The Heart of a King

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

What a wonderful book! This book is about King Solomon and his many wives. It's one of those books that start great and just keeps getting better. It's my first book by this author, certainly not my last. Songs of Solomon, in the Bible have been interpreted in so many different ways. The reader can check it out. If you perchance find the Bible "boring," just read that one book. It's been called porn, and lots of (even) Christians think it should be ignored, perhaps, removed. Not this reader! I've heard many sermons about it, being raised in the Bible belt in the South. There's nothing more beautiful than to read that book. It's a love story. Very highly recommend!
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Thank you so much, Netgalley!
All opinions are my own.
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Having recently completed a Bible study featuring King David and King Solomon, I was anxious to read this book. I read a lot of books, being in a book club, reviewing books for publishers and being a church librarian.  I made it almost to 40% of the he wY through before putting it aside to read something else more interesting to me.

I think Jill Eileen Smith is a good author, and our book club enjoyed reading and discussing Michal from the Wives Of King David series. However, just couldn’t get in to this one.
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I usually love this author's books. This one was good and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't my favorite.. It was well written and the storyline was good, but I just couldn't connect with it for some reason. I was frustrated because I really wanted to love this book. Would it stop me from reading another? No. Biblical fiction is one of my favorite categories so I will be happy to read another and  I would recommend this to my friends.
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The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith is part of The Loves of King Solomon series and a book you definitely don't want to miss. 
Jill Eileen Smith is one of those authors that draws you in and transports you back in time with her wonderful stories and characters. While reading The Heart of a King I felt like I was witnessing King Solomon and his loves first hand and it makes me want to read more of the stories in this wonderful series. 

I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
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Biblical fiction, when written well, is one of my favorite genres. The Heart of a King definitely delivered and I enjoyed almost every moment of it. I will definitely be looking for more books from Jill Eileen Smith in the future.

WHAT I LIKED:

-Each of the four women where well-developed and unique. My favorite was Abishag, closely followed by the Queen of Sheba. Both were women of honor and faith. Naamah and Siti were more demanding of Solomon and weren't as close to God (especially Siti).
-Along with the women in this book, Solomon was also a very well developed character. I didn't always like him, but I understood him.
-The writing! Beautiful, clear, and with just a hint of poetry in places.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:

-Some of the author's interpretations of different Bible verses and accounts didn't sit well with me. For instance, I don't believe David and Bathsheba would have been so happy with Solomon marrying Naamah, a foreigner (especially to the point where they were encouraging the marriage).
-Sometimes the plot got a little repetitive.

Overall, The Heart of a King was an intriguing, gripping look into the life of one of history's most famous kings. Highly recommended for fans of well-written Biblical fiction.

This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing through Interviews & Reviews.
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The Heart of a King: The Loves of Solomon is a fascinating look into who this mysterious man may have been and it gives an opportunity for us to wrap ourselves in the garments of the women who were part of his colorful life. Solomon was the son of King David, he was known in history as the wisest man in the world, and he was ordained by God to build His temple in Jerusalem. And yet, at the end of Solomon’s life, he declared in the book of Ecclesiastes that so many things in this life are “Meaningless.” How did he get there? How did he fall so far from the place the appointment the Lord had placed on his life? We can hear the longing in his voice as he penned the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, but what filled his heart in the days before? Jill takes a beautiful approach at trying to process his journey as well as the tumultuous journeys of the women who were part of his life. In each of Jill’s books, she brings the places that matter so much to our Christian history and splashes paint onto them so we might find ourselves standing in the Temple, or at the entrance to the Tabernacle. I am so grateful that the Lord led me to her work and that He has illuminated my faith in a whole new way through her gifts she is sharing with the world
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Wow. I’ve a feeling that the essence of this novel will be with me for a very long time to come!

The Old Testament is full of profound stories of people still iconically remembered today through novel and movie retellings. My excitement is always piqued by those retellings, and I try to read or watch as many as I can. When the chance came for me to review Jill Eileen Smith’s latest novel, The Heart Of A King, I happily dived in.

This novel is very imaginative, very emotional, and very thought-stirring. It displays King Solomon (and some of his many loves) in a way I’ve never considered before. As each love interest made her appearance, the character of King Solomon became more alive and more understandable. And I could not tear myself away from that inside look! What I loved most about this novel was that it gave Abishag – a personal caregiver to King David and someone I’ve always wondered about – a special and surprising place in the story. I’m still thinking about the connection Jill Eileen Smith made between the woman in The Songs of Solomon and the women highlighted in this novel.

My new favorite from this author, The Heart Of A King is a novel I think lovers of biblical fiction would very much enjoy reading!
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I always in enjoy Jill’s books. This one was no exception. However, I found I actually liked the women in the book a bit more then Solomon. I felt like I could connect better with his wives and their desire to be loved by him, then Solomon who was constantly striving.

Reading this did make me want to go back and read the parts of the Bible this story came from.

