Star of Persia
In an effort to complete a war his father had planned to win, King Xerxes calls every governor, satrap, and official in his vast kingdom to his palace in Susa to strategize and feast. When they finally leave, he decides on one more week of frivolity, which ends in the banishment of his favorite wife, something he never intended to do. But when he discovers Esther, Xerxes is sure he has a second chance at happiness.In her wildest dreams, Esther could never have imagined that she would end up as queen of Persia. Yet she knows better than to become complacent. Another of Xerxes's wives is vying for position, and his closest advisor has a deep and dangerous grudge against Esther's adoptive father. Caught in the middle of palace politics, Esther will find herself in an impossible position: risk her life or consign her people to annihilation.With her impeccable research and her imaginative flair, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the romantic, suspenseful, and beloved story of Esther, queen of Persia.

Star of Persia Details

TitleStar of Persia
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 3rd, 2020
PublisherFleming H. Revell Company
ISBN-139780800734718
Rating
GenreBiblical Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Christian

Star of Persia Review

  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful fast-moving version of the Biblical story of Esther. I liked the way the author mixed in historical characters who lived at the same time and were part of the royal family, with the Old Testament narrative. She set the story after the Persian defeat by the Greeks and equated the name Ahasuerus [in the Bible] with that of Xerxes. She did change the ending of the original story, but with no detriment to it. I also appreciated her giving logical motivations to the characters' actions. Delightful fast-moving version of the Biblical story of Esther. I liked the way the author mixed in historical characters who lived at the same time and were part of the royal family, with the Old Testament narrative. She set the story after the Persian defeat by the Greeks and equated the name Ahasuerus [in the Bible] with that of Xerxes. She did change the ending of the original story, but with no detriment to it. I also appreciated her giving logical motivations to the characters' actions. She kept stressing how God can use a person in His own time, and in His own way, for His purposes, which they may not understand. In spite of her resistance, Esther kept asking herself why was she chosen?Recommended. I thank LibraryThing for an ARC.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Originally posted on Inkwell Inspirations Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?Award-winning author Jill Eileen Smiths latest biblical fiction novel, Star of Persia: Esthers Story, is a fascinating look into the life of the beautiful Queen Esther, whose favor with King Xerxes is put to the ultimate test as she risks her life to save her people from death. Jill Eileen Smith is a master at bringing Scripture to life and authentically filling in the details, which Originally posted on Inkwell Inspirations “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”Award-winning author Jill Eileen Smith’s latest biblical fiction novel, Star of Persia: Esther’s Story, is a fascinating look into the life of the beautiful Queen Esther, whose favor with King Xerxes is put to the ultimate test as she risks her life to save her people from death. Jill Eileen Smith is a master at bringing Scripture to life and authentically filling in the details, which encourages her readers to dig deeper into the Bible and discover more about the word of God. The story of Esther has been retold many times in biblical fiction, but Jill Eileen Smith’s account is by far my favorite. She used Scripture along with details from secular history in writing Star of Persia, as several of the individuals from the Book of Esther in the Old Testament are also historical figures. Jill Eileen Smith is my go-to-author for biblical fiction, and she consistently shares the incredible stories of women from the Old Testament in such a powerful way that has me pulling out my Bible and wanting to read more of the Scripture. In Star of Persia, Jill Eileen Smith also shares the message that even in his silence, God is always watching and willing to guide us. Star of Persia is highly recommended for readers of biblical fiction and historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book by Revell and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine. “Take good care of her. She is one who could come to great favor or great harm for her beauty.”
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  • V. Palmer
    January 1, 1970
    Biblical Fiction is such a wonderful medium to better understand the pains, heartaches, betrayals, and struggles of our heroes of faith! Star of Persia: Esther's Story by Jill Eileen Smith is another unique look at what Esther's life and struggles may have looked like -- and it's definitely worth reading!I was truly impressed with the way the author was able to breath life into this account that's been read and told many times. While the author gives readers hope for Esther's happiness, the Biblical Fiction is such a wonderful medium to better understand the pains, heartaches, betrayals, and struggles of our heroes of faith! Star of Persia: Esther's Story by Jill Eileen Smith is another unique look at what Esther's life and struggles may have looked like -- and it's definitely worth reading!I was truly impressed with the way the author was able to breath life into this account that's been read and told many times. While the author gives readers hope for Esther's happiness, the unsavory and heartbreaking realities of Esther's life are not idealized as a fairytale. The addition of certain historical details gives fresh insight into the Biblical account, adding unique significance to some of the key moments and choices of Esther's life. At it's core, Esther's stand and testimony -- the story we know by heart -- remains unchanged, but there are still fresh lessons to be learned, revelations to be hand, and stands of faith to be made! Ultimately, the character development -- especially for the people who weren't Esther -- is what impressed me the most in Star of Persia! The addition of Amestris (one of Xerxes' wives) added a powerful thread to the palace politics that could have been (and history shows they often were) at play. Mordecai was humanized, becoming a man who made fearful mistakes and also had to take a stand of faith. Xerxes was developed past his womanizing ways and intense rages, showing readers a broken man who you desperately hoped would do the right thing. And the best part is that this complex cast of characters shows just how much God's hand was at work!Four Stars ~ Star of Persia: Esther's Story by Jill Eileen Smith blends fact and fiction with a call for action, faith, and courage. Star of Persia is a standalone, but the author has many other wonderful titles in her backlist for readers to enjoy!Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • MJSH
    January 1, 1970
