Where do I start? I guess I'll start with the cover. It is so gorgeous that it made me want to read the book.
The storyâ€”one of the best I've read so far about a bible character. I couldn't put this book down. Of course I knew that Esther would be queen but I sat on the edge of my seat waiting to see how the king would respond to her.
I'm not one to use made up words but this time I have to because anything less than fantabulous can't be used to describe this book!!!
Esther is a simple girl; an orphan alone in the world with her uncle Mordecai as guardian, and raised in Jewish faith and traditions. One day, Mordecai has a dream that will change Esther's life forever - he dreams of the complete annihilation of the Jewish people. A solution to the problem comes in the form of the current king of Persia; King Ahasuerus.
When King Ahasuerus puts away Queen Vashti for refusing to appear at a feast, he is on the hunt for a new wife. Woman after woman is paraded in front of him, but no Persian woman catches his eye. Esther enters as a candidate soon after her uncle's dream, hoping the king won't even give her a second glance. She was wrong. Shortly after making her his queen, she is faced with an impossible choice that will forever change history. Save her people, or preserve the love that has blossomed between Ahasuerus and herself. Will telling him she is a Jew forever destroy any love the king has for her? Or will she be executed along with the rest of her people?
As usual, it's the little things that distract me from the bigger picture. The book was very good. I can't deny I laughed a couple times. But Mordecai calling his niece "chicken" was an abrupt and rude awakening to the Biblical time setting and brought the flow of the story to a halt. While the nickname is cute, it just doesn't fit with the time period. It somewhat disruptive to the story as a whole, though thankfully, there is a nice chunk of time where they don't see each other and it is absent from the text. As a whole, the story was entertaining and the love story between Esther and the king was a very satisfying read.
"A Reluctant Queen" by Joan Wolf is the compelling, real-life story of Queen Esther of Persia who, when faced with an impossible choice, did not falter in her faith or flinch in her resolve. In a beautifully drawn portrait, described well with great sensitivity and perception, Joan Wolf presents Queen Esther exactly as she should be known by successive generations of Christians across the centuries.
Queen Esther's heart must have skipped a beat when Mordecai, her elder cousin, who had raised her up as his own daughter, requested her to speak to King Ahasuerus to save the lives of her people. She had not seen the King for a whole month. The law stated that anyone who approached the King in the inner court, without being summoned, faced instant death. The only exception was that the King could extend his gold scepter to save the person's life.
When Queen Esther apprised Mordecai of this alarming scenario, his response was noteworthy. If she did not speak up for her people, someone else would and her life and that of her paternal family would perish. His next words were utterly symbolic - "Who knows whether you have come to the throne for such a time as this?"
Queen Esther was fully aware of the dire implications and possible consequences of her actions when she requested Mordecai to tell the people to fast and pray for three days, along with her, after which she would speak to the King, even if it was against the law of the land. She was fully prepared to place her own life of the line to save the lives of her people. Her last words to Mordecai were chilling proof of this - "And if I perish, I perish." Haunting words from a newly-crowned Queen in the full bloom of her youth.
In "A Reluctant Queen," Joan Wolf transforms a Biblical tale of courage and bravery into a heart-stirring love story in which Esther, a simple girl, faced with a daunting task and an impossible choice won the heart of the magnificient King Ahasuerus of Persia. Their love altered the course of history. It was a divine surprise that God sprung upon the world.
Joan Wolf brings Queen Esther to life in this beautifully inspired novel that scintillatingly vibrates with the elements of mystery, intrigue and romance in the exotic setting of the Persian empire.
Knowing this story from Sunday school, I had my ideas of how the story would transform. This gave a more in depth look of how things might have been during that time. I literally could not put it down! Loved it!
I loved reading the stories in the Bible. This book, and others I have discovered based on Bible characters and stories, re-introduce the Biblical characters and refreshes our minds of the truths and Godly beliefs and morals that God laid out for us to follow. I loved this story. It just makes you want to be there.