Angela Hunt’s new treatment of this queen of the Old Testament underscores and highlights the courage found in the Biblical narrative of Esther’s life.
Esther: Royal Beauty (Bethany House, 2015) is a powerfully written novel in which Hunt brings to life both the humanity of Esther, demonstrated in her love of her Persian home and those around her, and her faith that truly takes root and thrives as she deals with the challenges of court life and when the Jewish people are threatened with extinction by royal decree at the suggestion of Haman, key counselor to King Xerxes. Well researched as to the cultural practices and customs of ancient Persia, Hunt provides a fair, full, and intense glimpse into Xerxes’ court life and the intrigue that flows through it.
As to characterization, Hunt also brings depth to Esther in a way that does justice to the Biblical narrative. The complementing cast of characters such as Harbonah, one of the Eunuchs who would tell his side of Esther’s story (also referred to Hadassah, her Jewish name) in alternating chapters, and her description of the sinister Haman, are well developed and credible.
The result is a rich and full novel that brings to life the story of faith and courage.
I liked every thing about this novel. The characterization, the alternating first person narrative style, is rich and credible. Hunt’s attention to detail about life in Susa and Persia as well as incorporating relevant world and Old Testament history add to the texture of this work.
Esther: Royal Beauty is historical fiction and Christian historical fiction very well done.
I rate this book an ‘Outstanding’ read.
Note: I received a galley copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.