The Heart of a King

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

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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I picked up this book because I’ve been studying about King Solomon in the Bible. Seeing his story from another perspective was interesting as all Biblical fiction is grounded in some truth. I was relieved to see multiple sections of the book included near word-for-word what I’ve read in the Bible. I can’t promise every single thing in The Heart of a King is directly from the Bible, but I know large portions are portrayed accurately.

I found myself increasingly frustrated with Solomon but that is not the fault of the author. I feel she did an exceptional job portraying how Solomon might have felt during those years. You have to consider the laws of Solomon’s time. And his pride. In The Heart of a King, Solomon believes his unbelievable wisdom will keep him from making a bad decision. Just thinking that constitutes a bad decision.

One line repeats through the book: A king’s might is shown by the size of his harem. This, in itself, is where my problem rests. Solomon should have trusted God. Solomon had already been reassured that the land was his so long as he did not stray from God. He should have trusted that even if he refused marriage and did not have a mighty harem, he would have remained king. Again, this was Solomon’s doing, not the whim of the author.

On to the writing. Beautiful descriptions abounded throughout the novel, detailing everything from the land, to the palaces, and even to the clothes of the different wives. The Heart of a King is told from several viewpoints including Solomon and each of the four main wives. My only issue here is, once Solomon married another, we no longer heard the viewpoint of a previous wife.

Although Solomon’s story is one I already know, I was still anxious to see how everything played out in the book. I highly recommend The Heart of a King to all readers but especially fans of Biblical fiction.

I requested a copy of this book from Revell Reads and was provided a copy via NetGalley. I was not required to leave a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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He had not expected wisdom to need growth or testing for it to flourish. Surprises had come to him as he studied the creatures that crawled along the path and watched the great variety of birds nestled in the trees. He understood them - their structure, the way they were able to take flight, how they breathed whether in water or on land. Every day seemed to provide a new adventure in understanding. He had not realized the weight of wisdom, nor the responsibility that came with such a gift. He had not seen that the pleasure of God rested heavily upon mere men. For love sought understanding. He just did not reason through the cost of both. 

The tensions of Solomon's rise to King, to the being the wisest man of all the world, and what may seem contradictory, the husband of many wives. There seems no wisdom in having so many wives.
But as you read, Solomon was also known as a man of peace and having so many wives, he was able to establish peace for the Jewish people by marrying so many young women of different kingdoms. 

Even though Solomon had hundreds of wives, the narration focuses on 4. His first wife Naamah. A wife he had taken before he was king. There is a love story between Naamah and Solomon. Their love story may have been the beginning of The Songs of Solomon which never identifies the man and woman that captures their beloved. How each heart is made captive by love and the emotions that love gives. Naamah knows that Solomon may take a few wives but I am sure she succumbed to her feelings of love for Solomon when it became clear that there would be 100's. 

The 2nd wife of Solomon was Abishhag which was the name only wife of King David before he died. Her major role to David was of a nurse, however, she was to be young, beautiful and a virgin. In being so, she was also desirable to David's other sons who wished to be the next King. In taking Abishhag as their wife after David's death, they would be given the kingdom. Such a power play, with women being the pawn of men's greed. However, Solomon was the chosen king by God and Abishhag was given to Solomon. There again a love story different from Naamah develops and a different side of Solomon appears.

The 3rd wife was an Egyptian princess whose father captured the Jewish settlement that Solomon desperately wanted. For peace and the settlement he married Siti. She is a strong willed young woman who desired love and not a peace treaty for her father the Pharaoh. Desiring something different, she married Solomon. Their relationship was a banter between faiths. Her questions the God of her husband and remaining true to her worship Idol. Much background is given in this culture of worship and the power play that ensued. It also was a love story as Solomon desired for his wife to know God and his ways but never forcing her to comply. 

The last woman is the Queen of Sheba that came from far away hearing the about the wisdom of Solomon. A queen without an heir who also desired love but at what cost. This woman captivated Solomon as he grieved for his mother Bathsheba and she had opened his heart as she searched for Wisdom. Their story is tragic as they both comply to culture.

