by Angela Hunt
Bethany House
PB, 348 pages

Hadassah, an orphaned Jewish girl, is reared by her cousins in the shadow of King Xerxes’ palace in Susa. As a young girl, Hadassah dreamt of royalty and luxury. Those dreams later became an unexpected reality when she was seized and taken to the king’s palace following his edict to find a new queen. Hadassah takes the name Esther to hide her Jewish heritage, and to her surprise receives the king’s favor and the crown. However, she soon discovers the palace can be a dangerous place, full of those who will stop at nothing to attain power and gain revenge.
Angela Hunt does an admirable job of weaving imagined details into a biblical story. She remains true to Scripture while adding details and interesting perspectives, such as telling half of the story from the servant, Harbonah’s, point-of-view. Hadassah is a very relatable character, especially for teen girls. However, Mordecai and Harbonah are portrayed as a little too perfect.

High school girls would be able to best relate to and learn from this book.

Hadassah’s infatuation with royalty and luxury and longing for romance during her teenage years relates well to teenage girls today, and her example of courage and faith is inspiring. The book stays true to the biblical story of Esther while incorporating elements such as fear, vanity, and pride that many people struggle with every day.

Rachel M. Pfeiffer reviewed this book and is a professional writing major at Taylor University and a freelance writer for Church Libraries.