways, go to the Home page and scroll down

For all disclosures and policies visit this link

Purchases via affiliate links help defray the cost of this website. Thank you!

Leave a Reply