The boy Samuel goes to live with Eli the priest, and hears the voice of God (a rare occurrence in that time). God gives Samuel a word of judgment regarding Eli, and it turns out that Samuel is the pivotal person between the time of the judges and the time of kings in Israel.
God doesn't want the people to be ruled by kings "like all the other nations."
But, to be honest, they're not doing too well under the judges. The plot continues to be that the people forget God, they follow other gods, God sends them a judge and somehow they come to repentance and defeat their enemies. Then a little later they forget all about God again...
Saul is chosen as Israel first King. He stands head and shoulders over everyone else....literally. ( Even now, it seems that some people do equate height with leadership.)
Saul does well in battle. He rules for many years. But he makes some mistakes. He's insecure. He hedges his bets. He makes stupid oaths (you are cursed if you eat before we are done with the battle!).
By 1st Samuel 15 Saul is already on his way out.
Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 16 -28
Wednesday 2 Samuel 29 - 2 Samuel 12