Monday, October 13, 2014

#REVIEW: Legend of Sheba: The Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee

Title: The Legend of Sheba: The Rise of a Queen
Series: The Legends of Sheba #1
Author:  Tosca Lee
Published Date: Sept 5, 2014
Publisher: Howard Books
Format: ebook
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781451684063
Genre: historical fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: There is the story you know: A foreign queen, journeying north with a caravan of riches to pay tribute to a king favored by the One God. The tale of a queen conquered by a king and god both before returning to her own land laden with gifts.
That is the tale you were meant to believe.
Which means most of it is a lie.
The truth is far more than even the storytellers could conjure. The riches more priceless. The secrets more corrosive. The love and betrayal more passionate and devastating.
Across the Red Sea, the pillars of the great oval temple once bore my name: Bilqis, Daughter of the Moon. Here, to the west, the porticoes knew another: Makeda, Woman of Fire. To the Israelites, I was queen of the spice lands, which they called Sheba.
In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father’s throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Her realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But 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. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and 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 test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite—and ruin—them both. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.
I have loved Tosca Lee's retelling of biblical characters. From the nefarious Judas Iscariot, to now this barely-mentioned Queen of Sheba, whom is given a mere 13 verses ( 1 Kings 10: 1-13). I've never understood this pagan queen whom goes before Solomon and delivers this rousing speech about how wonderful the Lord of Israel is. She never seemed to convert, wasn't she afraid of her own gods' jealousies and spite?
This book however delves into the fictional account of what may have been this queen's life in such detail and exquisite writing. The relationship between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba is detailed as a great love story, ending with the seperation of the two lovers for political reasons.
From 13 verses, the author weaves an incredible story that lasts over 300 pages and immerses the reader into such fantasy! I did not realise that there was a House of Solomon, the Imperial House of the Ethiopian Empire that traced back their lineage to this love child between King Solomon and Queen Sheba.

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