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Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba
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Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  540 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Following Queenmaker, "her majestic debut" (People), India Edghill's Wisdom's Daughter is a vivid and assiduously researched rendition of the biblical tale of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. As the Queen's search for a true heir to her throne takes her to the court of the wisest man in the world, both she and the King learn how to value truth, love, and duty . . . and ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published November 15th 2005 by Picador (first published October 11th 2004)
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Sep 21, 2009 Karen rated it liked it
I love historical fiction. This one was a great read on the plane to visit family in Texas last summer. It was simple, yet touching. Never go into these things thinking they are 100% accurate, just enjoy the ride.
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in, 2008, historical, fiction
This is the sequel to my previous read, Queenmaker. That book showed tremendous promise but was hampered by the first-person viewpoint of a woman confined to a palace and removed from all action. It felt like one long dialog and very much like the author's first novel. Still, I owned the sequel already and I liked the premise, so I decided to give Wisdom's Daughter a chance. I'm so glad I did![return][return]This book was exquisite. It corrected the problems of the first book in a huge way - the ...more
Oct 07, 2016 Kara rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-biblical

Edghill really wanted to showcase the world of Solomon and Bilqis, and her choice to do so was to give us so, so, so many Point-Of-View characters, first and third person.

It is rather headache inducing to jump from one courtier to the next, one wife to the other, one child to another, relatives, in-laws, parents, advisors, enemies, allies, priests, prophets, etc.

There’s little time left to develop all these side characters, which begs the question why bring them up at all when the main charact
J. Else
What I love about historical fiction is getting into the mindset of that culture. Edghill does a great job of this with her analogies and perceptions in each character. Her main character observations are worded elegantly and breautifully. The story was carefully constructed in order to follow the lines through many people... too many in all honesty.

The biggest disappointment was Ahijah the prophet. Why do religious men have to be angry and unyielding. And he hates women? While the setting is B
Mar 23, 2011 Kelly rated it liked it
Queen Bilqis of Sheba is past menopause and without an heiress to succeed her as queen. King Solomon of Israel is fair and just and wise, but dead in spirit, never having recovered from the loss of his first and favorite wife. His daughter, Princess Baalit, is blazing with ambition and restlessness, but destined only for a role as a subservient wife. When Bilqis visits Israel, the lives of all three characters are shaken. Along the way, the author seduces with lush detail, a large cast of charac ...more
Minty McBunny
May 15, 2013 Minty McBunny rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, may-2013
Part of my problem with this book wasn't the book's fault, my library only had the large print edition. So it was annoying to read in the huge font. But I could have overcome that if it had been a better story.

I love well-written biblical fiction, like Orson Scott Card's Women of Genesis series, or The Red Tent. So I had high hopes. Sadly, they just were not met. Normally I don't mind jumps in narration, but all the women seemed to speak with the same voice and there were SO MANY of them, it got
Dec 22, 2009 Jacki rated it it was amazing
"When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions...King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country."

The Bible gives us very little in regards to the story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. In fact, we do not even discover her name. Yet, a legend has grown up around this
May 02, 2012 Rb rated it it was amazing
Wow, this was a great tale to read. Required a bit of an effort to keep track of who's who but there was a tree in the front of the book...liked it enough to want to read another tale of Soloman and Sheba.
Oct 14, 2009 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys historical fiction
I love her books most of us who grew up in the middle of the 20th century grew up hearing stories of the Old and New Testament. Ms. Edghill does a wonderful job bringing these characters to life in her novels. I can't wait for the next one.
Mar 18, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
I love historical fiction.
Dec 30, 2016 Shannon rated it it was ok
I really wish I could give this book 2.5 stars. I feel that two stars is a bit low but I'm not comfortable giving it three.

It started out fairly good, with an interesting story and some decent characters, but it took too long for Solomon and Sheba to meet. We as the reader meet Sheba early on, but then she's ignored for several chapters as we learn about the court of Jerusalem.

And boy do we ever learn about it. We get introduced to many of Soloman's dozens of wives and have several chapter fro
Cyndi Bowman
I went into this book thinking it would be classified as Biblical fiction. In that regard, I was disappointed. However, when I backed away from that expectation and viewed it as Historical fiction, I was able to suspend my expectations and enjoy the story.