    Jill Eileen Smith is one of my favorite biblical fiction authors and I have loved every one of her books that I have read so far. Star of Persia is no exception. Rich in details of the time period, infused with historical accounts of Xerxes and his reign, supported by Biblical accounts from the book of Esther, and beautifully layered with fictional events, Star of Persia offers a unique look at what may have occurred behind the scenes as Esther gathered her courage to help her people.The story Jill Eileen Smith is one of my favorite biblical fiction authors and I have loved every one of her books that I have read so far. Star of Persia is no exception. Rich in details of the time period, infused with historical accounts of Xerxes and his reign, supported by Biblical accounts from the book of Esther, and beautifully layered with fictional events, Star of Persia offers a unique look at what may have occurred behind the scenes as Esther gathered her courage to help her people.The story is told in several third-person points of view, mostly from Hadassah/Esther, Mordecai, Xerxes, and Haman. Surprisingly, Vashti has a voice at the beginning of the story and Amestris, Xerxes' other wife who is the mother of Darius and Artaxerxes, also has a voice. I've read other biblical fiction where Vashti is the mother of Xerxes' heirs but, apparently, historical accounts conflict on this matter. Xerxes' thoughts throughout the book made him more personal and down-to-earth, someone whom Esther probably knew and loved well. Portraying the biblical events through the eyes of multiple people helped the plot to bloom in full color.If you enjoy biblical fiction, you will absolutely love this book. Jill Eileen Smith has a gift for bringing the Bible to life.I received a copy of the book from Revell/Baker Publishing Group via Interviews & Reviews and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    To be honest, I am not that familiar with Esther's story or have that much knowledge about King Xerxes. Yet, I am familiar with Mrs. Smith's books. Mrs. Smith really does her research and is a great storyteller. She brings to live all the women of the Bible. I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since I first heard about it. Well I can tell you that it did not disappoint. It was great to get to know Esther. She may have started out innocent but by the end of the story; she had To be honest, I am not that familiar with Esther's story or have that much knowledge about King Xerxes. Yet, I am familiar with Mrs. Smith's books. Mrs. Smith really does her research and is a great storyteller. She brings to live all the women of the Bible. I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since I first heard about it. Well I can tell you that it did not disappoint. It was great to get to know Esther. She may have started out innocent but by the end of the story; she had grown into a very wise woman. Her faith in God is strong and refreshing. Amen. Do not be fooled by the portrayal of King Xerxes in the movie, The 300. He is not like that. He did care for his wife even Vashti. Although, she may have shamed the King. She was not in just in her reason or action. Star of Persia is not to be missed! Mrs. Smith shares the beautiful story of Esther.
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  • Loraine
    January 1, 1970
    Jill Eileen Smith is one of my favorite Biblical Fiction authors. In her newest release she brings the well known story of Hadassah known as Queen Esther to life. With a strong Biblical foundation and excellent historical detail of the life and times in Persia during King Xerxes reign, this is a beautiful read that's hard to put down. It definitely expresses the theme that if God wants us to do something He will see us through it. Recommend for those who love Biblical fiction and authors Lynn Jill Eileen Smith is one of my favorite Biblical Fiction authors. In her newest release she brings the well known story of Hadassah known as Queen Esther to life. With a strong Biblical foundation and excellent historical detail of the life and times in Persia during King Xerxes reign, this is a beautiful read that's hard to put down. It definitely expresses the theme that if God wants us to do something He will see us through it. Recommend for those who love Biblical fiction and authors Lynn Austin, Mesu Andrews and Tessa Afshar. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
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  • Kailey
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this version of Esthers story. Im not typically a biblical fiction fan, but I did enjoy this book. It made me want to open my Bible and reread the book of Esther. I liked how the story was broken into parts. I also enjoyed the way we got so many different character perspectives. To me that made the story better. I would have liked to see more about Vashti after she was sent away. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All I really liked this version of Esther’s story. I’m not typically a biblical fiction fan, but I did enjoy this book. It made me want to open my Bible and reread the book of Esther. I liked how the story was broken into parts. I also enjoyed the way we got so many different character perspectives. To me that made the story better. I would have liked to see more about Vashti after she was sent away. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    Once again Smith has done a fabulous job with the story of Esther. She has a way of making the characters come to life and enables us to imagine living during the time of Esther. Her research into Biblical history is well done. I love detailed descriptions and all the wonderful characters that came with it. I consider Esther an amazing woman of her time and it's because of her courage and love for the Lord that she's one of my favorite people. A perfect example for us women today. I believe Once again Smith has done a fabulous job with the story of Esther. She has a way of making the characters come to life and enables us to imagine living during the time of Esther. Her research into Biblical history is well done. I love detailed descriptions and all the wonderful characters that came with it. I consider Esther an amazing woman of her time and it's because of her courage and love for the Lord that she's one of my favorite people. A perfect example for us women today. I believe that the Lord puts us in a certain place at a certain time. For reasons unknown to Esther that's exactly what God did with her. I believe He done it to bend the king's ear so to speak. This was a good story. One that I was really looking forward and it didn't disappoint. This book y'all! It will take you back in time and you won't want to come back to the present time. You'll want to be a part of Esther's family and King Xerxes court. Smith can make you sit on the edge of your seat, hold your breath waiting to see what happens in the next scene. She can also make you want to read Esther's story in the Bible because you'll want to know how and where Smith got her idea to write this book came from. God's love ya'll is bigger than we can imagine and this story in my opinion will help you come to understand how God uses and chooses people. Some can be people that we could never imagine or why He chose to use that person. Esther's perfect example. It's not just men that God uses. It can be anyone. The only thing that I didn't like was jealousy that went on in the court.. It's also here in today's world too. Not a good thing to have and to that I say welcome to the world of politics. Such a nasty business. It can lead to dangerous situations that can be averted but you know how people are .They only want those things for themselves and that's Satan at his best. The cover of this book! Just amazing how it already pulls you into the story even before you open the book. Too bad there is only 5 stars. I'd love to give this book more. More because Biblical fiction is becoming a true favorite genre. I highly recommend! There's nothing like a Biblical fiction book that I truly love. This story is proof of fact and fiction woven together perfectly. I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell through Netgalley. .
