My Rating: 4 Stars
Description: An ambitious tyrant
threatens genocide against the Jews in ancient Persia, so an
inexperienced beautiful young queen must take a stand for her people.
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.
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.
My Thoughts:Biblical retellings are some of my favorite historical genres. Each ones gives a different look at some of the Biblical characters. Esther: Royal Beauty is not the first book I have read about Esther, and, as expected, keeps many of the same story points as referenced in others. Admittedly, some of these parts are ones I found to drag on longer than I would have wished (i.e. her childhood and the time spent between the event mentioned in the Bible). However, there is a lot to be said about Hunt's retelling.
In previous books about Esther, I can not remember there being any mention in foreign wars or battles. Nor can I remember much mention of Vashti other than her being removed from the throne. Yet it is known that Persia was a waring nation that expanded its territory through concur, so they must have fought. And their is no historical mention of Vashti's execution, so she must have still remained around and been a force to be reckoned with.
As well, Hunt included the point of view of the eunuch, Harbonah. While at times I was irritated by his insistence that he loved his King, as though he had to convince the reader that this was a good thing, there were many things the reader could not have been privy to had his character been removed. Through his eyes, Hunt did splendid job at bringing Persian history to life and I am excited about the rest of the series.
I received this book through Bethany House Publisher in exchange for an honest review.