cover image The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

Tosca Lee. Howard, $23.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-8404-9

Lee (Iscariot) brings her talent for research and lively imagination to bear on a woman who has inspired others but about whom little we know little: the Queen of Sheba. The queen figures not only in the Bible but also in the Qur’an and in Ethiopian history. Lee crafts, as usual, an intriguing central figure, one who is priestess, queen, and the survivor of shifting, often treacherous politics. The woman known as Bilqis in her native land of Sheba journeys to Israel to negotiate with King Solomon, having already begun a provocative and enigmatic correspondence with him. Solomon proves profound and puzzling, and as the two heads of state match wits in a slow dance of understated yet inevitable seduction. Parts of the narrative before Bilqis arrives in Israel lack sufficient tension. But the ending is deeply satisfying. Another winner by Lee. Agents: Dan Raines and Meredith Smith, Creative Trust. (Sept.)