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  • Abigail Harris
    January 1, 1970
    The fact a book is a Biblical fiction would normally stop me from reading a book, but I had to read this one. You see of all of the stories in the Bible Esther is my second favorite old testament book, it's just so beautiful, Joseph is my favorite, Ruth is my third favorite.Now if you've followed me long you may have noticed I rarely read Biblical fiction, because I want to make sure I know the true account of the story. Makes sense, right? But I have one weakness in Biblical fiction and that is The fact a book is a Biblical fiction would normally stop me from reading a book, but I had to read this one. You see of all of the stories in the Bible Esther is my second favorite old testament book, it's just so beautiful, Joseph is my favorite, Ruth is my third favorite.Now if you've followed me long you may have noticed I rarely read Biblical fiction, because I want to make sure I know the true account of the story. Makes sense, right? But I have one weakness in Biblical fiction and that is Esther … I know the story well enough to keep facts straight from fiction, I read Esther several times a year.Now, the second reason I had to read this book is the cover … It has purple, my favorite color. Just so pretty, and I love it.For the "story" I was happy to find a story that was accurate, showed a side of Xerxes that made me see him as more of a human? I've enjoyed reading Esther and Xerxes' romance but at times it is hard to realize that Xerxes was only a man, a human like anyone else.What I was not expecting was to read from Vashti's point of view, which was really interesting, and different and intriguing.As far as Biblical fiction goes I must say this is a one of a kind, lovely, and informative, yet interesting story.There is violence mentioned, backstabbing, and killing as well.I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
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  • Monique
    January 1, 1970
    Star of Persia is the newest novel by Jill Eileen Smith, and its about Esther. We all know the story of how a Jewish girl became queen in the Persians king court and saved her people from the evil Haman who would see all the Jews annihilated. I love Esthers story, it is one of my favorites, and I actually know it quite well, so I was curious to see what this story would bring. This was a very fast read for me, I just flew through the pages. Jill paints a very vivid picture of the court, and also Star of Persia is the newest novel by Jill Eileen Smith, and it’s about Esther. We all know the story of how a Jewish girl became queen in the Persian’s king court and saved her people from the evil Haman who would see all the Jews annihilated. I love Esther’s story, it is one of my favorites, and I actually know it quite well, so I was curious to see what this story would bring. This was a very fast read for me, I just flew through the pages. Jill paints a very vivid picture of the court, and also the position and daily life of the Jewish community. I love her interpretation of Mordecai, how he first is very secretive with his heritage, but finds the courage to speak out. The story of Esther was very moving, too, and I really enjoyed it. For me, there were a few minor flaws though. The first chapters are from Vasthi’s view point, which I really liked, and I thought we might get a side story featuring her, but she then disappears from the page. I also would have liked to see more interaction with the other women, this story focusses heavily on the romance, but I would have liked to see more about her daily life and harem intricacies.But all in all, I really liked this story, it was very entertaining and a good mix of the Biblical story and history, with interesting characters.i received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Kellyn Roth
    January 1, 1970
    RTCBasically, it was an okay story-of-Esther book, and it followed the same pattern of most of Jill Eileen Smith's books. I honestly don't know that I would've had Vashti and the queen whose name I can't spell be different, but then I still think of Vashti as a little spoiled when in reality she was like, "Can we not break cherished customs just because you and your buddies had a couple beers?"But anyways. I also wished Smith had chosen a different story for Esther since there didn't seem to be RTCBasically, it was an okay story-of-Esther book, and it followed the same pattern of most of Jill Eileen Smith's books. I honestly don't know that I would've had Vashti and the queen whose name I can't spell be different, but then I still think of Vashti as a little spoiled when in reality she was like, "Can we not break cherished customs just because you and your buddies had a couple beers?"But anyways. I also wished Smith had chosen a different story for Esther since there didn't seem to be one in existence. (view spoiler)[Let her have daughters or something! I don't know. I just hate it when people could give characters 5,001 kids, and they give them none. (hide spoiler)]And that's about it. I'll post more of a review later, but it was okay, just not splendiferous. I kept imagining the stories I grew up on as a kid (I forget their names, but the ones with Derek, Margo, and Moki) so I was confused when it didn't line up with that. xD Funny how I remember the Esther and David stories better than most ... *shrugs*
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  • Jamie Bates
    January 1, 1970
    Such a delightful read! Jill did a wonderful job of adding depth to the supporting characters by using secular history for insight. I loved the little hints of palace intrigue that helped pull the story along. God gave us everything we needed for His purposes in the biblical account, but Jill has done a fantastic job (as she always does) at using a biblical character as inspiration for a novel meant for enjoyment and entertainment. You won't be disappointed reading this book - whether you are Such a delightful read! Jill did a wonderful job of adding depth to the supporting characters by using secular history for insight. I loved the little hints of palace intrigue that helped pull the story along. God gave us everything we needed for His purposes in the biblical account, but Jill has done a fantastic job (as she always does) at using a biblical character as inspiration for a novel meant for enjoyment and entertainment. You won't be disappointed reading this book - whether you are familiar with the story of Esther or not.
