Published by: Prism Book Group
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This is a powerful love story from the Bible. Princess Michal was the youngest daughter of ancient Israel's first king. Thirty-five centuries ago, she fell in love with a hero named David.
As told in the books of Kings and Samuel in the Bible, Michal helps David escape from her insane father. King Saul punishes his daughter by forcing her to marry a sadistic drunkard. After being banished, the Princess unwillingly becomes a pawn in negotiations between Judea and Israel. She is shattered when she learns her family has been wiped out. Michal's faith, patriotism, and love for David sustain her through the war, infidelity, madness, abuse, and betrayal.
Daughter of the King by Carlene Havel is a Christian fiction that takes many liberties with the story of David. I enjoyed the story of David as recounted from the perspective of his first wife, Michal, the youngest daughter of King Saul, but having now finished the book there is a part of me that leaving me wishing I hadn’t read it. I am certain that there are many readers out there who will love this story but, for me, it varied too much for my preferences.
First, a few things I loved about the book. I did feel very emotionally connected to everyone. Even though the book started out a little bit slow I felt an intimate emotional hook that made me want to read the story. Despite being familiar with the story of David I was uniquely drawn to this book because it is written from the perspective of his first wife, Michal. Later in the book this perspective became an issue for me but in the beginning it was a joy. Very rarely are we given insight into the perspective and feelings of a woman from the Old Testament so it was an enjoyable change.
I also appreciated that Havel began each chapter with a scripture verse. It helped to connect the Biblical story of David to her story about Michal. It kept the timeline consistent and allowed the reader to refer to the Bible for study, if desired.
One of the conflicts I had with this book was the love story between Michal and David. I know it is clearly described as being a powerful love story from the Bible however I had issue with David’s overwhelming love for Michal. Biblical accounts tell of Michal’s deep love for David but there is no mention of David’s love for Michal. In fact, many speculate that she was more of a political pawn, married and kept because she was King Saul’s daughter and provided David with a legitimate claim to the throne of Israel. In Daughter of the King, Michal is depicted as David’s “beloved” and favorite wife but there are theories that he neglected her and kept her away from him, deliberately never providing her with children. Depicting them as the best of friends and dearly beloved was difficult for me.
I was disappointed in the handling of Bathsheba. There was no mention of her husband, Uriah, whom David put in grave danger resulting in his death, so that David could marry Bathsheba and bear children. There is no mention of the child that David and Bathsheba lost as punishment for David’s crime against God. There is also no mention of any of Bathsheba’s children other than Solomon who almost appears in the book as an afterthought. I was very disappointed in the lack of inclusion of Bathsheba and Solomon, especially considering their importance to David’s story.
Overall, I enjoyed the book ok but it wasn’t what I expected. See more about it here.