This is almost like two stories in one book. The first half is about the Queen of Sheba. The second half is more about her son and what happens to him. I enjoyed this story. I received this book from the Book Club Network for a fair and honest opinion.
The tale of Sheba and her queens is told from the sole point of view of Tamrin the Merchant. Tamrins character sheds light on the inner workings of government in Sheba and Jerusalem. The Last Queen of Sheba is a work of fiction as there arent many Biblical or extraneous writings giving knowledge of those who ruled in a place so unlike any I studied.
At the end of book, the author shares where readers can learn about the past and other sources used in preparation for writing. The list of sources though could be better expounded upon including any websites available for readers desiring more historical information. The tale itself is enthralling even though there are a few cuss words used in the book. There are those instances of cussing that I wonder if so far back mankind spoke such words or if there were other ways of expressing disgust.
I really enjoyed seeing the positive and negative of Solomon written in the book to show all the more the glory of God and our need of Him. It was heartbreaking to see the disaster that pantheism and idolatry befell Israel after Solomons reign. The length and hardship of traveling back in those times is breathtaking as well as the danger caravans faced due to wild beasts or bandits.
Before readers enter the world of fiction it might be best to read the authors notes in the back along with the Bible references in order to distinguish fact from fiction. Shining brightest in the novel is the sovereignty of God along with His desire to make Himself to known to all who seek Him with all their hearts.
The Last Queen of Sheba by Jill Francis Hudson is a highly interesting and plausible account of the relationship between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Ms. Hudson based her fictional story on several sources, including the Bible in which very little is written. The Queen of Sheba appears very briefly in the Old Testament, and the Bible just says that she came to question Solomon because she had heard of his fame. If the reader can keep an open mind and be receptive to the authors blending of various thoughts and speculations about the encounter between Solomon and Sheba and the outcome of it, the story will be a very enjoyable and entertaining one. The authors historical note at the end is informative about beliefs, thought, and culture. The discussion of the Ark of the Covenant and the mention of the Queen of Sheba in the New Testament (Matt. 12:43 and Luke 11:31) shows her regard as a famous penitent.
The major characters, as well as the supporting characters, are depicted well. Makeda (later Queen of Sheba) has a rare beauty, though flawed by lameness in one leg. She is highly intelligent, inquisitive, and sympathetic toward all people of her nation. Her fondness for her uncle and close relationship with him is very endearing. Her uncle, Tamrin, is a respected merchant whose counsel is sought and whose friendship Solomon esteems, even before he meets Makeda. Solomon is portrayed as a wise man whose discouragement leads him to act on his own, not to wait upon God. A cast of minor characters also lend interest and entertainment.
The Queen of Sheba has long fascinated people, and the story of her meeting with Solomon has drawn much speculation and interest. Readers will enjoy this fictional account of these two great leaders of the ancient world. I recommend this book and the historical notes at the end. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
The Last Queen of Sheba was a mesmerizing book for me. While reading this and for a whole week, I was dreaming this book. In my dreams I was in the halls and court of the great wise king Solomon. I dont normally read a lot of Biblical fiction however this book intrigued me due to its subject matter. I always found the account of The Queen of Sheba and Solomon, found in both I Kings 10:1-3 and 2 Chronicles 9:1-12, as interesting. Jesus also mentions her in the New Testament in Mathew 12:42 and also Luke 11:31. Who was this queen, where exactly did she come from, and what was her background story? Ms. Hudson gives us a plausible story and sites her historical information and sources at the end of the book. In my homeschooling journey with my children, I had come across the Ethiopian Jews and their journey to Israel to escape communism, and their belief that they were descended from Menelik, whom some believe is the son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. I have also read accounts that some Ethiopian Christians believe that the Ark of the Covenant is located and closely guarded in Ethiopia. Ms. Hudson does mention this in her historical research and also a great deal more.
Something else I have always wondered about: why did the wisest man in the world choose to live the latter part of his life in the way that he did? How in the world could you have so many wives and concubines and let them set up alters to their gods, especially, when he started his reign on the right path and the teachings that he was brought up with? What made this wisest of men fall?
Told through the eyes of the Queen of Shebas uncle Tamrin, we are told the background of the Queen, we travel to Israel and back over a 20 plus year period, watch the glorious dedication of the Temple, and finally the deterioration of Israel right before the Nation of Israel split, with 10 tribes separating themselves from King Davids heirs. I could go on about this book but this review is long enough. This was a riveting read for me and I thank The Book Club Network, (TBCN) for my review copy. The opinions expressed are my own.