I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
An ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews in ancient Persia, so an inexperienced, beautiful young queen must take a stand for her people.
When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king’s permission to exterminate all Jews–young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people…and bind her husband’s heart.
Esther marks bestselling author Angela Hunt’s return to biblical fiction. In each novel she explores an example of a Hebrew Old Testament tob woman: a woman whose physical beauty influences those around her–and can change the course of history.
Esther is possibly one of the most popular Old Testament stories told again and again. But every author who writes about Esther seems to get a different message from her story, and it was very interesting to read Angela’s take on Queen Esther.
Though Angela has a gorgeous writing style and her characters were engaging and entertaining, I did find it difficult to actually get into the story. The way the story is written is in a two-person point of view, so it goes back and forth between two characters, Hadassah and Harbonah, both of which are recorded in first person. You can feel what each character is going through and relate back and forth between the two sides of the story, but because it was in first person, the author had a tendency to tell the story rather than to show it.
This was the main reason that I had trouble engaging with the book; I already knew the story of Esther and how it ends, so in reading this book I wanted to watch it pan out with enticing scenes and maybe a slight new twist here and there, but that is not what I got.
I still loved this book and will give it 3 out of 5 stars, but I’m afraid that the author could have done a better job at showing the story instead of just retelling it. She could have done so much to make it unique and stand out. However, if you do not know the story of Esther, or are only slightly familiar with it, then I encourage you to pick up a copy of Esther by Angela Hunt, it is very informative and enjoyable to read!