I received a free copy of The Judgement for my honest review.
About the Book:
Upon the death of his father, Solomon has been appointed king of the united monarchy of Israel and Judah and charged with building the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. He travels to Egypt to negotiate with Pharaoh Psusennes II for gold for the temple and to improve relations between the two nations. There he falls in love with the pharaoh’s beautiful daughter, Nicaule, and the two kings agree to an arranged marriage. Against her will, for she loves another, Nicaule follows her new husband to Israel.
Forty years later, Solomon’s empire is on the verge of collapse. Power has made him arrogant, permissive, and blind to the scheming of his wife and one of his lieutenants to topple the united monarchy. As the king’s faith falters and his people’s morals collapse, enemies gather at the gates of Israel. A visit from a mysterious queen restores Solomon’s perspective in time to save his soul—but it is too late to preserve his kingdom.
Someone who once was loyal to King Solomon has come back to claim the crown of Israel—and tear Solomon’s empire asunder.
About the Author:
D.J. Niko is the pseudonym for Daphne Nikolopoulos, an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer who has spent her entire adult life traveling the world. As a former travel writer and zealous adventurer, she has visited remote spots on six continents, many of which have inspired her archaeological thriller series, The Sarah Weston Chronicles. She was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and now resides in Florida with her family. Niko is currently at work on a historical novel set in tenth-century BCE Israel.
Most of us know of Solomon from the Bible but we know of the wise man. The man who deliberates about mothers and babies. The man who rules his nation with God on his side and peace in his kingdom. The Biblical Solomon. But what is often forgotten in the myth of a legend is the man. This historical/Biblical fiction tale from D.J. Niko gives us Solomon, the man.
He is a younger man as the book starts and full of the righteousness of his rule. He sets out to build a temple and he heads off to Egypt to make arrangements. There he spots the Pharoah’s daughter and despite being warned it’s a bad idea he negotiates his marriage to her as part of his visit. This Solomon didn’t let a pretty girl go unremarked. He didn’t stop to consider that Nicaule might already have feelings for someone.
The story details the rise and strength of Solomon’s empire but all that rises as we well know will fall and as things begin to crumble Solomon doesn’t see what is happening around him as he feels his rule is ordained by God. His family and advisers try to warn him but his hubris will not allow him to listen until it is far too late.
This was a great read. I do enjoy Biblical fiction and Ms. Niko created a rich world for Solomon from what little she had to use. He was writ large on the page and she made him very human. She brought the time period to vivid life in a book I want to read again. For anyone with an interest in this period in history or this story from the Bible this book will be a great addition to your reading library.