Star of Persia: Esther's Story - eBookJill Eileen SmithRevell / 2020 / ePub$9.99 Retail:4.5 out of 5 stars for Star of Persia: Esther's Story - eBook. View reviews of this product. 25 Reviews
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FayeAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Fresh and FamiliarApril 19, 2020FayeAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A fresh, yet familiar, and immersive rendering of one of the greatest female heroes of the Bible.
Well researched, and beautifully told in a way that even though I knew what was coming I was still absorbed into the story, and at times surprised by the timing of certain events. The author uses the multiple third person narrative to her advantage, showing some aspects of the story from an unexpected viewpoint that really enhanced the story and made it less predictable which is challenging in such a well beloved tale.
There is a creative license as well as a respect for the recorded history that make the story more realistic. I liked how the book addressed the realities, of how less than ideal Esther's situation was, showing the sadness in the midst of the luxuries afforded her.
Overall, this was a rivetingly rendered telling of one of history's greatest queens. Excellent research and engaging storytelling. Highly recommend for fans of Biblical fiction.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
ReviewsByErin4 Stars Out Of 5A familiar story brought to lifeApril 5, 2020ReviewsByErinQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The story of Esther has always been one of my favorites from the Bible. Not just because of Esther's courage in the face of possible death, but also for the way it shows God at work in all details (big and small) of our lives. It's such a good reminder of the love and care He has for His people.
Jill Eileen Smith has brought Esther to life in a way that readers will really enjoy. This book moves quickly and touches on all parts of the familiar story. There were some historical facts woven throughout which were new to me, and I appreciated those. Learning new things is my favorite part of reading historical fiction.
One thing that was different about this book was it focused on palace intrigue with regards to King Xerxes' other wives and the maneuvering that some women of the harem might have been doing to jockey for position, whether for themselves or their children. From the author's note at the end, I understand this was based from real history. While we know King Xerxes had a harem and obviously we think of the other girls brought to the palace with Esther, I'd never really thought about what the other wives might have thought as Xerxes searched for a new queen.
Although there's no explicit content, I would not recommend this for readers under age 16 just because of the nature of the story. But if you've ever wanted to check out a fictionalized retelling of this brave woman's call to save her people under the most unlikely circumstances, I did enjoy this one and feel like you would, too.
I received my copy of the book from the publisher. All thoughts in this review are my own.
Jypsy4 Stars Out Of 5Excellent and beautifully craftedApril 4, 2020JypsyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a review.
Star of Persia
By: Jill Eileen Smith
I don't know much about the biblical history behind Star of Persia. Nevertheless, Jill Eileen Smith has crafted a compelling insightful story that even I understand. I especially enjoy the well written intermingling of fact and fiction to create a seamless tale. Esther is a beautiful woman who will be queen. Beauty is a blessing and a curse, bringing favor but inviting harm as well. Esther wonders why she was chosen for the life she is living. The story reminds us that only God has these answers, but we can trust he is using all things for good. Regardless of past deeds, anyone at any time may prove useful. Esther's life was purposefully chosen to carry out God's plan for her. Esther is a thought provoking character, and this story has stayed with me. I enjoyed reading Star of Persia, biblical aspects aside, simply as an excellent story. If this suits your tastes, then I do hope you pick up a copy because you will not be disappointed.
Ceci3 Stars Out Of 5Good RetellingMarch 30, 2020CeciQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4I've always loved the book of Esther. It's such an incredible story of how God places you in certain places, at certain times, and for certain reasons. The story of Esther shows that perfectly. And I really liked how this book told her story.
I enjoyed how we were introduced to Esther before she was Esther, when she was Hadassah. I also liked the insights to Xerxes courts, the intrigue, and struggle. Esther's gentle ways are a breath of fresh air and it is really lovely to see how if you are a gentle and kind person, it really stands out.
Jill Eileen Smith's writing was really nice and it really drew me in. There was a really good intention to detail and she depicted things very well.
I did have a few problems. The first is while the writing was wonderful, sometimes I felt as if it dragged a little. Some of the characters were a little two-dimensional at times and it kinda threw me out. Since it does deal with Xerxes and his many wives, there is quite a bit of kissing and mentions of the marital embrace. It wasn't that bad and done in a tasteful manner, it just got kinda uncomfortable sometimes.
Overall, I did really enjoy this book. I liked the characters and the storytelling. The setting also really pulled me in and kept me interested. This gets a solid 3 stars from me.
I received a free copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion.
Mrs ARS5 Stars Out Of 5Historical and Biblical RetellingMarch 27, 2020Mrs ARSQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have read a lot of Esther retellings and have enjoyed pieces and parts of each one. I have really never considered Esther a romantic love story, though the Bible does say the king loved Esther. I guess it may be because I didn't care for King Xerxes and the way he handled his kingdom- let too many choices (big and small) be made by his advisors. And these choices carried with them some hefty costs.
What made this story stand out? I liked how author Smith gave us the point of view of Vashti, the first wife and queen, and what she may have been feeling and thinking. Here is a woman that is only briefly mentioned and yet due to her one decision she is banished from her husband and Esther then will eventually take her place. I have read some novels where she is evil, but not this one. I liked how her story is told in Star of Persia. She was more than a backdrop, she was a woman living in a tumultuous time, and though she was queen she had her enemies. Then there was her husband...
I also like the handling of Xerxes. Scripture does not paint him in the best light nor does this story. In this story we get to see the vices that actually catches him into a trap and ultimately maybe due to this he learns a little bit of a lesson?
Overall I really liked this retelling with the historical background along with Xerxes and Vashti's as well as Esther's points of view.
I received a copy of this novel from Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.