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  • Raechel
    January 1, 1970
    The account of Esther is a beautiful story of strength, courage, and obedience. Esther did what was difficult for the love of her God, her cousin Mordicai, and her people. I really enjoyed "Star of Persia" and its telling of this Biblical account. It was written beautifully and captivatingly, inviting the reader into its pages. The characters were all written realistically, and it was easy to relate to Esther and even understand the King too. The entire story came vividly to life in my mind, and The account of Esther is a beautiful story of strength, courage, and obedience. Esther did what was difficult for the love of her God, her cousin Mordicai, and her people. I really enjoyed "Star of Persia" and its telling of this Biblical account. It was written beautifully and captivatingly, inviting the reader into its pages. The characters were all written realistically, and it was easy to relate to Esther and even understand the King too. The entire story came vividly to life in my mind, and I loved to see what happened next - even though I know the Biblical account.Esther was written as a beautiful, gentle soul and I really enjoyed her character. I do wonder if the Biblical Esther would've hesitated as much as the portrayal in this book did, but it was understandable. I've just always felt that Esther would've been of great faith to do what she had to do "for such a time as this", and to be honest, her relationship with God in this book didn't feel like it had a lot of depth. It was still present of course, and the overall theme was good, but I didn't feel that spiritual connection as I usually expect to see in Biblical Fiction. And I know God was never really mentioned in the Biblical account of Esther either, but He does show through it without His name being said. The author has a great way of weaving historical background into the story, and I would definitely say it is more in the historical fiction genre, with Biblical Fiction being second. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and found its story captivating. I look forward to the authors next novel!This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews.  
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  • Nay Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Received an eARC and finished copy from the publisher for review.Wow! Where do I even begin with this glorious story. This is by far my favorite Esther story I've read. A solid 5 star rating for this! Jill has such a way with words. The way she wove the entire book of Esther into a fictional novel was outstanding. Her character development and attention to details were both phenomenal! She created a beautiful love story while maintaining the integrity of scripture. She blended fiction with truth Received an eARC and finished copy from the publisher for review.Wow! Where do I even begin with this glorious story. This is by far my favorite Esther story I've read. A solid 5 star rating for this! Jill has such a way with words. The way she wove the entire book of Esther into a fictional novel was outstanding. Her character development and attention to details were both phenomenal! She created a beautiful love story while maintaining the integrity of scripture. She blended fiction with truth seamlessly. Hadassah better known as Esther was such a strong character! She was kind, she was beautiful inside her heart and she worked hard. I loved seeing her age over the course of the novel. In face of danger and drama she never batted an eye or backed down. She stood like a queen with grace. The purity of her heart amazed in the face of betrayal and heartbreak. She had her moments when she whined and complained, but she never let things keep her down. As queen, she didn't abuse her power. She relied on the Lord and kept strong to her faith. I loved her!King Xerxes was incredible man at heart, but he allowed fear to hold him back. I didn't like how he relied to heavily on the opinion of men. The men on his council never ceased to lead him astray. I feel like he should have been more involved in his rulings and decisions, but seeing him make mistakes, realize them and work on changing was crucial as well. He may have been king, but his weakness stemmed from his fear of failing. I though she wrote him well especially since most stories portray him as an egotistical man. I enjoyed the vulnerable and sweet side of him.The romance was so cute! I never expected Jill to write such a beautiful romance between Esther and Xerxes, but she did and I swooned over it. The way they talked to one another. They way they loved each other beyond the surface level was everything. I thought that they were cutest thing ever! Considering the times during the book of Esther I loved their romance.Mordecai will always be an amazing man to me, but in this book he seemed a bit whiny. I still enjoyed his words of wisdom, his strength and his resolve. Seeing it all play out in fiction made me love him even more.Vashti was amazing! In the Bible we really don't get know much about her, so I was excited that Jill created a beautiful personality for Vashti. I loved her approach at crafting the queen and especially how she wrote her in the prologue! Perfection.Haman will forever be an evil person to bot in scripture and in fiction. He's egotistical, full of pride, a glutton for power. He was a smart villain who pissed me off until the very end. He got his perfect ending. Memucan was an idiot. He was like a puppy that did whatever he was told in order to gain power. He was honestly useless to the story, lol.Amestris was a perfectly written antagonist. She was prideful and gluttonous for power. She annoyed me from start to finish. I wish she had repercussions for her actions, but overall she played her role in the story very well.Atossa, the mother of Xerxes, was an interesting old woman. She wasn't mean, but she also wasn't nice. She kind of played favorites and let things go as they were even when she knew things shouldn't have. I liked that she didn't use her power as Queen Mother, but I do wish that she was more active in the story.Overall, this was a phenomenal read and my new favorite for a novel on Esther! Highly recommend it.
