Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
About the Book:
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.
Travel the streets of ancient Persia with young Hadassah and the eunuch Harbonah. This unique biblical fiction weaves a tale as fine as the woven linen of the looms of royalty. The taste of fear, rules and legalities will grit your teeth, as Ms. Hunt takes this biblical tale to a new level with you. She follows the bibles path, leaving nothing out, which touches on some of the more gruesome parts of Persian history. The cruelty of the king, the executions, the banishment of his wife and other familiar stories are told with skill that will make you feel like you visited the country. You will have tasted the dust in your teeth as it blew through the country, and felt the chill when the deaths were ordered. Most of all, you will read the story of the amazing sacrifice one brave young woman made for her people. She gave up everything for a reason she didn’t know. She married a man that was a gentile in a time when that was not done, and God used it to save His people.
I enjoyed this tale, even though I shook with horror at the cruel acts that were done with a blink of an eye. For this reason, I would not recommend it to anyone in their teen years. There was just too much violence in it for that. Unlike what you would perhaps assume, there was not really much as far as romantic scenes, although hinted as to what took place between the husband and wife, details are not there. The violence was more accurately described.
The story is beautiful, sad and heart-wretching. The story of two very different kinds of slave. One queen. One Eunuch. People from history and the bible that changed an outcome that could have been vastly different otherwise. It is beautiful in the way it is told. If you enjoy biblical or even just historical fiction, you will love this book.