Monday, January 19, 2015

Esther, Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt

When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced 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.

My review:

  I have read a few Biblical fiction novels written about Esther, but this one was the most different I have read. It was written in the first person point of view of two people: Esther, and Harbonah, a eunuch in the King's palace. That gives the reader a couple of different perspectives on the story that you don't normally get reading the third person point of view, or even the first person point of view from one person. 

 Hunt also spends more time on the story of Esther before she becomes queen. The Bible story and other fictionalized stories have her becoming queen early in the story. Hunt also has a lot more historical details about the king than are given in the Bible due to her studying historical information about the king and that era. 

 This was not a book I breezed through, though it was a very interesting book. Hunt gives more insight into the character of Esther and takes more time to develop her character and story, and the end result is one of the best versions of this story that I have read. She stays true to the Biblical account, but builds on the Biblical account to make a great Biblical fiction novel. I would recommend this over the other stories of Esther that are on the Christian market.

About the author:

With nearly five million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Tale of Three Trees,The Note, and The Nativity Story. Angela's novels have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Christian Book Award, and the HOLT Medallion Award. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, she completed her doctorate in Biblical Studies and is currently completing her Th.D. Angela and her husband live in Florida, along with their mastiffs. She can be found online at

Esther, Royal Beauty, is available from Bethany House, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.