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  • Nay Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Received an eARC and finished copy from the publisher for review.Wow! Where do I even begin with this glorious story. This is by far my favorite Esther story I've read. A solid 5 star rating for this! Jill has such a way with words. The way she wove the entire book of Esther into a fictional novel was outstanding. Her character development and attention to details were both phenomenal! She created a beautiful love story while maintaining the integrity of scripture. She blended fiction with truth Received an eARC and finished copy from the publisher for review.Wow! Where do I even begin with this glorious story. This is by far my favorite Esther story I've read. A solid 5 star rating for this! Jill has such a way with words. The way she wove the entire book of Esther into a fictional novel was outstanding. Her character development and attention to details were both phenomenal! She created a beautiful love story while maintaining the integrity of scripture. She blended fiction with truth seamlessly. Hadassah better known as Esther was such a strong character! She was kind, she was beautiful inside her heart and she worked hard. I loved seeing her age over the course of the novel. In face of danger and drama she never batted an eye or backed down. She stood like a queen with grace. The purity of her heart amazed in the face of betrayal and heartbreak. She had her moments when she whined and complained, but she never let things keep her down. As queen, she didn't abuse her power. She relied on the Lord and kept strong to her faith. I loved her!King Xerxes was incredible man at heart, but he allowed fear to hold him back. I didn't like how he relied to heavily on the opinion of men. The men on his council never ceased to lead him astray. I feel like he should have been more involved in his rulings and decisions, but seeing him make mistakes, realize them and work on changing was crucial as well. He may have been king, but his weakness stemmed from his fear of failing. I though she wrote him well especially since most stories portray him as an egotistical man. I enjoyed the vulnerable and sweet side of him.The romance was so cute! I never expected Jill to write such a beautiful romance between Esther and Xerxes, but she did and I swooned over it. The way they talked to one another. They way they loved each other beyond the surface level was everything. I thought that they were cutest thing ever! Considering the times during the book of Esther I loved their romance.Mordecai will always be an amazing man to me, but in this book he seemed a bit whiny. I still enjoyed his words of wisdom, his strength and his resolve. Seeing it all play out in fiction made me love him even more.Vashti was amazing! In the Bible we really don't get know much about her, so I was excited that Jill created a beautiful personality for Vashti. I loved her approach at crafting the queen and especially how she wrote her in the prologue! Perfection.Haman will forever be an evil person to bot in scripture and in fiction. He's egotistical, full of pride, a glutton for power. He was a smart villain who pissed me off until the very end. He got his perfect ending. Memucan was an idiot. He was like a puppy that did whatever he was told in order to gain power. He was honestly useless to the story, lol.Amestris was a perfectly written antagonist. She was prideful and gluttonous for power. She annoyed me from start to finish. I wish she had repercussions for her actions, but overall she played her role in the story very well.Atossa, the mother of Xerxes, was an interesting old woman. She wasn't mean, but she also wasn't nice. She kind of played favorites and let things go as they were even when she knew things shouldn't have. I liked that she didn't use her power as Queen Mother, but I do wish that she was more active in the story.Overall, this was a phenomenal read and my new favorite for a novel on Esther! Highly recommend it.
