Review of The Pilot (now retitled King Solomon’s Pilot)

“…Jerry, I do like this book. What makes you such a b***** good writer is your adaptability. Each book that I have read so far is set in a different time and background, and yet each is equally compelling. I’d be hard pushed to answer if anyone asked which was my favourite.” Jenny Hewitt – Author and editor 

Review of The Pilot by The Historical Novel Society

The Pilot propels us into the legendary realm of the young King Solomon, whose power is nearing its apogée towards the end of the first decade of his rule. Aided by King Hiram’s Tyrean sailors, he has secured the waterways for his trade, linking Egypt to Saba and outsmarting his enemies, who are waiting for him on the silk road. In 962 BC, his promise to construct a temple in his father’s honour is still but a plan, yet a humble potter is about to lead Hiram’s niece astray and us to the source of the fabled Solomonian gold.

Jerold Richert cleverly adds twists to his narrative by introducing unlikely incidents that make the reader doubt the verisimilitude or authenticity of this turn of events, only to immediately address and explain the characters’ motivation or circumstance. Eloquently written with both a host of winsome (and less so) characters and a plethora of factual details—from weaponry to architecture, fashion to cuisine—The Pilot offers all the ingredients of an enthralling read: a headlong dive into the fabulous Phoenician world; adventure; and, of course, an engaging love story that adds a sigh and a smile to the riveting plot.

Dance of the Firebirds (previously The Flamingo Room
) Reviewer: Ray Franklin – Sunshine coast Daily

Jerold Richert is the latest of a long line of old African hands who writes with feeling about what he knows best. 
Happily, though, his passion is equalled by his proficiency. He writes well, and he has a fine tale to tell.
The author, who now lives in Buderim, was born in South Africa, but spent his formative years in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
He became a pilot and served in an elite anti-terrorist unit during the Rhodesia’s so called Bush War.
His central character is a pilot and Selous Scouts’ tracker, enmeshed in a deadly contest with guerrilla bands ravaging farms and homesteads along the Mozambique border.
Richert’s book is the first in a series of five Africa-based novels, with the next due later this year.
Going on his form so far, it should also be worth reading.

The Flamingo Room (now retitled Dance of the Firebirds) A thriller in the true sense of the word – the sort of book that demands to be devoured in one sitting, but then leaves you wishing you’d made it last longer. 
The Flamingo Room is not just another throwaway read, these are real people in totally believable situations. And Jerold Richert is not afraid of the truth, no matter how unpalatable, as evidenced by his skilful and sensitive handling of the horrendous practice of FMG (female genital mutilation). This is contemporary writing at its best. Bring on the next book, please! (Bookey Peek – author of ‘Taste of Honey ‘ and ‘All the Way Home’

5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn’t put it down, By Ianklux (Sofia Bulgaria) – See all my reviews Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?) This review is from: The Flamingo Room (Paperback) now retitled “Dance of the Firebirds’

9.15 am I had a look at the seven reviews and thought hmmm, sounds interesting!

9.30 am I purchased the book on my KINDLE

Thinking I would read it sometime during the week, I flipped it open just to get a feel of what it was all about… I was well and truly hooked.

I read steadily all day, I just couldn’t put it down.

12.40 am. Apart from a lunch and dinner break with a few other stops I completed a 15 hour marathon and finished reading the entire book!

It has been so many years since I did this that I cannot remember which book and when it was that I was so gripped. This is a fast paced action story by someone who obviously understands Africa, everything there is to know about flying smallish air-planes, the horrors of terrorist warfare – and that strange and horrible practice FGM. Full of believable plots, real-life characters and one hell of a good read.

Dance of the Firebirds.This book was amazing. I have always had a love of Africa, and this book just made me want to visit this continent all the more. Also, being Australian I know how wonderful our outback is, but this book gives overseas readers an idea of the natural beauty, and size, of our country. The best part was that I could actually see what the author was describing in my minds eye – his power of description was that good! I stayed up till 1am reading the 2nd half of the book, I just couldn’t put it down. This author has a great future. Bring on the next book! Catherine McMahon

An exciting and fast paced well researched book. This author is passionate about Africa and its diverse population and he succeeds in taking the reader along with the main character in a small plane over Africa. This is a truly nail biting adventure and I enjoyed the journey. Bernard Vanneste

An enthralling and compelling heartfelt thriller, accurate and well written. Never losing pace it transports the reader from one adventure to another in the most plausible manner. It is an intriguing tale of love tragedy and courage set in the war torn bush of Rhodesia and beyond. Very enjoyable. Congratulations on a fantastic first publication.

The Flamingo Room (now retitled Dance of the Firebirds) This book evoked intense memories of how we as South Africans felt at the time of the Rhodesian Bush War. It was impossible to put ‘The Flamingo Room” down! The author lives and carries the reader along with his skilful use of the pen, in such a masterful manner as to place one at the scene. Those who were involved in, or have been close to any war, will be left with a sense of outrage, that humanity has yet to understand the futility and senselessness of conflict. When will we realize that it is possible to live in peace with one another? In addition to outlining the sometimes savage beauty and scope of the heart of Africa, the author paints a vivid picture of the shameful abuse still perpetrated against women in our modern world. This is a book well worth reading, and taking to heart. It is not just a story, but a call to conscience. by Ingrid Eriksson

Dance of the Firebirds. A tale of a bold African adventure told with authenticity by the author, who himself was a tracker and a lover of all that is African. You will be beguiled and taken on a journey that you will not want to end. This book will have immense appeal to all ages and both sexes. Gail C. Brown

 Dance of the Firebirds) Nana Joy! This on behalf of my 92 year old mother who loves to read good books. She wants me to say how much she enjoyed it, particularly because of the history behind it and the fascinating story. It was a gripping story and hard to put down until the finish. A well-written book. She is looking forward to his next books which will be out shortly. E. Wison

King Solomon’s Pilot reviewed by Sharyn Macdonald


King Solomon’s Pilot is a story of action and adventure with a thread of romance set in 962 BC in north western Africa.  The story follows the life of Hallam from the time he encounters Philippa, the king’s niece.  Both have their life courses set by the culture of the time but they rebel against that in order to be together.  The consequences of their individual rebellions lead them into many adventures.  The story is developed very well with smooth cohesion of both story line and characters.

The story begins with the first encounter between Hallam and Philippa.  Information about Hallam’s life up until then is communicated in setting up the incident.  As a result of that meeting, his life changes completely and his character is further developed as he responds to a new environment and role as well as his attachment to a woman who is from a world that is alien to him.  As various extreme situations are forced upon Hallam, his character continues to develop and the reader is given an in depth understanding of him.  There are many other characters introduced but this is done in a way that is seen as necessary to the story and not at all confusing.

The story is written in third person with a lot of direct speech.  It is quite long which gives the opportunity to fully develop both the characters and the various settings.  Quite complex political situations are incorporated into the story but I was able to keep them clear as I read.  There were some fairly graphic passages but they were in the context of the setting.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and am in awe of the amount of research needed to produce this story.  I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys an historical story of adventure, action and romance.












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