The book really tackles the contradictions of Solomon's life and the gift of wisdom that was given to him. That power, beauty, money and even love has its limitations as we tackle the greatest question. Why am I here? What was I made for? Knowing the answer to those questions is what gives you hope for today and beyond.

A Special Thank you to Revell and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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Having recently enjoyed Jill Eileen Smith's nonfiction book When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams, I was excited to have the chance to review her new release on the loves of King Solomon. This book blends four novellas into one story, choosing to focus on four of the many, many women married to this most wise king. 

I was truly impressed with how the author blended Scripture, research, and imagination to flesh out King Solomon. For example, he had to have known the history of his parents, David and Bathsheba, and this story explores how that that cautionary tale may have played into his own pursuit of many wives. It also reflected on how David was not allowed to build the Temple because he was a man of war, while Solomon was called to a reign of peace and that may also have influenced the treaty marriages he undertook. 

The first wife portrayed is Naamah, whom the Bible lists as the mother of Solomon's heir Rehoboam. Though Smith does not directly forecast to events that took place after Solomon's death, it was easy to extrapolate how Rehoboam's mindset might have been shaped by Naamah and her experiences in Solomon's court. I realize that's speculation, but it was incredibly well done.

My favorite wife as written here was probably Abishag, the young woman first brought to the palace to tend to King David in his old age. The other two women who are given their own stories here are an Egyptian princess and the queen of Sheba.

I would recommend this story to readers of Biblical fiction, though given that marriage and the marriage relationship have such focus, I wouldn't recommend it for young readers. My only complaint about the story was that I wished we'd heard more from each wife throughout the entire length of the book, but I understand that's not how novellas work, even ones somewhat overlapping and woven together like these. This was my first fiction read by this author and I'd definitely be interested in reading through her previous releases at some point.

I received my copy of the book from the publisher. All thoughts in this review are my own.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. This book is mostly focused on King Solomon and his relationship with God. I do like how the book is parted out by the first half featuring Solomon's first two wives, Naamah and Abishag and the second half with Siti and Nicaula. This allowed me to get to know the women better without being introduced to all of them at the same time. 

Of the four women, I thought I had a favorite but it is hard to choose. This is because each woman is different from one another. They each had a purpose and a reason for being in Solomon's life. I do truly believe that at one point Solomon really did love each woman; even, though, he was materialist. HIs reason for marrying each woman was not just for love but for power. 

There is a quote that I really loved that happened early on in the book. It is when Naamah is worrying about how she will be enough for Solomon as his wife. Bathsheba tells Naamah "Only God can give us all that we need, Only He can feed the hungriest places in our soul."
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A beautifully written story of King Solomon and his wives. This is a fictional book but the way Jill Eileen Smith writes real accounts of the Bible into the story helps the reader understand more about King Solomon and his life. The book shows how his relationship with his wives started. I loved the particular part of him meeting Siti. She worshiped a different God and his questions were of great wisdom giving Siti much to ponder on about her God and Solomon’s God. 
The author shows us in her book how compromising can lead to sin and sin can have a snowball effect.   
The author does a fabulous job staying with the truth of the Bible but weaves a tale around it to give us a better understanding of what could have been going through Solomons mind and his reaction to things that  happened around him. You will be so pulled in that your sure to turn back to your bible just to read about Solomon. I felt like praising God and closer to him just by reading this book. 
Was given a complimentary copy by Revel. All opinions are my own .
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So I'm a closet history fan especially fictionalized history which is believable. Who hasn't been entranced by the wisest king there ever was in Christendom? Who hasn't heard the judgement where the two women bring a baby to King Solomon claiming to be the mother and his judgement.? In this novel Ms. Smith introduces us the person who was King Solomon with all his vanities and his frailties. 
For me it was pretty jarring in the beginning when all he seemed to care about was ascending to his father's throne and becoming a co-regent with the King. While there are mitigating circumstances behind the need he almost seemed selfish and petulant. His first wife he marries and yet keeps at a distance even as she gives him his first two children. He definitely is sensual being attracted to beautiful women as is evidenced by his feelings for his father's wife.  Then comes his conversation with God when he asks for wisdom. 
I was equally enthralled and repulsed as he uses his wisdom to find the gray in the laws he's sworn to obey so that he can indulge in his desires. I found the story fascinating and yet in many parts was sorry to be reading it because it fundamentally changed the way I had viewed King Solomon. 
The author brings alive the times and the characters with her very compelling narrative that is difficult to put aside leaving me with a conflict on how to rate this book.
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The more I read biblical fiction, the more I love it. Jill Eileen Smith has managed not only to perfectly blend scripture into her story, but give what I think is a great portrayal of the thoughts and Solomon's wives, as well as Solomon himself. Here is a man who loved the Lord, and yet he made mistakes. While he may have thought they were for good reason, they were still mistakes. Jill Eileen Smith has the ability not only to draw you into the character's minds, but understand the reasoning behind why they do things. 

