Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Secret Book of Kings by Yochi Brandes

In the tradition of The Red Tent from internationally bestselling author Yochi Brandes comes the stories of the struggles of King David and King Saul in the early days of the Kingdom of Israel, seen through the eyes of Michal, Saul’s daughter and David’s abandoned queen
Stories are deadlier than swords. Swords kill only those who stand before them, stories decide who will live and die in generations to come.
Shelomoam, a young man from the tribe of Ephraim, has grown up in the shadow of dark secrets. He wonders why his father is deathly afraid of the King’s soldiers and why his mother has lied about the identities of those closest to him. Shelomoam is determined to unearth his mysterious past, never imagining where his quest will ultimately lead him.
The Secret Book of Kings upends conventions of biblical novels, engaging with the canonized stories of the founding of the Kingdom of Israel and turning them on their heads. Presented for the first time are the heretofore unknown stories of the House of Saul and of the northern Kingdom of Israel, stories that were artfully concealed by the House of David and the scribes of the southern Kingdom of Judah.
Yochi Brandes, one of Israel’s all-time bestselling novelists, enlists her unique background in both academic Jewish scholarship and traditional religious commentaries to read the Bible in an utterly new way. In this book, a major publishing phenomenon in Israel and one of the bestselling novels in the history of the country, she uncovers vibrant characters, especially women, buried deep within the scriptures, and asks the loaded question: to what extent can we really know our past when history is written by the victors?


It is no wonder that The Secret Book of Kings by Yochi Brandes is an International Bestseller. It is a Biblical based novel about the historical Jewish tribes of the Old Testament. The author's fictional recounting and interpretation of persons and events truly was enlightening and highly entertaining. I have always preferred the New Testament, so I was eager to read this book. 

The tale begins with a young boy who cannot explain his fear of soldiers. He is soon immersed into a world of brutal bloodshed and war. Slowly he begins to realize that his family keeps a dark secret and sets about discovering what it is. What he learns alters his life forever, turning his life's path in the opposite direction of what he had always believed. 

Thought-provoking and rich in detail, the finely honed characters are fully believable, and as real as if I could reach out and touch them. This book is a magnificent rendering of Jewish legend and history, and a must read! 

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