Reviews of The Secret Book of Kings

"This volume, by biblical scholar Yochi Brandes, is a riveting novel based on textual sources about the experiences of David and Solomon. Its lessons are also relevant for our turbulent time."

— Elie Wiesel,  author of Night and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

 
 

King David: mighty warrior, fabled monarch and…villain? (Rebecca Harrison) (Review of Hebrew Edition) (April 10, 2008)

Beloved by Jews and Christians as a biblical hero, King David is famous for slaying Goliath with a single slingshot. Despite some serious moral slip-ups — he seduced the beautiful Bathsheba then sent her husband off to war to die — David is traditionally championed as the fearless leader who vanquishes the Philistines in the name of God.

But in a new biblical novel by Israeli author Yochi Brandes, “Kings III”, David is portrayed as a blood-thirsty warrior and womaniser who mercilessly slaughters his enemies.

 

King David's no hero in "Jewish Da Vinci Code" (Rebecca Harrison) (Article about Hebrew Edition) (APRIL 9, 2008)

In a provocative new biblical novel that looks set to ruffle religious feathers, King David -- the champion underdog who slew Goliath and ruled over a mighty and prosperous Israel -- is actually the villain). The heroes turn out to be his jilted wife Michal and a much-maligned ruler from a rival dynasty.

"Kings III" by Israeli author Yochi Brandes offers an alternative take on well-known Old Testament passages around the time of King David's rule and paints a controversial portrait of a character beloved for centuries by Jews and Christians.

Like Dan Brown's bestselling "The Da Vinci Code", the book uses religious intrigue and conspiracy to create a pacy thriller which Brandes, who teaches biblical studies in colleges in Israel, hopes will challenge conventional thinking.

 

The Trouble with King David (Shiri Lev-Ari) (ARTICLE ABOUT HEBREW EDITION) (APRIL 2, 2008)

"I invented very little in the book," [Brandes] says. "Ninety-five percent of what I wrote is written in the Bible, or by Biblical sages, other books, the New Testament and translations of the Bible. I wanted to tell the story from the vantage point of Israel, because the Bible we know is Judean. It says that God granted David his kingdom, and that David took pains to avoid killing Saul. And then there is a verse, 'There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. David grew increasingly stronger but the house of Saul grew increasingly weaker [Samuel II 3:1].' This is a bloody war in which David systematically murders members of the house of Saul."