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Star of Persia

by Jill Eileen Smith

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4626432,553 (4.5)1
"Esther is poised to save her people from annihilation. Relying on a fragile trust in a silent God, can she pit her wisdom against a vicious enemy and win?" --

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A re-interpretation of Megilat Esther. Captures the intrigues of court life in Persia during Xerxes reign between 486 -465 BC. He is known to have lost a war with Greece (but was successful dealing with revolts in Egypt and Babylon).

Prior to attempting to conquer Greece, a very drunk Xerxes is angered at Queen Vashti's refusal to appear before him and his nobles. He sends her and their son away to another palace. Once sober, he realizes he made a serious mistake because he loves Vashti dearly and now misses her dreadfully. (In Megilat Esther, Vashti is actually killed.)

To help him, advisors suggest inviting 'virgins' to the palace out of which Xerxes could select his next queen. Esther and many other virgins from Xerxes domain are brought to the palace in Sosa to prepare to meet the king. Esther is Jewish and her adopted father Mordechai advises her not to reveal her faith at court lest it endanger her. Because she is warm, friendly, and kind, not to mention beautiful, many at court are impressed and come to care about her. Once she meets the king, he is smitten and decides to make her queen at the end of the week with a celebratory wedding feast. She in turns comes to love and care for him.

But as a Jewess she wonders for what purpose G-d has placed her in Xerxes court as his queen.

Read Star of Persia to find out, while learning about ancient history, court life, women's roles and more. A simple and interesting novel.
  Bookish59 | Sep 12, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoy Biblical fiction and this retelling of the story of Esther is very well done. It starts when she is just 6 and we get to know the little girl who will grow to become the woman who saves her people. I had some knowledge of the story before I started reading but that is not necessary to enjoy this well written book about a strong, intelligent woman navigating dangerous times. ( )
  BooksCooksLooks | Aug 20, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Received this ARC in exchange for a review. I found this to be an interesting story, based on the story of Esther in the bible. Esther's character could have been described/built more but overall I believe it was very good especially for someone that is not very familiar with the biblical story.
  JosieRivers | Aug 14, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Anyone who has read the story of Queen Esther in the Old Testament knows how she was used by God to help her people, the children of Israel, to fight back against the Persian army. Purim is the celebration to remember Queen Esther and the Jews' victory over the Persians.

Hadassah is the Hebrew name of Esther. She is portrayed as a young woman who wants to do her father's will to save her people and family. Living in the palace of the king of Persia, Xerxes, is not what she had imagined. She must learn who to trust and who to avoid. She learns how to please her husband as well as learning more about him.

Palace intrigue and gossip help fuel the fear and suspicion that plagues Xerxes. He is not a strong leader and relies on his advisers too much. He is defeated in war with the Greeks. He drinks too much and is easily persuaded to do things he later regrets.

Smith tells the story of Queen Esther and King Xerxes in a way that gives reader a glimpse into life in ancient Persia. She helps the reader see the characters as real people who had human feelings. This is a story I have read numerous times in the Bible. I enjoyed the re-telling and wanted to know more about the culture of this time.
  GigiHunter | Mar 30, 2020 |
This is a well written story about Esthe, the Queen of Persia. This goes from when she is six years old to just after she helps to save the Jewish population. I love how she can take a small bible story and bring all of these people to life. You like some people and dislike others. This also shows the difference in how we live today. This is an easy read so anyone can enjoy this story. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will. ( )
  Virginia51 | Mar 23, 2020 |
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"Esther is poised to save her people from annihilation. Relying on a fragile trust in a silent God, can she pit her wisdom against a vicious enemy and win?" --

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