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  • Eva
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a huge fan of Jill Eileen Smith's biblical fiction ever since I read The Heart of a King - and Esther is one of my favorite books of the Bible. So when I found out that Smith had written a novel based on the life of Esther, it instantly went on my 'to read' list. And you know what? It didn't fail my expectations!WHAT I LIKED:-Esther was relatable. Maybe a liiiiittle perfect, but she still felt like a real character. As did Vashti, Xerxes, Mordecai, etc.-The plot was super interesting, I've been a huge fan of Jill Eileen Smith's biblical fiction ever since I read The Heart of a King - and Esther is one of my favorite books of the Bible. So when I found out that Smith had written a novel based on the life of Esther, it instantly went on my 'to read' list. And you know what? It didn't fail my expectations!WHAT I LIKED:-Esther was relatable. Maybe a liiiiittle perfect, but she still felt like a real character. As did Vashti, Xerxes, Mordecai, etc.-The plot was super interesting, though it did feel at times as though Smith was simply checking off a list of scenes from Esther instead of bringing her own take on things. That may just be me though. Anyway, I read this book so quickly - it was intriguing and the writing was very easy to engage with.-Esther and Xerxes' relationship was handled well. Not insta-love, not too sappy, just two people trying to understand the really strange situations they've found themselves in.WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:-I didn't connect the characters as much as I'd have liked. There seemed to be a lot of telling of Esther's feelings instead of showing them and really getting inside her head. However, that's pretty much my only quibble. The book was really good, overall.If you're a fan of biblical fiction, you definitely need to read Star of Persia (and all of Smith's other books). You're in for a treat. :)I received a copy of this book courtesy of Baker Publishing/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews, for my honest opinion.
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  • Linda Smith
    January 1, 1970
    This has been a month of Esther for me between Devotionals, Awana lessons and now this novel. Jill Eileen Smith has written a book that stays true to Scripture yet weaves a truly beautiful tale. Esther, a Jew, becomes queen after being chosen by King Xerxes to replace Queen Vashti when Vashti dared to refuse his request to attend a party. Esther has been being raised by her Mordecai and his wife following the death of her parents. In the palace she encounters plots to kill the king, plots to This has been a month of Esther for me between Devotionals, Awana lessons and now this novel. Jill Eileen Smith has written a book that stays true to Scripture yet weaves a truly beautiful tale. Esther, a Jew, becomes queen after being chosen by King Xerxes to replace Queen Vashti when Vashti dared to refuse his request to attend a party. Esther has been being raised by her Mordecai and his wife following the death of her parents. In the palace she encounters plots to kill the king, plots to slaughter the Jewish people and even more subterfuge. The author has written what I consider to be her best novel yet. The plot and characters are extremely well defined. This book moves at a rapid pace and is hard to put down. As this is based upon The Book of Esther in The Bible, Jill Eileen Smith adds an Author's Note at the conclusion of the book that gives further information about the novel. It will be beneficial reading after you've finished reading the book. Any review of Smith's book wouldn't be complete without mentioning the cover. This author has consistently had some of the most stunning covers to grace literature. Bravo! Overall, I highly recommend this book.I received an Advance Review Copy of this book. All opinions are my own. @Revell @bakerpublishinggroup @jilleileensmith #bookstagram #StarOfPersia #RevellReads
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    "Star of Persia: Esther's Story" by Jill Eileen Smith is a retelling of the book of Esther from the Bible. I love the story of Esther and Esther as a person. She has always struck me as being so brave amid some very scary and life-threatening circumstances. This retelling by Ms. Smith does a wonderful job of bringing this well-known story to life. I love entering Esthers world and the opulent world of the palace. Ms. Smith transports the reader to the biblical time period. I especially love how "Star of Persia: Esther's Story" by Jill Eileen Smith is a retelling of the book of Esther from the Bible. I love the story of Esther and Esther as a person. She has always struck me as being so brave amid some very scary and life-threatening circumstances. This retelling by Ms. Smith does a wonderful job of bringing this well-known story to life. I love entering Esther’s world and the opulent world of the palace. Ms. Smith transports the reader to the biblical time period. I especially love how she makes these characters come to life, with fears, thoughts and motives. I especially enjoyed reading more about Queen Vashti. "Star of Persia: Esther's Story" makes me appreciate the biblical story even more and I loved reading the story from my Bible along with the book. Fans of biblical fiction and the story of Esther will especially love this retelling.Content: I give this book a PG-13 rating. Some examples of the content are: talk of sharing a bed; concubines; mention of people sleeping together; a man is said to be a drunkard; fade-to-black married sex; talk of sleeping together; a steamy scene when Esther first visits the king, but no sex.Rating: I give this book 4 stars.I want to thank Revell and Jill Eileen Smith for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    Jill Eileen Smith has a way to make the Bible come alive again. In times where it feels like its too far back and I cant relate, I open one of her books and it all makes sense. It feels like youre really in that world back then. The only thing I wasnt really a fan of is that the ending isnt correct biblically. I think it is so cool how she added different characters and their perspectives to add a more full view of the story back then! I also love the message of anyone can be used by God. I Jill Eileen Smith has a way to make the Bible come alive again. In times where it feels like it’s too far back and I can’t relate, I open one of her books and it all makes sense. It feels like you’re really in that world back then. The only thing I wasn’t really a fan of is that the ending isn’t correct biblically. I think it is so cool how she added different characters and their perspectives to add a more full view of the story back then! I also love the message of anyone can be used by God. I think it’s so amazing how God chooses the least qualified sometimes to do his best work. There is no doubt this way that it is truly God’s work alone! Amazing job as usual! I have loved every single book written by this author you can’t go wrong picking up her books!! Received this book from Revell, all views expressed are my own.