The author did a great deal of research into the customs and traditional stories surrounding the Queen of Sheba's visit to Israel and King Solomon. Other religious texts from the time tell the story, too, and those were used as sources for thi
Again Ms Edghill goes from character to charter giving us different points of view. Yet she manages to weave all of it together into a whole.
In Sheba the crown is passed from daughter to daughter. When her daughter dies in child bed and her baby girl dies with her, Queen Bilqis knows she must find a heir in another land.
In Israel King Solomon has many sons but only one daughter, Princes Bilaat, his favorite child.
When Solomon sends envoys to Sheba to trade for valuable incense, the queen intuit
Sarah Jamison
I was halfway through this book before I realized I didn't like it very much. It's interesting enough, I guess. There's nothing specifically wrong with it. And there's no specific spot I can point to and say, "This is where the story devolved." But I will say that it's biblical fanfiction and should be read as such. Take it for what it is and don't expect anything that it's not. So it's not particularly historically accurate, biblically accurate or even well edited. It's just a big old wordy sto ...more
Jul 23, 2007 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was interesting for me. I had never read a biblical fiction book. there were lots of characters and each part written by a different one. so it was a lot to keep up with who was who but once you knew it was pretty good. it was interesting to me to see what one author thought the conversations might have been and put personally identification of emotions with each person. the story is between soloman and the queen of sheba... based on a scriptural passage, but liberties were taken. the story ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Lauren rated it it was amazing
There is nothing I love more than a good feminist-Biblical-historical-fiction with no Christian agenda, and this book nailed it! It is written in so many points of view, from Solomon and his daughter to the Queen of Sheba herself, many of their servants, as well as King Solomon's other wives. It sheds light on the situation of women and goddesses in ancient Jerusalem and tells the beautiful tale of how Princess Baalit comes to rule her own queendom away from the patriarchal walls of her wise, lo ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Esther rated it liked it
I didn't like this one as much as Queenmaker. While I appreciated the vignette approach, sometimes the shift from one voice to the next was jarring, possibly because there were too many voices. Maybe vignettes work better with an omniscent narrator. The pace of the book was also quite slow, and the climax quite muted. I don't know if that matters, ultimately, to the book itself, but it made it difficult to be fully drawn in.

That being said, I enjoyed the characters of Solomon and Bilqis very muc
Deborah Pickstone
See my review of Queenmaker: A Novel of King David's Queen for my thoughts - this, however, is another excellent book and written in an unusual style with one character speaking in first person and all the rest told in third person narrative, all done so well that the reader hardly notices the shifts despite their being headlined. An ambitious - and successful - development of her writing - and this was only her second book.
Nov 23, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
I liked that this completely fictitious novel about real characters in history was written from more of a pagan perspective. It brings about a realization about what life potentially was like for this Biblical hero. I did not love the style in which the book was written. When I first opened the book, I almost shut it immediately when I saw how the narrators were going to change every so often. The narratives from Solomon's deceased beloved were an absolute bore and I started skipping them halfwa ...more
Mar 27, 2008 Christine rated it it was ok
Recommended to Christine by: Nicolene
It took me forever to get going on this book and nearly abandoned it several times. It was just so slow and didn't hold my interest until the last 1/4 of the book. I did not like how the author swithed between voices (indicated by the characters name) thoughout the book. It felt disjointed and I never felt I was getting the whole story. The back of the book says it's much better than the Red Tent. I could not agree less! The writing in the Red Tent was far superior.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brent Mathieu
Jan 17, 2015 Brent Mathieu rated it really liked it
Heart opening and deeply stirring. An insightful, engaging drama of an ancient story, with powerful integration for today's women and men to heal their selves, and relationships with each other. An awe inspiring saga of love, and daring to change and live as one's true self, in the midst of ancient Israel. Quite imaginative re-telling of the Old Testament verses of Sheba and Solomon's encounter. I wept.
Feb 06, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
The Queen of Sheba is only mentioned a mere handful of lines within the Bible, but she invokes such a curiosity. I loved how Miss Edghill took not even the bones of a story, but the mere breath of it and was able to flesh out a story full of love, honor and duty. Thank you so much and I will definitely be reading more.
Abby Hatley
May 29, 2012 Abby Hatley rated it really liked it
To enjoy this book I had to keep in mind that this is a work of fiction. In my opinion, this book is way off base from Biblical content. But, like the author quotes from Mark Twain " may be history, it may only be legend, a tradition. It may have happened, it may not have happened: but it could have happened.
Tanya McCalpin
Oct 27, 2015 Tanya McCalpin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I give this book five stars because when read following Queenmaker, it flows seamlessly. I was gripped from beginning to end on both books. There is so much detail that gives a vivid picture of what the world would have been like during this time. The book prompted me to read the stories in the Bible again for comparison. India Edghill is absolutely brilliant!
Victoria Grusing
Feb 09, 2015 Victoria Grusing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This book is a well-written and researched imagining of the lives of people of long ago. It is a look at possible happenings during the time of King Solomon and the early years of Jerusalem. It was much better than I had anticipated.
Mar 22, 2008 PC rated it liked it
this book put a lot of missing pieces of the biblical puzzle together for me. while not totally historically accurate, i loved the characters and the way they interacted. i read this at the same time as "queenmaker" so the story seemed complete
Jun 30, 2012 Jasmine rated it it was amazing
Very good. I really enjoyed this read as much as her previous one, as I saw insights into some of her characters from the previous book that were not evident to me in the first. My only wish is that we could have seen Baalit later on, ruling as Queen of Sheba.
Vandana Iyengar
Jun 20, 2014 Vandana Iyengar rated it it was ok
The story was very intriguing but I could not get past the first few pages because there were too many characters introduced right at the start and even with the family tree it was very confusing. I'll probably give it another shot
Aug 31, 2015 Bethany rated it liked it
This is a book with a very large cast and sometimes it's tough to keep the characters straight. Overall the account takes an interesting perspective on the mythology of Bilqis, but to me it could've been simplified without losing much.
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A reference librarian by profession, India Edghill's interest in history is long-standing; her father was a major history buff whose favorite authors were Will & Ariel Durant. India inherited his love of research and history. Her favorite areas are the Ancient Near East, Victorian England, and India at any period. India lives in upstate New York, USA, with a comfort of spaniels, a lounge of ca ...more
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