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.
Step into the decadent world of ancient middle eastern culture and intrigue. In her new release,The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen, author Tosca Lee lifts the veil of luxury and extravagance to reveal the heart of a queen. Like King Solomon, you too will be captivated by the Queen. Lee’s impeccable research and passionate writing bursts forth from every page. She delivers a story that will delight your senses and rend your heart.
Queen Bilqis of Saba proves to be a mystery worthy of discovering. From her turbulent youth to her ascension to power, Tosca Lee plumbs the depths of history to share the story of this remarkable woman. The first chapter knit my heart to this character because of the abuses and losses that she suffered. I was compelled to read on to discover how her pledged allegiance to her mother’s god Almaqah would play out. He had delivered her, or so she thought, from her tormentor. Following the death of her father, she credited Almaqah for her ascension to the throne. The cost of which cast a pall over her victory and left her feeling isolated. Shortly afterwards, a new challenge came from the North in the form of an upstart king name Solomon. Would her god help her match wits with the renowned king of wisdom? She must decide whether she will be fearless or reckless in her dealings with this king whose nameless and formless God has earned him both power and prestige.
I chose this book because there is very little mentioned about the Queen of Sheba in the bible other than the accounts of 1 Kings 10. Throughout the book and additionally in the afterword and author’s note Lee shares fascinating details about the queen and the Ethiopian legends that sprung from her visit to Jerusalem. As an avid consumer of biblical, historical fiction I wholeheartedly recommend The Legend of Sheba and award it 5 stars.
I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed 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.”
About the Author:
Tosca Lee is the New York Times bestselling novelist of Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, Iscariot, and The Books of Mortals series (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign) with New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker. She is best known for her exploration of maligned characters, lyrical prose, and meticulous research. Tosca received her BA in English and International Relations from Smith College and has also studied at Oxford University. A former first runner-up to Mrs. United States and lifelong world adventure-traveler, Tosca makes her home in the Midwest.