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  • Libby May
    January 1, 1970
    Ok time to make some sense with my review. I didn't love this one. It's really hard for me to get into biblical retellings, and this was not one of the better ones I've read. For one, I hated the way Esther's relationship with Nebechenezar was all sensual. A retelling didn't need that. We didn't need the sexualization of Esther and her husband. We didn't need the details of their encounter and their kisses and the fact that he owned her already. Why? Why did we need this in the story of Esther? Ok time to make some sense with my review. I didn't love this one. It's really hard for me to get into biblical retellings, and this was not one of the better ones I've read. For one, I hated the way Esther's relationship with Nebechenezar was all sensual. A retelling didn't need that. We didn't need the sexualization of Esther and her husband. We didn't need the details of their encounter and their kisses and the fact that he owned her already. Why? Why did we need this in the story of Esther? The Bible does not tell these things in the book, and I believe that there was a reason for it. The character "Hadassah" Esther herself, was a good character. I appreciated her personality, and she came alive to me, which is the main reason the book came to three stars for me rather than two. Her virtue and her ability to think for herself were admirable, and I appreciated the way that God's will and guidance were included in the story, despite the situation that she was in. I looked forward to seeing the way that the author would include the other incidents in the book of Esther, and she did a good job ingraining them into her main plotline. I personally didn't love the book so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but especially not for girls under 16. Thank you Revell for a copy of this book in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required, an all opinions were my own.
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    The story of Esther has always been one of my favorite Bible stories, so I jumped at the chance to preview this new historical novel by Jill Eileen Smith. It was a beautiful and intriguing read. The decision to include the POV of additional characters like Vashti and Xerxes added enlightening insights into the narrative. I was disappointed that the two days of fighting were glossed over, but including them would have made the book much longer -- perhaps too long. I definitely recommend it and The story of Esther has always been one of my favorite Bible stories, so I jumped at the chance to preview this new historical novel by Jill Eileen Smith. It was a beautiful and intriguing read. The decision to include the POV of additional characters like Vashti and Xerxes added enlightening insights into the narrative. I was disappointed that the two days of fighting were glossed over, but including them would have made the book much longer -- perhaps too long. I definitely recommend it and appreciate the message of God's providence throughout.Thank you to Revell and NetGalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Rachel DeVaughn
    January 1, 1970
    I love reading biblical fiction and I especially love this author's books and writing style so I was very excited to read this! I have read the story of Esther from other authors, but I love her story and knew Jill Eileen Smith would do an amazing job and I was right! Of course she included biblical facts that we know about Esther, but the extra fictitious liberties made the character and story so alive and wonderful to read. I also enjoyed reading about Queen Vashti along with the other I love reading biblical fiction and I especially love this author's books and writing style so I was very excited to read this! I have read the story of Esther from other authors, but I love her story and knew Jill Eileen Smith would do an amazing job and I was right! Of course she included biblical facts that we know about Esther, but the extra fictitious liberties made the character and story so alive and wonderful to read. I also enjoyed reading about Queen Vashti along with the other characters like Mordecai. Thrilling, dramatic and easy to read. Highly recommend! Absolutely loved it! I received a copy of this book complimentary for blog and social media review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Carissa
    January 1, 1970
    first reviewed here: https://belovedgraceful-carissasbooks...Title: Star of Persia: Esther's story Author: Jill Eileen Smith Chapters: 42 plus prologue and epilogue Pages:368Genre: Christian fiction, Biblical fiction Rating: 5 stars Publisher: Revell One of my favorite books of the Bible is the book of Esther, so when I saw that Jill Eileen Smith had written a Biblical fiction book on Esther called the Star of Persia: Ester's Story I knew that I had to read it. Jill Eileen Smith is one of only first reviewed here: https://belovedgraceful-carissasbooks...Title: Star of Persia: Esther's story Author: Jill Eileen Smith Chapters: 42 plus prologue and epilogue Pages:368Genre: Christian fiction, Biblical fiction Rating: 5 stars Publisher: Revell One of my favorite books of the Bible is the book of Esther, so when I saw that Jill Eileen Smith had written a Biblical fiction book on Esther called the Star of Persia: Ester's Story I knew that I had to read it. Jill Eileen Smith is one of only two authors I go to for, for Biblical fiction. Star of Persia: Esther's Story is different than Jill's previous books but is just as good as the other books of hers that I've read. In this one, she balanced the Biblical account of the book of Esther with that of the historical account of Xerxes rein. Both the Biblical and historical accounts were woven together to bring this awesome book to live.Star of Persia brings the story of Esther to life an after reading this book I went back and read the book of Esther from my Bible. This book is perfect for fans of Biblical fiction and Tessa Afhsar. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
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  • Camille Esther
