Blog Book Tour | the sequel to “The Secret Heir’ takes us further into the back-story of King David in the pages of “The Runaway Heir” (Book Two: of the Saga of David and Secret Heir series) by Janice Broyles

Posted Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary of “The Runsaway Heir” direct from the author Janice Broyles in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I enjoyed from the first installment of this trilogy:

I found the first meeting between David and Michal to be a humbling one – David hadn’t been granted instruction on what his role to the King (ie. King Saul) was meant to look like nor was he given any encouraging words of advice except to play his music. It is here where Broyles shared a passage from Psalms (and I admit, I love Psalms!) which related to the musical interlude. To his credit, David has a lot of strength and courage in his young heart – he is used to being shrugged off and mistreated by his family, to find his bravery at court amongst the King felt like he was truly embracing the gift he had received from on High; as he wasn’t rationally reasoning his visit here – he was choosing to go with the flow and to embrace whatever came his way.

Curiously there appeared to be a disconnect between David and his father – of how the son was trying to grow into a measure of worth befitting a man who was anointed with an important position in the future whereas the father used that secreted honour as a rite of fuell to dismantle his son’s spirit if he could break him with his fist. Why his father was so aggrieved against David from the beginning is unknown (at least at this junction) and what was hard to accept in the context of his story is how without his fellow shepherds he would have been cast out completely alone.

One of the areas of the novel I enjoyed the most were the nuanced moments between the events – where Broyles gives us a glimpse into the ordinary hours each of her characters might have lived and thereby extending the situations we might have read about through the Scriptures (of the Bible). These little tucked in moments give more breadth to whom we’re reading about – seeing Michal trying to round out her knowledge of the lyre (the instrument David plays), the vexations of her sister Merab not willing to ‘let go’ of the idea of love and the cunningly discouraging way their mother tried to continue to scheme and plan behind the sisters’ back; all showed how their lives were not as you’d have hoped and their trials were wide and deep.

You can understand how Michal and David fell in love with each other – they were both facing circumstances outside their control with parents who cared little about their individual needs and more about what they could leverage out of them. This sparked a connection between them where they each forged a bond with someone who was walking the same life and felt equally as miserable for the experience. It was here where Broyles knits the story closer to your heart because you can feel the emotional tidalwaves within each of them – they are torn between duty, honour and loyalty against what in their world is considered the weaker option of voicing their own mind. They were taught to obey and never to question their orders and yet, here they were given the chance to break through those structured barriers most of their age were living behind and had the opportunity to see each other on equal ground. Fittingly because Michal drew a connection with David, you saw for the first time she was starting to understand her sister Merab and the choices she was making in her own life.

Sadly for David – there were people conspiring against him and with the King’s own suspicious mind already in play, he barely had a chance to carve out his own life to live before everything fell at his feet in regards to the trust and loyalty he had previously secured. David in this installment of the trilogy is learning the harder lessons about supposition and rumour; how someone can turn against a person as quickly as they can be ordered to be killed. David’s truer strength is his faith in God and how he felt he was being led into the battles of his life. He drew strength out of prayer and song; giving himself to the hope of what his faith would yield in moments of intensive adversity where mercy was warranted. And, yet – there are those other moments where your heart nearly breaks for how futile his actions were to prove his worth and he was against a King who had already gone insane.

Throughout this first novel, we get to sneak into David, Merab and Michal’s lives – we get to get a more intimate portrait of what was going on at the time of the events History has been recorded to peer closer to the choices they were each facing given out by people who had control over them. It wasn’t a life of free choice and personal freedoms but it was a life they each fought to live – on their own terms but within a system which was organised against their will. Where the drama bridges the gap between what you previously knew about these people and what can become better inferred through this novel is where Broyles excelled at giving us a living portrait of life during the century where fate, love and enduring hope collided with destined prophecy.

-quoted from my review of The Secret Heir

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Blog Book Tour | the sequel to “The Secret Heir’ takes us further into the back-story of King David in the pages of “The Runaway Heir” (Book Two: of the Saga of David and Secret Heir series) by Janice BroylesThe Runaway Heir
Subtitle: Sequel to The Secret Heir
by Janice Broyles
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In Ancient Palestine, Michal, a young Israeli princess, marries the man she loves, but it comes with a high price. She must spy on him and report back to her father, the notorious King Saul. Michal hopes her father will forget his animosity toward the giant-killing David, and that she and David can finally live a life of peace together.

Unfortunately, her father comes to collect on Michal’s promise, and she is forced to choose between betraying her father or her husband. Her decision launches her life on a path she never expected. Michal and David are ripped apart for eight years. One is forced into a loveless second marriage, the other is forced to run for his life. If they can survive the vengeful King Saul, they may have a chance at restoring their love. But a lot can change in eight years, and Michal and David are not the same as they once were.