I didn't know much about these four women before reading this (unfortunately I have not read the full novels about them by Smith), so I found myself learning so much. Yes, I understand that it if fiction, however I think there is some truth in how they were portrayed. The thing that surprised me the most was how my feelings of Bathsheba changed after reading this. She was presented in a whole new light, one that I really didn't think of. Yes, I need to read about her in my bible again, and while I do I am going to remember the words that I read here. And then try to piece it all together and learn more about her. I think that's the goal of biblical fiction - to make you want to dive into your bible and learn as much as you can. Jill Eileen Smith makes these characters come to life, and they get into your mind and stay there awhile. Yes we see their love for the Lord, but we also see their failures. We see how they pick themselves up, and try again. 

The other neat thing to see in reading this was the references to Song of Solomon. He really was poetic, and seeing that side of him presented here was really neat. The men of today certainly don't talk like this, nor do most of them in contemporary romance novels to be honest, so it was very sweet to read. Don't misunderstand - I know that it was also Solomon's downfall. But let's be real - if you were one of these ladies you can see how easily they could be swayed by Solomon. We read mostly in the bible about his time ruling, and to see this side of him was just so interesting to me.

This novel was a home run for me. It brought the bible to life, and made my longing to dive in deeper that much greater. I look forward to reading more of Smith's novels, and reading them with my bible nearby so I can reference as I'm reading. I can certainly see after reading this why so many people love her books! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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The Heart of a King is a collection of four novellas from Jill Nelson Smith’s The Loves of King Solomon series.  It tells the stories of Naamah, Siti, Nicaula and Abishag. I loved this book. The details of the book made me feel as though I was right there taken back in time of the Kingdom of Israel in the presence of these admirable women and King Solomon. 
I give The Heart of a King five plus stars and highly recommend it for readers who enjoy Biblical Fiction. It most definitely not a book to be missed this summer. 
Great read!
I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith is an intriguing imagining of the life of King Solomon and “the women he loved.” 

Although I cannot say I agree with all of the author’s creative licenses, I believe she did a masterful job of weaving a fascinating story of “what might have been” in the life of the wisest man who ever lived. 

I enjoyed being able to see, not only through the viewpoints of the different wives, but also through Solomon’s eyes as well.

I appreciated the uniqueness of each woman’s story, and how they intertwined, not only with King Solomon, but also with each other throughout their lives.

I have not yet read the individual Loves of King Solomon books, but I thought this book read well by itself, although I may have received a more “rounded” view of the women had I read them beforehand.

This book was fascinating and unique, and I would recommend it to those who enjoy wonderful Biblical fiction—the story is captivating, and certainly inspires the reader to dive even deeper into the real world of the Bible, and find out more about the truth in this powerful story.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for FREE, and a positive review was not required.
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My feelings about this book are a bit all over the place! With four of Solomon’s wives featured as characters, I suspected I might struggle with the story on some level, but one of the things I love about fiction is that it gives me the opportunity to put myself in someone else’s shoes and understand their motives, even if I wouldn’t have made the same choices.

The biggest way this book did that for me was in showing how Solomon could convince himself that he was heeding God’s wisdom even as he continued following many of the world’s practices—like building a harem. A King’s power was often at least partly demonstrated by the size of his harem, and offering and accepting foreign women as wives was a common means of making political alliances and securing peace. In this story, Solomon acknowledged God’s warning not to take multiple wives but justified his harem as a political necessity and placated his conscience by ensuring that he didn’t allow his wives to turn him from worshipping God.