Overall, a very engaging story that I enjoyed.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
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Personal Rating: 4.14
Star Rating: 4/5

The Heart of a King takes place during the mid 10th century when Israel thrived under the rule of godly kings.  This book delivers more than a story about a king and his country. It's about King Solomon who served His God and about four of the women who loved him.

We can only guess at the emotions of  historical people, but  Jill Eileen Smith does a fantastic job. I enjoyed reading her blend of facts and speculations. She stays true to the Biblical account while taking freedom to explore unwritten feelings.  Writing with empathy and sympathy she gives us a better understanding of the heart of a woman who has to share the man she loves.

She also gives perspective to the unique life of King Solomon.  We see him as a royal king, a wise leader and a romantic man.  The romantic side of King Solomon is shown when his own words are quoted. They are taken from Songs of Solomon.

I can comfortably give this book four stars for adult readers.  I appreciated the reference to King Solomon's well known thoughts from Lamentations, the appearance of King David and Bathsheba, and other Biblical parts relevant to the story. However if a teen would read this, it would be wise to have someone available to engage in a conversation about polygamy and harems during Old Testament times. 

Note: I received a free ebook from Fleming H. Revell Company via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Jill Eileen Smith has such a talent for bringing Biblical characters, the culture of the day and that time period to life through her writing!  Her latest novel is "The Heart of a King: the loves of Solomon" and it is another fantastic read!  King Solomon is a well known individual and he is known for many things, but one main thing is the large amount of wives he had.  This book focuses on four of the many wives and the roles they played in his life and how his marriages were.  Solomon was very wise; however he also at the same time made several mistakes.  Solomon loved God and tried to live pleasing him, but yet struggles with this.  And yet don't we all.  
I just love how this book is so rich with historical details and I really felt as if the characters and the setting just came to life for me while reading.  Solomon made many wise decisions, but at times was trying to justify other decisions that he had made that did not completely follow God.  I feel like so often we are trying to justify and make excuses for behaviors and choices; this is something that has not changed throughout the years.  Therefore, I felt like I could relate to the characters to certain extents which always  pulls me further into the story. So many emotions are at play as well which really helped bring it to life, such as love, jealously, loss, longing.  
I highly recommend this book for those whom enjoy historical romance, you will not be disappointed.
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This is a well written Biblical fiction. I loved getting a look into King Solomon and the women in his life from a different prospective.. All the characters, especially the four women were very well developed and unique. The stories while a work of fiction stayed true to the Biblical accounts. An interesting read that brings the Bible story to life.
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I’m not usually a fan of biblical fiction but I’m glad I took a chance on this. This book tells the stories of Naamah, Siti, Nicaula and Abishag the loves of King Solomon. The book is well written and takes you right back to the time of the Kingdom of Israel, there are lots of historical details. The characters are both believable and sympathetic. I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
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“The Heart of a King” by Jill Eileen Smith, though ostensibly a story of love, loss and longing, of the many loves of King Solomon of Israel, is really about Solomon and his God. This is the true-to-life story of how the wisest King of a vast kingdom allowed passion to overrule his unique God-given wisdom, making him trust the gifts instead of the Giver.

Jill Eileen Smith skillfully brings King Solomon to life,  portraying his real personality as a man of many loves, with creative interpretations, systematically interspersed with rich Biblical truths.

In his persistent quest for true love, after receiving the greatest wisdom in the world from God, King Solomon must have finally realized that only God can satisfy the deepest longings and deep-seated desires of the human heart.

In this book, the author effectively portrays King Solomon’s multi-faceted personality, giving us an intuitive and imaginative understanding of the different layers of his emotions and human nature. For all his great God-given, the tragedy of King Solomon life was that he could not conquer his passions.

In this deeply engrossing novel of biblical facts embellished with fiction, the author portrays the varied sights and sounds of King Solomon’s world through his own eyes.

Jill Eileen Smith is a master craftsman, with her beautifully chiseled characters, full of incredible depth and amazing emotion. Her characters spring to life vividly and with rich, captivating historic detail, drawing us instantly into King Solomon’s world. Wise and wealthy beyond measure, only one thing eluded King Solomon – the quest for true love, which can only be found in God alone.
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I love reading biblical fiction and this author is talented in telling a story. 

They do a very good job of capturing the life of a king with the love for God, but also the draw to women to obtain more peace, power and lands. 

Her skill weaves a tale of the confusing facts of polygamy, and its downfalls, even when you think it is sort of ok. I loved Solomon, and yet, I didn’t like him at all. He was the hero that you wanted to do the right thing, but felt like he kept going back to his desire for power, but had a good heart in it all. 

