Sunday, December 1, 2013

Book Review: Esther the Queen by H.B. Moore

Back Cover Blurb
genre: historical fiction
She is a beautiful young Jewess, content in her life of anonymity. He is the most powerful king in the world. When chance brings the two together, the course of history is forever altered. The glittering court of the Persian Empire serves as the backdrop for one of the most poignant tales of courage in the Bible, brought vividly to life in the pages of bestselling author H.B. Moore s sweeping saga. And it begins on a dusty road in the Jewish Quarter. An unexpected meeting between Esther and King Xerxes results in an immediate and unmistakable connection. When Esther is summoned to enter harem the first step toward becoming his wife Esther is torn between her desire to be with Xerxes and the knowledge that they will forever be divided by the secret of her Jewish heritage. Encouraged by her family to do what she must to help her people, she deftly navigates her new position in the palace, quickly becoming beloved by all including Xerxes. But when a treacherous plan threatens to engulf the kingdom in violence, Esther must choose between love and duty. Is she prepared to sacrifice all that she holds dear in order to save her people from certain annihilation?

My Review
5 of 5 stars
I've long been a fan of this author's work, but Esther the Queen just jumped to the top stop when it comes to Moore's writing. This story was absolutely beautiful. I've always loved the biblical account of Esther, and so I was excited to read a fictitious retelling of it. 

I was immediately drawn in by the rich setting and likable characters. I actually reread the Book of Esther in the Bible while reading the first few chapters of this novel, and I'm very impressed with how hard Moore worked to keep the story as close to the biblical account as possible. I also was impressed with how likable she was able to make the king, and how realistic his motives seemed. Reading the biblical account, the king comes off as easily swayed by others and not very strong. However, he is a very strong character in the novel. He's likable, and I believed everything he did. 

I also loved Esther. She was so strong, so brave, and so kind. Moore managed to show Esther's incredible faith in God without having her come off as a pious, hard-to-relate-to character. I was fascinated with the love story Moore created between Esther and the king, and was rooting for them as a couple from the very beginning.

Moore did a fantastic job at taking the biblical framework, which is pretty vague at times, and breathing life into it in novel form. I was impressed with her research and her attention to detail the whole way through. She stuck with the basics, but added so much more. I especially loved the story's heart. Even though this is a fictitious account, it felt like a very believable way events could have actually unfolded. I felt for Esther's plight, and even though I knew how the story ended, I was rushing through those last few chapters with my heart in my throat. A job well done!

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