Genres: Biblical Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1734100808

Also by this author: Guest Post | Janice Broyles, The Secret Heir

Also in this series: The Secret Heir

Published by Late November Literary

on 1st October, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 333

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The Saga of David and Secret Heir series series:

The Secret Heir by Janice BroylesThe Runaway Heir by Janice Broyles

The Secret Heir (book one) | see also Review

The Runaway Heir (book two)

→ The Anointed Heir (book three) *forthcoming release!

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Published by: Late November Literary

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov; #KingDavid
+ #Biblical #HistoricalFictionand  #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Janice Broyles

Janice Broyles

Janice Broyles is an award-winning author. She resides in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where she teaches at a local college. She spends the majority of her free time researching history and retelling fantastical stories. Luckily her husband and two sons understand her passion for history and making stories come alive.

When not researching or writing, Janice Broyles enjoys spending time with her family and hanging out with her close circle of friends. The Runaway Heir is the second book to her David saga. The Secret Heir, released in 2018, is the first novel of the series.The Anointed Heir, the third book in the series, is set to be released by the end of 2020. Janice enjoys spending time with her husband of 23 years and their two sons and one dog.

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my review of the runaway heir:

For all the uncertainties of their lives – what truly struck home for me at the conclusion of The Secret Heir is how much subterfuge was happening behind the scenes of the palace! Everyone had an angle and everyone had a reason to mistrust each other – the pawns in the story were truly Michal and David; caught in both the sea of deceit and the struggle to maintain power, they’re love story was fraught with issues from the beginning. And yet, they each fought their own internal and external battles to draw closer to each other – to forsake their own freedoms to embrace a moment of true love and the acceptance of someone who did not see them as a commodity in which to be traded.

Theirs was a love story which was unlike others during their time – they defied the odds against themselves and found a way to secure their marriage which I felt befit the justice of the time – where mothers and fathers conspired against daughters and where daughters had to conspire against their parents in order to gain the upper hand? It was a dicey game Michal was playing and I had a feeling if David knew the extent of what she was doing to win his hand in marriage, he might have felt differently about accepting her vows. The one honourable thing about David is that he did not want to evoke the ire of the King; as he was too used to the physical abuse of his father, to become further inflicted by verbal abuse by the King was more than he felt he could endure. And, yet, as fate would have it David was still persecuted more than he was accepted.

Like most hidden stories of History, there are always a few surprises awaiting you as you see past where History left off with a story – Broyles tries to endear you to accepting the actions of Merab and Michal’s mother but finally starting to reveal what was truly motivating her to take action against them. For my own mind on the matter, I felt it was a little too late – if she truly wanted to gain the trust of her daughters, I felt she should have been more transparent with them originally when the plans were set in motion about their arranged marriages. It was hard to see her as a victim in this story when it was her conniving and errant ways to subvert the futures of her daughters which took up the balk of the story in The Secret Heir.

King Saul has a more active role in The Runaway Heir – his vile discontent for David is on full display but so too, is the madness which dictates his actions, his words and the thoughts he keeps within his conscience. He is a man who is recklessly and foolishly chasing after ghosts and rumours; attempting to re-strengthen what he feels is a broken kingdom and all the while, what he truly cannot accept is that there is fault to be placed on his shoulders and not David’s. It is interesting when you re-hear what everyone is telling him about David – about the boy who grew into a man as he was enduring through the trials the King gave him and yet, what does King Saul give David in return? Discontempt, anger and more grief than most father -in-laws as he would only rest until David was in the grave! The gull of some people truly can make you feel vexed but in this instance, it was his insistence that there was something afoot between his daughters and their loyalties to their parents which rankled more because of how untrustworthy their parents had been in The Secret Heir! Talk about calling the kettle black!

The only supporting character I have enjoyed between installments is Rizpah – one of the King’s many wives and the close surrogate mother to Michal – she arrives whenever Michal needs someone to speak to who will be openly honest with her about the order of things without talking down to her or making her feel worse for the enquries. She is a calming balm of joy in this drama because she understands the ways of love and relationships but also the way and order of their world. Her guidance with the sisters (Merab and Michal) was stronger and more impactful than their conversations with their mother because Rizpah truly loved them with the conditions their mother placed upon them. Even now, Rizpah has an active role in their married lives and it was refreshing to see her continue further into the series. Next to Dinah, (Michal’s maidservant) I felt Rizpah was one of the reasons the sisters rallied through the worst of their parents’ schemes.

The unfairness and injustice Michal was forced to endure was beyond cruel-hearted – she had to take another man as her husband due to the further insanity of her father. A fate even her own mother subjected her to because her mother was of the institution that you do as you’re ordered even if it is against your own will and desire. Seeing how she was chained to this other man despite the fact her heart and soul were tethered to David was difficult to read even though I knew this day was going to arrive for Michal. It was unfortunately a fated path she could not outrun and despite the fact David was absent from her life – he never felt closer than when she was forced to live a lie.

