Adhering closely to the traditional Bible story found in the books of Samuel, Smith places Michal, daughter of semi-mad King Saul of ancient Israel, at the forefront of this novel. At the height of the continuous war with the Philistines, the handsome shepherd-who-will-be-king David volunteers to slay the Philistine giant Goliath, and is promised Saul’s beautiful eldest daughter Merab as a reward. Young Michal falls for the charismatic and heroic David and manipulates events to marry him herself. The king’s dangerous bouts of madness and repeated threats of violence and murder intervene to separate them for years. Saul’s death and the ensuing power struggle provide a glimmer of hope for the couple’s eventual reunion.
Smith’s Michal is passionate, courageous, and desirable, as well as selfish, jealous, and unforgiving. Written with an inspirational slant and a smooth narrative, this retelling of Michal’s life allows the reader to see her mature emotionally and spiritually, confronting (however unwillingly) events leading to the eventual transformation of her faith in God. I found this enjoyable and entertaining, similar in style and tone to Biblical novels by Lynn Austin. I look forward to the next installment in the series.