I also began to understand that the gift of wisdom can be a double-edged sword. It can blend with human wisdom so imperceptibly that we can be deceived into believing we are still fully heeding God’s wisdom when in fact we’re relying on our own, as happened with Solomon. My only complaint here is that I felt as though this theme didn’t become clear until towards the end.

Where I struggled with this story was with the wives, as I suspected, but not for the reasons I anticipated. Firstly, I felt as though there was no closure to their stories. Each wife was featured in turn in the lead-up to her marriage to Solomon but then faded out of the story, and seemingly his life, as the next wife came along. I know there are novellas corresponding to these characters that give a fuller account of their stories (The Desert Princess, The Shepherdess, Daughter of the Nile, and The Queen of Sheba), so maybe I need to read those to get better closure, but I found their stories dissatisfying in the context of The Heart of a King.

My other difficulty was the fact that Solomon spoke love poetry (essentially, passages from Song of Songs) to each of these women when he wooed them, and yet he didn’t seem to love any of them with the depth his words implied. At times it even felt as though he knew he was doing lip service rather than giving expression to his heart. I’m not sure I can quite put into words how that made me feel about Song of Songs—perhaps disillusioned?—but it wasn’t a feeling I welcomed.

No, it hasn’t escaped my notice that the probable author of the world’s most famous love poetry was also married to 600+ women—hardly the idealistic ‘one true love’ scenario—but I would have much preferred to have felt that he genuinely believed the words and his love each time he spoke them, even if he did speak them to more than one woman throughout his life.

I’m a huge fan of biblical fiction and have enjoyed many of Jill Eileen Smith’s books in the past, but this one definitely left me with mixed feelings.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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I have always been intrigued by King Solomon’s story and have always questioned myself how can a man so loved and gifted by God and life itself could have erred so deeply in his ways. So when I read the title of this book by Jill Eileen Smith, I knew I had to read it. She has some ebooks of each of the most important women is Solomon’s life, but I hadn’t read them. This is a compilation and improved story of this women. I like that the book is written from Solomon and the women’s point of view.
So this is the story of Solomon and the four women he most loved. The Bible doesn’t give much details about them, so this is a work of fiction. But it seemed to me that it is very well researched and it totally transports you to ancient Israel and the traditions of the jewish people and the other cultures that interacted with the jewish.
The woman were: Namaah, the desert princess, Abishag, the shepherdess, Siti, the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh, and Nicaula, the Queen of Sheeba. These are four women, but we know Solomon had a very ample harem, although these ladies are the most important.
This is not a Hallmark movie with its happily ever after. This is a true story, and a sad one at that. But there is so much to learn behind Solomon’s atittude. From the start you can see he’s obsessed with being designed his father’s –King David- Co-Regent. It’s understandable to be afraid of what would happen if one of his jealous brothers would get to the throne, but still he was too focused on gaining power. It was evident he cared for his women, but he was too much distracted with his personal issues to be a good husband and think of them instead of him.
He was a true King that worried and cared for his country and people and apparently “wanted” to honor God. But he always found excuses for doing just what God had advised him not to, maybe trying to please others and to gain other Kings graces. At the end, he didn’t have the strength and sincerity to listen to God’s Word in his heart and follow Him, even if that meant some kind of earthly loss. He was probably given one of the biggest gifts on eart, the godly wisdom, but he seemed to use it wisely in everything except his personal life. I think this is a great lesson of what doing God’s will sometimes entails. It entails doing different than what your desires might dictate. But in the end, doing God's will is what will make you happy and full inside. Having all those riches and women strayed Solomon away from God, instead of honoring Him by doing what he knew would please Him. He focused on the gift, but lost the vision of the Creator of his gift. I think this can help us be grateful with what God has given us, and try to always acknowledge that it is His gift, not our merit, and due to His Mercy. And also, to never stop giving thanks to Him, in good times, as well as the bad. Because it is in those bad times where we learn the most and to focus on what’s truly important: Loving God and others.
I liked the book, in spite that I’m usually attracted to books that I know that end well and have a happy ending. I still think God loved Solomon so much, that He forgave his sins because he really repented. But there is so much to learn. And from the women’s perspective too. I especially liked Nicaula’s story. The Queen of Sheba has always been a mystery to me and it was so interesting to know about her, even if fictional. I think this is the woman that impacted Solomon the most.
In spite of Solomon being a womanizer, this is a clean novel, nothing graphic there.
I totally recommend this book, especially if you love historicals and are a Christian. But it is a great book for non christians as well. Solomon is a very well known character in world wide history. A legendary character, but a real one. We’ll only get to know his true story in Heaven.
The storyline, the dialogues, scenery and the writing style grabbed my attention from the beggining.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher and the author. This is my own and honest opinion.
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This is a very interesting book. I was instantly drawn into this fictional world of King Solomon and his family. I was fascinated by his life and the struggles he endured due to his great wisdom and many wives. This book kept me intrigued throughout the entire thing.

