As a busy homeschool mom of 4 I rarely get time to read a book for pleasure. When I do, I want to read something that pulls me quickly into the story. Esther Queen of Persia: A Courageous Woman for a Dangerous Time fits that description to a tee!
Danger, suspense, and faith fill these pages cover to cover as author Jim Baumgardner breathes skillful, new life into the Biblical account of Esther. Though I have read this part of the Bible many times, I did not have a full grasp of the historical happenings of this period within the Kingdom of Persia. Information from Ancient History such as The Greek Expeditions, King Darius' Last Will and Testament as well as events attributed to King Cyrus enrich this story.
The book opens after the exile of Queen Vashti with the young Haddassah (soon to be Esther) at the beginning of her year of preparation before she is brought before King Ahasuerus, ruler of the Persian Empire.
The characters are well developed with the conflict between Esther, her Jewish upbringing and her heathen surroundings evident. From the onset Esther stands out in beauty and wisdom and the reader is rooting for her to succeed in God's plan. She knows how her life is changing and what she's left behind. The sacrifices she must make as destiny unfolds around her.
King Ahasuerus spoke from the throne. "I have chosen Esther of Susa as my new queen. From this day forwards, all citizens of the Kingdom of Persia shall bow in respect of Queen Esther. May the reign of Queen Esther be long over the Kingdom of Persia. May unselfish thoughts, good words, and virtuous deeds follow you all of your days."
Esther Queen of Persia follows a Biblical timeline of events peppered with historical facts. For example, I was not aware of King Ahasuerus' reputation for being a hot tempered and arrogant ruler nor of his possession of many wives and concubines. This gave me a new admiration for Esther and her many sacrifices she was forced to endure. Though I admit there were many times I thought the king was quite a cad!
She looked at him wide-eyed. Esther did not have the faith he had. Mordecai had always been the strong one, the one to rely upon, strong in God's ways. She trusted him - maybe more than she trusted her faith in God. Her cousin had an unshakeable faith in Yahweh, and she had an unshakeable faith in Mordecai. Would that carry her when times of trouble sprang up to crush her?
This book was difficult to put down eventhough I knew how it would end. I'm glad I took the time to read it. It's also a finalist in Foreword Reviews Journal 2013 Book of the Year Awards in the Religious Fiction category!
See what other crew members are saying about this book!
I received the above item to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.