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, Royal Beauty is the quintessential example of biblical fiction. Angela Hunt has painstakingly merged historical records with fictional plot, all while upholding the inerrancy of scripture. She further added to my enjoyment of the biblical account by layering in little known details of Persian conquests and conspiracies. I remained completely absorbed in the plot even while knowing what the general outcome would be.
I could not be more pleased with the way the author has chosen to represent Esther – neither as a beauty queen nor a martyr. When the King’s ardor wanes, Esther begins to feel isolated and lonely. During this time she resolves to convey God’s love and majesty (demonstrated to her as a child while living with Mordecai) unto the children of the harem. I especially like the unspoken message of blooming where God plants us and not remaining idle while we wait for Him to reveal His purpose in our lives.
The story is told simultaneously through the eyes of Esther and Harbonah (the King’s eunuch). The inclusion of Harbonah’s viewpoint provides a small window into the mind of the king and the complexity of palace etiquette. He is an insightful man and I admired his loyalty and devotion to those he served. Persia had taken so much from him and yet his heart remained soft. I viewed his love for the King to be like a mother’s love for a wayward child.
This book is one of my Top Picks for Christian book clubs heading into the New Year. Grab your copy of Esther, Royal Beauty, releasing January 6th, and I’m sure you will agree that Angela Hunt delivers 5 Star biblical fiction!!
It is no secret that I am an avid fan of biblical fiction! So when I caught a glimpse of Angela Hunt’s new book cover on Pinterest I began to cyber stalk the book release. Thank you, thank you Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to have a sneak peek at this title (in exchange for my unbiased review) through the NetGalley blogger program. You have fed my voracious appetite for great Christian fiction!
About the Author
Angela Hunt has published more than one hundred books, with sales nearing five million copies worldwide. She’s the New York Times-bestselling 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, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Christian Book Award, and the HOLT Medallion Award. Romantic Times Book Club presented her 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. For a complete list of the author’s books, visit angelahuntbooks.com