Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Esther Queen of Persia: A Courageous Woman for a Dangerous Time

~About the Book~
Author: Jim Baumgardner/ Esther Queen of Persia
ISBN: 978-0988410718| List Price: $16.95 | Format: Softcover & ebook | Page Count: 304
*****Foreword Reviews Journal Finalist for the 2013 Book of the Year Awards in the Religious Fiction category.*****

 Hadassah, a young, Jewish orphan, forced to enter the palace at Shushan, has had her world turned upside down by Ahasuerus, the despot King of Persia. Not only has Hegai, the custodian of women, changed her name, but everything about her life is now controlled by this eunuch. She must witness and experience the heathen excesses of the palace while awaiting her night with the king in his bedchamber.
Why has God allowed this to happen? Author Jim Baumgardner provides the answer when you enter the 5th Century B.C. world of the vast Persian Empire where Hadassah becomes Queen Esther, and her life is forever changed through the providence of God.

Hadassah, the beautiful, Jewish teenager from the city of Susa in Persia, is taken by force to the palace of King Ahasuerus. His command to find the most beautiful virgins in his kingdom, and bring them to the house of women, has placed Hadassah under the supervision of Hegai, the king's custodian of women. Hegai and his servants, have one year to prepare each virgin for one night with the king. Although Hadassah was taken from her home by force, she refuses to become bitter. She accepts being called Esther, but inside remains always, Hadassah. She continually wonders why she is there, yet remains faithful to her God, and to her identity. It is years before the answer is revealed. Her people face annihilation, and it falls upon her shoulders to stop it. Her first thought is to shirk her duty, but Mordecai, her cousin, will not allow it. His words, '"Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"' brings her to her senses.

Unlike many of the novels written about Esther, this book seeks to remain true to the Biblical account, while supplying additional historical information from the time period 486-473 B.C. The book has a five page Introduction, which gives insight into some of the things found in the story. It has a page, listing the months of the Jewish sacred calendar and the corresponding month of our modern calendar. Also in the back of the book is a listing of Scriptures mentioned in each chapter, along with a listing of works consulted in research for Esther Queen of Persia.

~My Impressions~

 I love the Esther story. I have read it countless times and never get sick of it. I waited with anticipation to receive this book.  The only thing I did not really like about it was the cover. If I was judging this book by the cover alone, I never would have picked it up. Something about it just does not ring true to me. 

Needless to say, I am glad I took a chance in this case. This book is an amazing, historically accurate retelling of the book of Esther in a way that brings new life to Esther, the situations she faced and the hardship she endured to sacrifice for God and her people. The preparations alone, that took a year, was amazing to read about. I never thought much about what went into "preparing" tp meet the king and was blown away by it.

This book brought so much of the story of Esther to life than what I ever thought about before. I enjoyed reading about King Ahasuerus’ reputation and how Esther must have felt meeting him for the first time. 

This is a great book for biblical fiction readers filled with faith, danger, an abduction,  ancient history, suspense and above all love.

See what other crew members are saying about this book! 

Author Bio: Born in Wichita, Kansas, Jim Baumgardner, raised by Christian parents, gave his life to Christ in 1957. The author continues to reside in Wichita with his wife Linda. They have three children and nine grandchildren. Jim has seven published books. Four are known as the Sarah books, which tell of the adventures of a girl named Sarah, set in the 19thCentury. The other three are Bible novels, including the author’s latest release Esther Queen of Persia. All of Jim’s books are primarily written for his grandchildren’s benefit.

 To learn more about Jim and his books, visit his websites: 
You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google +and Goordreads.

I received the above item to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.
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