Jill Eileen Smith is a master at Biblical Fiction, and she always stays true to the Bible while adding fictional background and lives to her characters. This book was no different. Comparing this book to the Bible, all the Biblical accounts were there, and none of the fictionalized additions conflicted with it. It is a great way to get a deeper understanding of what King Solomon and his wives COULD have experienced and endured.

The only problem I endured was when reading Queen Sheba’s story. I felt like I was just thrown into the middle of her story and didn’t get enough background to fully understand her life. Jill Eileen Smith has explained that this is due to her previously released books written about each of King Solomon’s wives, and she didn’t want to repeat what was there. I didn’t have this issue with any of the other wives, just Queen Sheba.

Recommendation: I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Biblical Fiction and/or anyone who would like to get a deeper look at King Solomon and the wives who helped shape him.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of the book mentioned above in the hope that I would review it on my blog. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
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An interesting perspective on the life of King Solomon and a selection of his many wives.  I really enjoyed reading about this time period and the way the author has researched about how people lived during this time.  I look forward to reading deeper into the stories that Jill Eileen Smith has written about this selection of wives.
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"The Heart Of A King : The Loves of Solomon"
 Jill Eileen Smith

About the book -  In the engrossing novel, find yourself whisked away in ancient Israel, where you'll meet for remarkable women:

Naamah - the desert princess
Abishag - the shepherdess
Siti - a daughter of pharaoh
Nicaula - the queen of Sheba

As you look at the world of Solomon through his eyes and theirs, you'll grapple with rather this king's storied wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved.

My review - I have to say that this is one amazing story!  Like so many people, I have read the story of Solomon in the bible, but "Heart Of A King" by Jill Eileen Smith brings the story to life.  While reading this book I was transported back in time. You can envision yourself back in time, standing on one of the balconies watch the temple for God being built.

You start by seeing the relationship Solomon had with his dad.  He wanted to make sure that the temple was built the way David always envisioned. It was a relationship of respect and love.

 I have to say out of all the women in Solomon's life , I love the relationship he had with his mother. There was so much love there. He went to his mother "Bathsheba" for advice on several areas of his life. He talked to her about his love for God and advice about his many wives.

The next woman in Solomon's love was his first wife "Naamah".  She loved Solomon from such a young age.  She even approached her father about a union between the two.  She was able to give him who's first born son.  It was a very sweet union! She did struggled when Solomon started marrying other women.

Next was Abishag.  She was brought into the picture when King David's health was failing.  She was  his wife, nurse maid and companion.  There was a connection between Solomon and Abishag from the very beginning.  After his father died, Solomon decided to marry Abishag.

Siti, the daughter of pharaoh, was Solomon first  wife whom worshipped other Gods.  She was fascinated by Solomon and his religion and his way of life.  Their marriage was one of allegiance in the beginning, but soon turned to love and respect. You can almost feel the conflict, Solomon felt about marrying a woman who worshipped other God's besides his Lord. He was also concerned about how his mother would feel about this union especially after the conversation they had before he left for Egypt.

