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Monday, February 9, 2015

#REVIEW: Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Elwell Hunt

Title: Esther: Royal Beauty
Series: Dangerous Beauty #1
Author:  Angela Elwell Hunt
Published Date: Jan 1, 2015
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Format: ebook
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780764216954
Genre: biblical fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: 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: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through NetGalley.
Last year I started reading biblical fiction books, books that would bring to life the dry, dusty, sometimes 2 dimensional characters often found in the Bible. I have not read the short Old Testament book that is named after this particular character, Esther, but I do know that it happens during the Babylonian exile. Somehow it doesn’t matter how often I read the Bible, I love reading others’ takes on the characters within.
This book grabbed me from the very beginning, with the telling of the story from a girl’s perspective, a girl who, even though she is Jewish to the roots of her hair, she daydreams about being more than what she is, being part of the royal house. There are parts of the book that are particularly violent, which are to be expected. The machinations of royalty are usually violent, and the Babylonians are no exception. I suppose humanity hasn’t changed so much in a few thousand years.

This was a captivating book from the very beginning, and I have continued to enjoy the biblical fiction world it opened up to me.

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