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.
In THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, Tosca Lee weaves an intricate tale as complex as the queen herself. Little is said of her in the Bible, yet the author has given us a glimpse of what life may have been like for her as a child and up until she meets King Solomon – and eventually must leave him.
I read a fair amount of Biblical/Christian Historical Fiction and Tosca Lee is on top of my list of favourite authors of the genre. She is able to write of ancient times as if she’s a time traveler, so vivid are her descriptions of the places and people, smells and tastes. She can easily transport the reader to places we can only read about and try to imagine in our own minds. And, I’m always blown away with how real her characters become to me. She breathes so much like into them.
In this book, she has another incredible masterpiece. The words flow easily – and quickly – off the pages, pulling you in and not letting go until the last page. It is, simply, captivating. Much like the Queen of Sheba, herself.
*I received an ebook copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*