Saturday, January 10, 2015

Esther: Royal Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel) by Angela Hunt

When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.

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.

Esther 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 Review:
Angela Hunt has long been a favorite author of mine. When she writes, I cannot help but admire her commitment to biblical truth and her extensive research.

This work of Christian fiction reads as truth. The story is told in two voices: Esther (Hadassah) and one of the king's eunuchs, Harbonah. Chapters alternate between the two, allowing a deeper perspective.

I've loved the story of Esther since I first read it in the Bible. This novel opens up the tale with so many details. For instance, talk about beauty! Esther was so gorgeous that even when she was a young girl, people stopped to stare. I found myself impressed with the description of the Queen's carriage scene.

However, she was not born into privilege; rather, she was born a Jew, outside the palace walls. This was a challenging time. I feel that a really good action film should be made from this book.

I recommend this one!

Thank you to Amy Green at Bethany House Publishers, A Division of Baker Publishing Group for my copy.