If you want to understand more about this unique king that married, what seems like half the world’s princesses, pick this book up. It is fascinating with a lot of stories in it.
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This book changed my perspective on the Bible book, Song of Solomon. For some reason I guess I always pictured the same woman throughout the entire book. The author did her homework and has historical significance built into the story line. I appreciated how much scripture was used on the actual pages. Very intriguing and well written.
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If you enjoy reading Biblical fiction, Jill Eileen Smith offers a number of wonderful books in this category. The Heart of a King did not disappoint! The book focused on Solomon, one of the most intriguing men in the Bible, in my opinion. He was gifted with great wisdom, which he used to build the temple, bring peace and prosperity to the nation of Israel, and write Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and some of the Psalms. However, Solomon also had his weaknesses, and one of them was women. He was married to hundreds of women, some of them foreign women who worshiped other gods, and this was his downfall.

The Heart of King focused on some of the women in Solomon’s life, including his first wife, Naamah, Abishag (who was David’s final wife), Siti (the daughter of Pharoah), and the Queen of Sheba. The point of view shifted to each of these women for part of the book, and sometimes to Solomon himself. My favorite part was the part about the Queen of Sheba. While this is a fictional account, I always wondered about the interaction between these two monarchs, because the Queen of Sheba seemed to be one who would be the closest to matching Solomon’s intellect.

It also really struck me that despite how wealthy and wise Solomon was, and despite his many brides, in the end, he found it all to be meaningless. (Read Ecclesiastes in the Bible for more about that.) As we strive today, over a thousand years later, for wealth, knowledge, and power, this is a valid lesson that we can still take to heart today. Without God, it is all meaningless.

If you enjoy Biblical fiction, and find Solomon to be as interesting as I do, this is the book for you!
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This book is about King Solomon and his wives.  King Solomon was given the gift of wisdom by God.  He used his wisdom to rule wisely, and teach others.  The book focuses on 4 of his wives even though he had many.  He had hundreds of wives and hundreds of concubines.  His favorite wife was the Queen of Sheba.  However, he had to leave her go back to her own country to rule.  Solomon continued to marry for political reasons even though God had told him not to in his laws.  He was also not supposed to wed foreign women, because they worshipped other gods.  He married them anyway.  He believed that his wisdom would allow him to break these rules, because he would not worship any other gods.  However, that was his downfall in the end.  This book is an excellent fictionalized version of the story of King Solomon.  I love how history was brought to life.
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The Heart of a King
By Jill Eileen Smith
Looking back to the old testament, this book draws inspiration from King Solomon and his many wife’s. Solomon’s wisdom was great but as we are all human his fall was the wife’s he accepted and chose. 
I enjoyed this book. Of course, this is a fictional tale but it is a fictional retelling of a non-fictitious character. It is often hard to imagine biblical events being real but they were and stories like this open your imagination to the culture and time of these people we read of. Biblical fiction brings to life the humanity of the people God used so long ago and allows one to imagine the struggles that were faced in concurrence with the lives we live in the present.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion, which I’ve shared here.
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The Heart of a King 
The Loves of Solomon 
by Jill Eileen Smith 
Revell 
Christian 
Pub Date 30 Apr 2019 




I am reviewing a copy of The Heart of a King through Revell and Netgalley: 


If you enjoy novels that whisk you away to another time and another place you will love The Heart of a King a novel that will take you back to the time of King Solomon! 



In The Heart of A King you will be transported to Ancient Israel where you meet Solomon as well as 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. 



King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He had everything he wanted, including a lot of women from a lot of different lands! 


I give The Heart of a King five out of five stars! 


Happy Reading!
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Was Solomon wise in marrying all those women? He thought that was the way to keep peace for his country. Starting with the later years of King David’s life and continuing through most of Solomon’s life, The Heart of a King tells Solomon’s story. Jill Eileen Smith tells the story from Solomon’s point of view – her interpretation of his heart. The story includes 4 named wives – Naamah, Rehoboam’s mother; Abishag, the Shunamite woman who was married to King David; Siti, the name the author gave to the wife who was the daughter of a pharaoh; and Nicaula the Queen of Sheba. Did these wives draw Solomon away from Adonai or did he draw them to the true God?

It has been a while since I read any Biblical fiction. Reading The Heart is a King reminded me of one of the things I enjoy about the genre. As I read Biblical fiction I find myself opening my Bible to “fact check” the author or discussing topics covered in the book with either my daughter or my husband, both of whom have more knowledge of extra-Biblical texts than I do. While not everything Jill Eileen Smith wrote in the book is taken directly from scripture, I found nothing that disagreed with scripture and not anything that was not possible based on what I learned about the history of the time. I appreciate authors who strive to remain true to a time period or historical records when they write about a time not our own.

I believe readers will be drawn to Adonai and challenged to view their lives through the lens of Scripture, just as Siti challenged Solomon.

I would not hesitate to place this book in my k-12 Christian school library, although I may limit it to high school only. I highly recommend The Heart of a King to anyone who enjoys Biblical fiction.

I want to thank Jill Eileen Smith and Revell for the complimentary copy of the book. I enjoyed being a member of her Launch Team.
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