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.
About the Book
Four women captured King Solomon’s heart in different ways, and he indulges his desires despite warnings. For all his wisdom, did Solomon or the women he loved ever find what they were searching for?
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 own 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!
I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith. The giveaway begins today, 5-6-19 at 1:00 pm (PST) and ends on Thursday, 5-9-19 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!
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