The last wife mentioned in the book is Nicaula.  Nicaula was the queen of Sheba.  She came to Jerusalem to seek Solomon's wisdom and to learn About his God.  It was one relationship, that was on the same level as Solomon.

After reading this book, I really began to wonder about Solomon's wisdom.  God gave him wisdom, but I wonder if he used it wisely.

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

When she isn't writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, reading stories that Take her away, riding her bike to the park, snagging date night's with her husband.  You can contact Jill through her email ( , her website ( Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Disclaimer - In accordance with the FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not compensated, not was a positive review required.  All opinions expressed are my own
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This is an incredibly well developed Biblical novel!

Of the five main characters in this book the only one that we know very much about from the bible is Solomon. We have bits and pieces about the four women in this story. I found the way that the author presented them to be very plausible and the story held my attention.

I had never given much thought as to how it might have come about for Solomon to have married so many women. This book has definitely given me much to think about as to this king with amazing God-given wisdom. He was called to be a King of Peace. Yet as a mere man I’m sure he would have struggled with trying to fulfill that.

I thoroughly enjoyed the look at what it would have been like for Solomon’s first wife. Human nature would have her wanting to keep him to herself. Yet that was not how her life and marriage played out. It had to have been extremely hard for her each time he married another woman and she knew she would have even less time with him.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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The Heart of a King (2019) by Jill Eileen Smith is a standalone Biblical fiction novel. This book comes in all forms including eBook and is 422 pages in length. With a full-time job and a busy seven-year-old at home, this book took me one week to read. I received a copy of this novel in paperback form from the publisher, Revel, to review. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give The Heart of a King 5 STARS.

The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith is an excellent allegorical tale; I realized a lot about who I am in God and was reminded time and time again that I have to keep my focus on God no matter what. I found the storyline to be as sprawling and expansive as King Solomon’s kingdom. I found the characters to be perfectly, uniquely crafted. The Heart of a King is an example of Biblical fiction at its finest.

Of the four wives illustrated in this novel, Siti is my favorite because of the invaluable lesson she taught me. Siti is Pharaoh’s daughter, whom Solomon takes for a bride so he can take control of Gezer. From the second she married Solomon, Siti knew she was part of a business deal and very little else. While she found herself attracted to Solomon, she knew her marriage was not a love match. She came to the marriage with terms of her own: she did not want to be part of a harem, she did not want to give up her gods, and she did not want to give up her Egyptian heritage. In no way was Siti OK with assimilation. Solomon allowed Siti to have her way but was naively hopeful that Siti would learn the ways of his people, learn about Adonai, and fall in love with both. In his attempt to get Siti to find God, Solomon had Siti sit with tutors daily so she could learn about Adonai and the Hebrew ways. The more Siti learns, the more she realizes that her husband is a hypocrite. He doesn’t follow the laws His God has decreed, yet he tells everyone that he is following them, he’s just obeying them in his wise way. This almost immediately turns Siti away from God and the Hebrew people. She is perfectly content to stay outside of Jerusalem in her own Egyptian world. Solomon was an awful model for his wife. But this got me thinking. Every day I am on this earth, I come into contact with many, many people. It is very well known that I am a Christian. I never hide that fact, but do my actions show those who are watching me that I truly am a Christ follower? Am I like Solomon; do I profess one thing, but do another? My heart broke for Siti, but really my heart broke for every person I’ve ever come into contact with who perhaps saw me as an example of why NOT to follow God.

The Heart of a King reinforced to me that all of our gifts and talents from God are God-sized, even the ones that may seem small and insignificant. And, all of our gifts and talents, small or big, can lead to our downfall IF we choose not to go to God daily. Of the many lessons in this novel, this one resonated with me the most. I think God gives us our talents and gifts as a way to enhance our relationship with Him. If we don’t go to God daily, Pride can wheedle its way into our hearts and kick God out. Solomon was really good at making the big, showy sacrifices to God, and he no doubt intellectually believed in Adonai, but I don’t think he made it a daily habit to go to God with a longing heart. Solomon let Pride take over, and it led to a serious downfall — so much so, he sacrificed his children to foreign gods. The gifts God gave me may seem small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but they are special. They are a connection that I have to God, and I need to remember to go to Him daily so I can honor Him and that which He has blessed me. Going to God daily with a longing heart is what will keep us on the right track. It will keep our gifts and blessings from being a burden. By the end of this novel, my heart hurt badly for Solomon. Taking oneself away from God is the saddest, most damaging thing anyone can do, and it’s what the greatest, wisest king who ever lived did. I am grateful for The Heart of a King because I really needed this reminder. Go to God daily with a longing heart; it’s the only way to truly live a blessed life.

