Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Esther the Queen by H.B. Moore

She is a beautiful young Jewess, content in her life of anonymity.

He is the most powerful king in the world.

When chance brings the two together, the course of history is forever altered.

The glittering court of the Persian Empire serves as the backdrop for one of the most poignant tales of courage in the Bible, brought vividly to life in the pages of bestselling author H.B. Moore’s sweeping saga. And it begins on a dusty road in the Jewish Quarter.

An unexpected meeting between Esther and King Xerxes results in an immediate and unmistakable connection. When Esther is summoned to enter the king’s harem—the first step toward becoming his wife—Esther is torn between her desire to be with Xerxes and the knowledge that they will forever be divided by the secret of her Jewish heritage. Encouraged by her family to do what she must to help her people, she deftly navigates her new position in the palace, quickly becoming beloved by all—including Xerxes.

But when a treacherous plan threatens to engulf the kingdom in violence, Esther must choose between love and duty. Is she prepared to sacrifice all that she holds dear in order to save her people from certain annihilation?

I have been a fan of H.B. Moore's historical fiction for several years, so I jumped at the opportunity to review her latest novel, Esther the Queen.

Moore has a talent for bringing scriptural characters to life. I wasn't as familiar with Esther's story as I have been with the other scriptural figures Moore has written about, but I'm so glad that didn't deter me from reading this story.

Esther is portrayed as such a good, kind person. I was a little at odds with her decision to hide that she was Jewish (can you imagine your spouse not knowing what your religious beliefs are-especially when those beliefs are such a huge part of your day-to-day life?), but following the instruction from Mordecai ended up being a huge blessing for her people.

Reading Esther's story really made me appreciate the freedoms I have. I am so grateful I was able to choose my own husband, and that I don't have to share him. Moore touched on how Esther might have felt knowing her husband had concubines and many children from other women. I can't even imagine how that would feel, but I liked Moore's portrayal. Having King Xerxes seem committed to Esther after their marriage made for a sweet love story (even if it is unlikely that it happened that way).

When I finished reading Esther the Queen I immediately wanted to read the actual account in the Old Testament. I was really impressed at how closely Moore's story followed the Book of Esther. And any historical fiction that intrigues me enough to go to the source to learn more (especially when it's a scriptural source) is a great book!

*I received a copy of Esther the Queen in exchange for a review.

Purchase Esther the Queen

About the Author

Heather B. Moore is the award-winning author of nine historical novels. Her historical fiction is published under the pen name H.B. Moore; first series is called Out of Jerusalem. Her second series includes Abinadi (2008 Whitney Winner for Best Historical & 2009 Best of State in Literary Arts); its sequel, Alma (2009 Whitney Award Finalist); followed by Alma the Younger (2011 Best of State in Literary Arts & 2010 Whitney Finalist), and Ammon (2011 LUW Gold Award of Excellence). Her newest romantic thriller is Daughters of Jared (2012 LUW Gold Award of Excellence & 2012 LUW Best Book Trailer).

Heather is the co-author of The Newport Ladies Book Club Series (with Josi S. Kilpack, Annette Lyon & Julie Wright). Under the name of Heather B. Moore she's published Athena (The Newport Ladies Book Club), the novella collection A Timeless Romance Anthology, Third Time's the Charm (Aliso Creek Novella series), the historical romance Heart of the Ocean, the non-fiction work Christ's Gifts to Women (co-authored by Angela Eschler), and Women of the Book of Mormon.