Monday, September 28, 2015

Review Of Esther by Rebecca Kanner

Title: Esther

Author: Rebecca Kanner

Format eArc from Netgalley

Publication Information: Expected publication: November 3rd 2015 by Howard Books

Source: Netgalley

Description from Goodreads
From the award-winning author of Sinners and the Sea comes a breathtaking new look into the timeless tale of Queen Esther.

A glittering Persian king has a vast empire that reaches farther than where the sun meets the horizon. He is bathed in riches and commands a frightening military force. He possesses power beyond any other mortal man and rules his kingdom as a god. Anything he desires, he has. Any woman he wants, he possesses. Thousands of them. Young virgins from all across his many lands.

A Jewish girl is ripped from her hut by the king’s brutish warriors and forced to march across blistering, scorched earth to the capitol city. Trapped for months in the splendid cage of the king’s palace, she must avoid the ire of the king’s concubines and eunuchs all while preparing for her one night with the king. Soon the fated night arrives, and she does everything in her power to captivate the king and become his queen.

But wearing the crown brings with it a new set of dangers. When a ruthless man plies the king’s ear with whispers of genocide, it is up to the young queen to prevent the extermination of the Jews. She must find the strength within to violate the king’s law, risk her life, and save her people.

This is a story of finding hidden depths of courage within one’s self. Of risking it all to stand up for what is right.

This is the story of Queen Esther.

My Review
4 out of 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this from Netgalley

Rebecca 's story of Esther takes us to different sides of Esther than I think we have seen before. We see her as a concubine, a woman, a friend, a protector, we dig deeper into who Esther was and who she becomes. Esther has always been one of my favorite stories in the bible, a woman who is chosen to be the savior of her people at the moment when they needed one. She becomes queen to the most powerful man during the time in which she lived.

I love Kanner's look inside the months before Esther marries the king. She delves into the harem, where the story has never really gone before. We see Esther's rivals, her friends. We find ourselves cheering on a maid in an act of bravery that befits a king. We look at the others in a different light, how maybe they have more to do with Esther than thought before.

Of course the villain is disliked, if ever there was a villain I found easy to dislike, it was Haman.
However now we get to dislike Haman's sons as well, which just adds to the story.

We have a different sort of love story in this version of Esther, it was this one point where I found I didn't know how to feel. I can see why the author did it, but I can not say if I entirely liked it. Esther has always seemed to be a devoted and loyal person, to her people and to her king. This veering of character, it seems out of place, yet even though that is, I do not think it takes away from the story.

Esther is a wonderful character to read in the first place. I hope you find the time to pick up this book especially if you love strong female characters.

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