I wholeheartedly feel that The Heart of a King is a novel that must be experienced. It’s deep, raw, and honest. It holds a mirror up to its readers and gets us to look deep into our hearts. It’s exactly what Biblical fiction should be!
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I enjoyed this fictional account of Solomon and 4 of his wives. I haven’t read much if any Biblical fiction to date and this was a fantastic start to my introduction to this type of fiction. Jill weaves the story in an easy to read format and it was hard to put down when life intervened. Before reading this book, i had no idea that Solomon had that many wives and concubines! Definitely mind blowing. Getting to “know” Solomon and the wives featured in this book was interesting and eye opening to say the least. It definitely makes me want to go and read the actual Biblical account in Samuel and Kings. So I love the fact that it is increasing my wanting to read the Bible(which I struggle with if I am honest)! I am adding more of Jill’s books to my to read pile-especially “Redeeming Grace” which features Ruth. 

I received this book from the Author and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
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What can I say? I was once again blown away by the talent of Biblical fiction writer Jill Eileen Smith as she transported me back to the twilight of King David’s life and the world of his son, King Solomon.
The Heart of a King follows Solomon’s amazing life, from his early years when he wanted nothing more than to please and glorify God, through his years of testing limits as he took many foreign wives and acquired vast riches. Jill’s story stays true to all we know from the Bible about his life while adding plausible fictionalized background and details that engage readers and encourage them to delve more deeply into Scripture. It recounts how Solomon interacted with his parents, King David and Bathsheba, as well as his brothers and other members of the royal court. It paints a vivid picture of how he used the unparalleled wisdom given to him by God for great good, but how human desires lead him to drift slowly but steadily away from the solid foundation on which he began.
Jill focuses on Solomon’s relationships with four women who are believed to have been particularly important in his life: his first wife, Naamah, who was the mother of his heir; Abishag, of Shunem, who had been a helpmate to his father; an Egyptian Pharaoh’s daughter, called Siti in this story; and the Queen of Sheba. In doing so, she reveals more about the complex, brilliant, passionate man who held such power and potential, yet who began to care more about the gifts than the Great Giver.
This book brings together modified versions of four e-books Jill previously wrote (The Desert Princess, The Shepherdess, Daughter of the Nile, and The Queen of Sheba) into a more complete narrative of King Solomon’s life. I have not read these e-books yet but will likely do so now to gain even more background on these intriguing women and the influence they may have had on a royal reign.
I highly recommend The Heart of a King to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or has an interest in Old Testament times. I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishing but was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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The wisest man in the world - who made the utterly idiotic move of marrying 700 wives and 300 concubines. That's 1000 woman - for one man! But he didn't start out that way...

Starting as an ambitious but worried young man who is interested in a girl but desperate to be named co-regent with his father before one of his brothers manages a successful takeover that would end in his own death, we see glimpses of his reign, his worries, his relationships, his excuses and rationalisations, and his loves, right through until the Teacher finally realises and accepts that the Creator and Gift-Giver is far greater than any gift he has given.

This is an amazing fictional account of the life of Solomon, with introductions to four of his wives at different stages to complete the picture. Bits of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon are woven naturally through, giving them context and meaning, and his life as a whole is made real. Obviously lots of imagination is involved and may or may not be correct, but I didn't notice anything conflicting with the Biblical account, which was good (though one bit seemed far-fetched to me). All in all, the writing is good, the content clean, the storyline well done, and the overall book well worth a read. I don't think I'll ever look at Solomon in quite the same way again, because he feels more of a real person - and that's a good thing! I definitely hope to read more by the author, and would highly recommend this book to readers of Biblical fiction.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.
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