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Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba Paperback – Bargain Price, November 15, 2005
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A powerful and unique take on the biblical story, Wisdom's Daughter brings readers into the biblical world through a feminist perspective. Edghill's strong female characters, good and evil, leave their mark on history and on us. Edghill opens new vistas for readers and makes us think more about the matriarchs, not just the patriarchs, of the Bible. Brava!” ―Romantic Times BookClub Magazine
“Vividly evoking ancient Israel and Sheba, Edghill deftly transforms the brief biblical account into an absorbing story replete with intrigue, love, and villains. . . . Persuasive and intriguing.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Think The Red Tent, only much better.” ―Rocky Mountain News (Denver)
“Wisdom's Daughter will appeal to the Red Tent crowd, both for its emphasis on the role of women in ancient Israel and for the author's ability to bring history to life. Edghill transforms a didactic fable, the story of King Solomon and his brief interaction with the Queen of Sheba, into a powerful love story.” ―Jennifer Baker, Booklist--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In "Wisdom's Daughter", Edghill recreates the court of King Solomon and of Bilqis, Queen of Sheba. The author poses an answer to the riddle of the reason behind the Queen's long journey from far-off Sheba to Israel. What were the questions she wished to have answered that were so perplexing? It is rare that a queen would travel for months away from her realm and offer riches beyond imagination for information! Some have speculated that, in the Bible "all she desired" was to have a child by Solomon. Edghill proposes a far more intricate answer.
The writing is stylized though not overly florid, as befits the subject, and the imagery is rich and colorful. The stories of the other queens of Solomon are as interesting as Bilqis' own; a Sword Maiden from Troy, a sorceress who charms snakes to peer into the future, a breeder of tiny dogs, a Northerner whose blonde hair and pale skin is considered exotic and a princess of Cush (Nubia) who is "black but comely" as the Song of Songs states.
Bilqis is joined by Baalit, the splendid daughter of Solomon. She is brilliant and wise enough to rule as a Queen, but in Israel, her brothers, who are by and large quite inferior to her, will succeed to the throne. Characters from "Queenmaker" also make a reappearance, so this novel is in a sense a continuation of the first book. Howver, it stands entirely on its own as a novel.Read more ›
The history seems to me to be plausible and accurate, and straight off the author lets us know the exact biblical text which sparks her tale so as not to delude the reader as to what is fact and what is fiction. There are many tidbits about the unsettled living between the followers of Yahweh and those who worshipped other gods and even goddesses. I also gained a new insight into the politics of royal marriages as diplomatic manuevers.
What I found enjoyable was that the tale was at different points told from the perspectives of different characters: Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, Solomon's daughter, various of his wives, friends and leaders in the royal household. This led to an interesting play of deceptions, misunderstandings, hidden information, etc. which kept the ultimate plot twists and ending somewhat obscured from view, though not completely unpredictible. Much of this is told from the female point of view, which is refreshing in a world that was so dominated by men.
I admit that I finished this in 2 days as a summer read and didn't want to put it down. It was certainly more than worth the under $6 price I paid for it off of a bargain rack. I would recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction, and in particular religious and Christian historical fiction. Similar books I've read would include Diamant's "The Red Tent" and to a lesser extent Wangerin's "Paul."
In Jerusalem, King Solomon rules wisely over a land of milk and honey, but worries about who will replace him on the throne. The best candidate is his daughter Baalit, but females cannot rule Israel unlike Sheba. Bilgis and Solomon appreciate the wisdom they see in one another; Bilgis also sees astuteness in Baalit, who she feels should be named successor. As Solomon's wives battle behind curtains encouraged by the sanctimonious Prophet Alijah to influence the king to dump the pagan, Bilgis tries to persuade her lover that his teenage daughter should become the next ruler as she is the best suited of his children.
This insightful and believable retelling of the classic Solomon-Sheba match up brings to life the era yet places a mesmerizing spin on Queen Bilgis quest in seeking the King of the Jews. The comparison between the equal rights Sheba with its matriarchal primogeniture vs. the patriarchal Israel is an interesting perspective (perhaps too modernized for that era) while the court intrigue of Solomon's wives provides a glimpse of the personal agendas and thus the times. The most interesting gyration is that Alijah comes across as a holier-than-thou preacher warning the King about his tryst with the pagan and coaxing his wives to stir trouble. As with the QUEENMAKER, India Edghill puts a female twist to heroes of the bible.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First you have to believe the Jewish King would name His,daughter from the Love of his,life , after the false God's , and then ignore all that legends,tells of Sheba and her son by... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I give this book five stars because when read following Queenmaker, it flows seamlessly. I was gripped from beginning to end on both books. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tanya McCalpin
The story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba has been the subject of many movies, stories, and legends. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bibiana
Some of the writing was a little qwerky, but it kept my interest and taught me a lot. Read the authors first book before reading this one. They tie in together. Enjoy!Published 9 months ago by Laurie Cohen
Really good story. Just a bit too long for me, but was impressed with the plot and characters and how they shaped the story.Published 16 months ago by Patricia Beck
This is a very interesting novel and is kind of a sequel to her Queenmaker. I am enjoying reading it thought it took a bit to get into it.Published 19 months ago by Marcia Starck