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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Esther: Royal Beauty

Expect the Unexpected

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who expect the unexpected in novels. With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 125 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to non-fiction books, to novels.
Her books have won the coveted Christy Award, several Angel Awards from Excellence in Media, and the Gold and Silver Medallions from Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award.  Also in 2006, Angela completed her Master of Biblical Studies in Theology degree. She completed her doctorate in 2008 and was accepted into a Th.D. program in 2009. When she’s not home reading or writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.  She is also an avid photographer, using her photos to help find homes for her local SPCA’s shelter animals.

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.

My Thoughts:
I didn't know quite what to think about Hunt's version of Esther's story.  Hunt portrays Esther as a little bit sassy and almost desirous of a place in the King's palace.  In addition to that, the story is only told from two perspectives:  Esther's (Haddassah) and a servant to the King.  This way of approaching the story fell a little flat for me.  I felt it narrowed the story a bit.  Otherwise, Hunt's version seems to follow the biblical account fairly closely.  
With those things said, Hunt always delivers a good read.  She offers something different in her novels whether they be historical fiction or contemporary fiction.  Esther made me think and dig for myself to see if the author was on track.  A book that makes me think and study for myself is an excellent sign of good writing.  While not my favorite rendering of the Queen's story, it was still a good investment of my time and study.
*I was provided a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review.
The second book in the Dangerous Beauty series releases in late 2015.
Happy Reading Ya'll,