The story of a girl unsparingly plunged into heartache and chaos, who would save a nation … of Esther, who would be queen.
Wrenched from a simple life for her beauty, Esther finds herself at the mercy of King Xerxes. Leaving behind her only relative, her cousin Mordecai, and her first true love, Cyrus, she is thrown headlong into the unrestrained extravagance of palace living. Quick of mind and strong in spirit, she refuses to suffer the fate of her harem sisters and boldly challenges Xerxes to give of his heart before taking his pleasure, thus sealing her place beside him a queen. While conspiracy spins its diabolical web, Esther’s mind and spirit waver, and she is forced to confront the past in order to save her future—and that of an entire nation.
A fictionalized account of the story of Queen Esther, presented from the premise that her lost "diaries" have been recovered, sold to a museum and translated for the world to read. News reports and commentaries are included to solidify this premise.
Writing about a historical figure when little is actually known about her is always risky. But, overall, I found the story engaging. My knowledge of this time period is scant at best and I enjoyed the descriptions about palace life, the harems and the cultural details of the time period. The experiences Esther had during her year of preparation were curious, yet I could picture it all.
So much of Esther's story is speculation and imagination. The biblical account leads you to believe that Esther and the King had a great love for each other. Here, Esther is unwillingly taken away from her home and the young man she wishes to marry. For most of her year in the harem, she pines for Cyrus and, even after her marriage to the king, thinks about him. I realize that adding Cyrus to the mix makes for a more dramatic story, but I wish he'd been left out.
Esther has always been a wonderful example of a strong woman of faith, one I enjoyed reading about and someone to admire. And while she was faithful to her God and did what she was asked, even at the risk of death, I felt that, at times, her faith was secondary to the rest of the story.
Overall, an enthralling story and one I can easily recommend. After I finished it, I found myself picking up my Bible and rereading Esther's account there.
Thanks to First Wildcard and Audra Jennings at The B&B Media Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Ginger Garrett here. You can read the first chapter here. You can purchase your own copy here.
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