Review: The King's Legacy by Jim Stovall

The King's Legacy: A Story of Wisdom for the Ages by Jim Stovall, David C. Cook, 2009.

This edition of The King's Legacy is the second printing, a gift edition with a presentation page. This little book by the best-selling author of The Ultimate Gift is a fast read and attractively illustrated with black and white sketches.

The introduction was friendly, thanking me for investing time in reading this book. Stovall won my attention right away when I read, "My greatest desire is that your investment of time will be richly rewarded and pay wonderful dividends for the rest of your life."

Yeah, you and me both. In this economy we can all use a few wonderful dividends.

The story sounds like a fairy tale, of sorts, but a search for wisdom has timeless value, the kind that comes with dividends.

Stovall weaves a tale of an enchanted kingdom long ago and far away, where a king decides to leave a legacy. One of his wise men suggest that a legacy of the Wisdom of the Ages would be lasting and worthy of a king. The king agrees and so begins a search for the Wisdom that would be a tribute to the king and his rule.

All of the king's subjects are invited to share wisdom. In turn, the king and his wise men listen as each relate wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of work. Men from all walks of life come before the king to share: a merchant, soldier, poet, farmer, physician, jester, teacher, traveler, town crier, banker, hunter, historian, laborer, scientist, judge and elder. An outspoken woman dares to share lessons she's learned as a parent. Each subject has a unique perspective to offer, but the king finds it difficult to label any of their contributions as the Wisdom of the Ages, the Wisdom above all others.

Just as the king decides to end the search and declare the Wisdom of the Ages, the king finds the Wisdom he seeks from an unexpected subject.

This was something of a Commoners Got Wisdom contest that kept me turning pages and wondering how I would sum up wisdom to meet the challenge.

The kingdom setting and contest of sorts premise of the story make it fun and easy to keep turning pages. I enjoyed the search, listening and mulling over each subject's statements that contained a lot of wisdom but was it the wisdom the king sought as a legacy? Was it the best of the best? And, if the king's wise men didn't know, who would? How would the search end?

The King's Legacy is packed with wisdom, big and small, practical and timeless. It is informative but dressed in fancy costumes.

I would have liked to hear more women represented, but the kingdom setting kept most at home, talking to children and family members, not the king. Too bad.

All in all, this was a fun read as well as informative. The legacy when it was finally unveiled was satisfying and worth the journey.

The King's Legacy: A Story of Wisdom for the Ages holds timeless truths for any age.


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