Jerusalem's Queen (The Silent Years #3): A Novel of Salome Alexandra by Angela Hunt: A Book Review

Jerusalem's Queen (The Silent Years #3): A Novel of Salome Alexandra
Author: Angela Hunt
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: 2018
Pages: 352
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Her Rise to the Throne Defied Expectations.
And Then She Proved to Be One of Judea's Greatest Rulers.

    Born in the small village of Modein, a place made famous by the warrior Maccabees, Salome Alexandra knows better than to harbor grand dreams for her future. She pales in comparison to her beautiful older sister, and though she learns to read at an early age, girls are not valued for their intellectual ability. However, when her father and sister are killed, John Hyrcanus, a distant relative, invites Salome and her mother to live with his family in Jerusalem, where her thirst for knowledge is noticed and indulged.

    When her guardian betroths her to a pagan prince, she questions HaShem's plan. When Hyrcanus finally marries her to a boy half her age, she questions her guardian's sanity. Though Salome Alexandra spends much of her life as a pawn ordered about by powerful men, she learns that a woman committed to HaShem can change the world. 

     My Review: Salome is the often neglected daughter in her family. Her mother prefers her prettier older sister named Kentura in favor of her. When her favored sister is killed, Salome is invited to enter her uncle’s house John Hyrcanus. Under her uncle’s teachings, she studies the Torah and learns about Judea's laws. Because of Salome’s intellect, her uncle bethroths her to a prestigious prince of the Ptolemies. 

   However, her fiance marries another woman, saving her from marrying into the violent and cruel family. Instead, she marries her cousin Alexander Jannaeus and eventually becomes queen. When her husband dies, Alexander Jannaeus chooses her to become his successor. Salome enforces God’s laws and practices in her kingdom.

  I did not know that before Israel became a Roman province, that the kingdom was ruled by a queen. Therefore, reading this novel gave me an excellent introduction to a fascinating woman whom I had never heard of. Salome Alexandria’s story is very compelling. She is a very smart and capable woman. Her uncle has given her an education that befits a queen. It is because of her abilities that her husband chooses her to be his successor. Salome Alexandra is also very devout and righteous. She cares about her people and to help her people love God. I also like that she wants girls to have an education. Thus, Salome Alexandra seems like she was a great queen.

   Overall, this novel is about faith, hope, and duty. This novel is about a woman who learns that she has a role to play in God’s plan. I found Salome Alexandra very similar to Esther because both of them use their power and status for the good of their kingdoms. I thought the characters were very realistic. The writing was filled with rich details about Ancient Jerusalem. While Jerusalem's Queen is a Christian novel, this book will appeal to those not interested in the genre because it is a biographical novel of a strong female ruler. Jerusalem’s Queen will appeal to fans of The Legend of Sheba, One Night with the King, and Queenmaker.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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