In respect of how The Runaway Heir vs The Secret Heir was written to play out – I must admit, I was losing interest to read this part of the series. Mostly because in the first installment, despite the obstacles and the conspired actions against them, Michal and David had a well of hope for what their futures could be and what they could effectively act against to provide them. In this installment, that kind of hopefulness fell flat and what was left was the disparity of accepting the fate you were being dealt vs the fate you could alter yourself. It wasn’t easy reading by half and the worst bit of it all is how the madness of King Saul was inflicting more harm than good in everyone’s life – from his son Jonathan to the beloved maidservant of Michal (Dinah); no one was spared and no one was safe.

I am uncertain what could have made this a better read for me as in all honesty it is based on actual accounts of their lived lives and so there is only so much liberty that can be taken with a re-telling of this nature. Broyles does an excellent job at re-crafting their world and placing you right in the middle of why their lives went into these directions – why David had a harder road towards the throne and why King Saul was lividly against having him around once he knew his truer purpose in life was to take his standing as King. From that perspective, if you tabled the insanity and the patterns of behaviour that caused him to display and disperse – you can see why David and Michal would struggle to forge a life together. I even felt that in some respects this constant will to prove himself and to prove he was worthy of not just Michal’s love but of his worth as a man might have been what caused other circumstances lateron in his life including the dalliance he had with BathSheba.

Broyles makes a critical case for their lives and even if I struggled to remain in the pace of this sequel, I was thankful to have read the earlier installment The Secret Heir as to me it left the door open towards a more hopeful future whilst allowing me to better understand who David was before he was meant to be King.

on the biblical historical writing styling of janice broyles:

As I had read this series in order – shifting from The Secret Heir into The Runaway Heir was an easier transition having gone through the first half of the story behind how Michal and David had had a romance during a period in time where romance was not common due to arranged marriages to secure power, land or treaties with enemies. The style of how the story was told shifted a bit in the beginning of this sequel – as I was expecting the first chapter to be a bit tighter in regards to how I felt when I excited the first novel but I also realised the author might have been pulling back a bit to re-tell a few truths from The Secret Heir for readers who were approaching this out of sequence.

The continuity was maintained between installments which I enjoyed seeing – all the events leading into this sequel were well paced and inclusive whilst you had a growing sense of ill-ease at how fast the new conspiracies against David were increasing the risks between him and Michal. Broyles strikes a beautiful balance between what is known in Scriptures (from the Bible) and what is being lovingly interpreted as a plausible case for their lives. I enjoyed seeing where she took her imagination to knit out the details unknown to us as it allowed us the grace to live a portion of their lives as they honestly might have lived.

Notes on Content:

On a personal note – I found reading The Runaway Heir easier on my eyes than having read the font and typography used in The Secret Heir. I would consider the sequel to be of ‘larger print’ but more to the point, the way in which the type was set in the sequel allowed you to read at an easier pace rather than the previous installment where the setting for the font was spaced too close together and took longer to read in order to digest the story. I notice these things a bit more than other readers due to being a migraineur with chronic migraines – I regularly read ‘larger print’ within the Harlequin Heartwarming imprint of stories as well as their Love Inspired Suspense imprint due to how much easier it is to shift inside post-migraines. However, I have also noticed when I am migraine-free sometimes when the font and type settings are too small on the page, it can affect how I am reading the story overall.

A note on the timeline of the novel:

There are chapter headings within the novel which are a bit confusing because rather than explore the timeline in anchours of months/years, you are simply shifting from character and location rather than counting the time between the chapters. This felt a bit redundant in one regard as all the chapters reflected the same year but helpful to know where you were transitioning in-scene but what I wished had been revealled were the increments of time itself – as it took me a bit to realise we weren’t on the same day of when we first met Michal and her sister by the time I reached Chapter Three. Sometimes it is more helpful to see the sequencing of time than to reference the changes in scene and location.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTFollow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

As this particular one has a bookaway along the route:

The Runaway Heir blog tour banner provided by HFVBTs

Previously on the blog tour, I also shared the Author’s Guest Post which is inspiring for readers to better understand the process writers go through towards publication & for writers alike who are struggling on their own path to see their stories published.

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 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Reading this story contributed to my 2020 reading challenges:

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{SOURCES: Book covers for “The Secret Heir” and “The Runaway Heir””, book synopsis for “The Secret Heir”, author biography, author photograph of Janice Broyles, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review banner, 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 by jorielov in 1020s BC, 11th Century BC, 2nd Millennium BC, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Israel, Biblical Fiction, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, King Saul, Military Fiction

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