The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890.
Art Gallery of New South Wales.
This is the story of the great rebellion that tore apart the empire of David and Solomon to create two kingdoms: a northern kingdom which kept the name Israel, and a smaller kingdom named Judah ruled by the descendants of David. It was an event of cataclysmic proportions which historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author Barbara Tuchman says “exacted a long revenge that has left its mark for 2800 years.”
This epic story unfolds primarily through the eyes of Laila, a playful, impulsive and romantic teenage girl who, by her own wiles, becomes an incredible rarity in the ancient world—an educated woman.
Perhaps never has “the course of true love” run as treacherously as it does for Laila who is ripped away from her childhood sweetheart to become the reluctant wife of Jeroboam, the leader of the rebellion.
Caught in the middle of this war for the throne, Laila finds herself banished from the royal court, subjected to torture in the dungeons of David’s citadel and driven from the role of a housewife to that of a queen forced to share her husband with an Egyptian princess.
Through 2 years extensive study of Biblical, archeological, textual, and anthropological scholarship, West has tried to recreate both the mind and substance of that age—the look and feel of homes, palaces, cities, daily life, worship, trade and travel and the ways in which the people regarded their world, its gods and its mysteries.
Whereas many historical treatments of the age have stripped away the supernatural, West has tried to maintain the Biblical narrative, while expanding that into fictional situations. “Broken Empire” presents a world in which wondrous things do, indeed, happen, where God, His angels, and the Nephilim make their presence felt in nature as well as in the deeds of men and women.