Title: Love’s Sacred Song
Author: Mesu Andrews
Published: March 1, 2012
After his famous father dies, young King Solomon is now left standing in his shadow. As he maneuvers threats of war and to his throne, he has to use every ounce of the wisdom that Jehovah promised him. With his bravado in hand he accepts a treaty bride contract from a farmer in Shunem. His new bride has captured his heart in ways that he didn’t think existed and he now wonders if his little shepherdess will last in his hostile harem.
All Arielah wants is Solomon’s heart and is glad that she gets to show him what true love really is. The dangers of going into Solomon’s harem are many, not only are the other wives hostile but so are some of his very close advisers. She’s willing to risk her life for Israel and to show Solomon what Jehovah can do.
Can Solomon protect Arielah from the danger coming in from all sides? Can Arielah gain Solomon’s whole heart despite his other obligations to his other wives? Or will everything they’re working toward to crumble from the scheming of those jealous of them?
This book isn’t exactly what I expected. I expected a water-down or sugar-coated biblical romance, but this book is the complete opposite of that. Mesu Andrews made sure her book was brutally honest in the dangers surrounding this time in Solomon’s reign, as well as the life and obligations of a king.
Taken from the Song of Solomon I also expected to be a sweet and romantic courtship, I never got that. The romance in this book isn’t the stuff of dreams and is full of struggles and conflicts on both Arielah’s and Solomon’s side. However, it paints an honest picture of what a romance between a king and a shepherdess might have been like. Making this book memorable.
I noticed that for a lot of the book, Solomon acted more like a petulant child than a grown king. He’s so used to getting his way that when Arielah denies him, he doesn’t quite know what to do. So he stomps off and goes and marries ten or twenty brides to get her out of his head, which doesn’t work. I found that it didn’t really help my opinion of Solomon and didn’t make his character likable until he did something that showed who he could’ve been if he wasn’t king.
The dangers and suspense of the story was really well written. The author doesn’t attempt to conceal who is the deceptive ones in Solomon’s kingdom, but she does use suspense well in making the reader wonder if Solomon and Arielah will fall for their tricks and whether or not they will get away with it. Making a new kind of mystery that I enjoyed.
The ending to this book is one that left me emotionally confused. I don’t really know what to think of it. It’s one that I want to know how others reacted to it and ask that people tell me. It one that is probably best read alone and processed, then shared. It threw a monkey wrench in my view of this book and left reeling, I don’t really know what I should rate this book anymore.
This book is a gritty, realistic view of biblical times and isn’t a frilly romance. It is well written but the behavior of Solomon and the ending make this book hard to really categorize. It’s perfect for anyone who enjoys biblical fiction. I give it a four out of five.
I received this complimentary copy of this book from Revell for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.