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this retelling of Esthers story. The historical details were very well researched, and the author includes some interesting points of view, including that of Haman.Some of my favorite things: Xerxess point of view was interestingI enjoyed seeing the authors interpretation of him as battling insecurity. I loved the historical details! The inclusion of Vashtis viewpoint really brought to life the first part of the story. Some of my least favorite things: The portrayal of Mordecai as an I enjoyed this retelling of Esther’s story. The historical details were very well researched, and the author includes some interesting points of view, including that of Haman.Some of my favorite things: Xerxes’s point of view was interesting…I enjoyed seeing the author’s interpretation of him as battling insecurity. I loved the historical details! The inclusion of Vashti’s viewpoint really brought to life the first part of the story. Some of my least favorite things: The portrayal of Mordecai as an uncertain man didn’t seem in keeping with the biblical account, and clashed with his sudden “growing a backbone” later in the story. I also felt like the book was a tad on the long side for the amount of plot. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and brought the story of Esther to life in a unique way. This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    Star of Persia: Esther's Story, is a fictional account of the biblical story of Esther. Like many of Jill Eileen Smith's other works, it is a standalone novel.When the story begins, Esther is but a little girl and Vashti is immersed in palace life as the favored king.  The story explores Esther's life as the adopted daughter of Mordecai and his wife while simultaneously exploring the events that led up to Vashti's being banished from the kingdom.The author managed to capture my imagination in a Star of Persia: Esther's Story, is a fictional account of the biblical story of Esther. Like many of Jill Eileen Smith's other works, it is a standalone novel.When the story begins, Esther is but a little girl and Vashti is immersed in palace life as the favored king.  The story explores Esther's life as the adopted daughter of Mordecai and his wife while simultaneously exploring the events that led up to Vashti's being banished from the kingdom.The author managed to capture my imagination in a way that had me rooting for Vashti, even though I knew how her story would play out. It is rare when an author can take a character with a given outcome and have you wishing things were different for them. This is something I've noticed in particular about this author. She can flesh out secondary characters and make me love or at least feel for them.As the story progresses, we see how Esther blossoms into a beautiful young lady and we step into her inner thoughts and feelings that she must have had when she was chosen to become an unwilling participant in the King's contest for a new wife.What led the king to such terrible decision making? Did he grow to love Esther? He certainly did favor her greatly. How did she feel to be married to a King who had multiple wives/concubines? Did she grow to love the King? Did she feel jealousy or resentment towards the king? This book explores all of that and more. The author combined both biblical and historical accounts to flesh out a story that was vibrant, at times sweet, and other times bittersweet. It was real.  I often think that when we read the Bible, we have a disconnect from the mood and emotion that the people had to have felt.   When I read a book that captures the humanity of biblical characters, it encourages me to dig in and read more of the Bible. To connect with the stories on a personal level so that I can better learn from them.Overall, this book is a great read and I recommend it to anyone who loves the story of Esther. I give the story a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars, negating just a half-star for sentences that sometimes read a little odd to me. They didn't detract from the story itself but they were enough to distract me or make me stumble across them.  An example of one of these sentences was, "Pray to God Haman never found out."  In the grand scheme of things, it's a very minor detail. It doesn't, in any way, discourage me from recommending the book to others.Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.Christian or Secular: ChristianASEL Content Rating: no profanity, violence, bedroom scenes, or other content that could otherwise be considered disturbing.Themes: Plural Marriage, bible stories, jealousy, romance, courage Suggested Age: 13+ I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Reads and was under no obligation to post a review. No compensation was received for sharing this review and all opinions are my own. Originally posted on A Simply Enchanted Life
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  • Cathy Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    Xerxes is preparing to go to war, and attempts to get his country 'on side' by having a huge banquet - with the unfortunate result that the combination of alcohol and palace intrigues end in the banishment of his favourite wife. When he returns from war some year later, longing for Vashti but unable to get her back, further advice results in him ordering the collection of beautiful young girls from across the empire, to 'audition' for the position of his wife. Young Hadassah, a Jewess, is taken Xerxes is preparing to go to war, and attempts to get his country 'on side' by having a huge banquet - with the unfortunate result that the combination of alcohol and palace intrigues end in the banishment of his favourite wife. When he returns from war some year later, longing for Vashti but unable to get her back, further advice results in him ordering the collection of beautiful young girls from across the empire, to 'audition' for the position of his wife. Young Hadassah, a Jewess, is taken to the palace in pursuance of this order, but is instructed by her adopted father Mordecai not to acknowledge her nationality and to go by her Persian name, Esther. After a year of preparation, Esther is chosen as the new queen, and things seem to be going well - but Haman, a descendant of the Amalekites, the enemies of Israel, has become the king's second in command, and Mordecai's refusal to bow down to him brings down his wrath on not only Mordecai, but the whole Jewish nation. He sneakily arranges for the king to make a law ordering Jews throughout the empire to be destroyed on a certain day, not realising that this includes the king's beloved wife. But even his beloved wife does not have permission to approach the king without leave, and risks death should she do so... Can Esther and Mordecai, with God's help, foil Haman's evil plans?Esther's story is probably well known to Bible readers, but this book brings the Bible record to life. With a mix of Biblical and other historical records being used to form the background, the reader is plunged into a tale of palace life, the struggle for power, and the love and faithfulness of God. As the author points out, while God's name is never used in the book of Esther, his hand is clearly visible at each step of the way, from Esther's selection to Mordecai's position in the palace to the king's sleepless night. As far as the story is concerned, I'm not necessarily convinced that everything worked exactly the way the author presented, but it was only in the less important details that I felt inclined to quibble - and nothing was said that is explicitly contradicted in the Biblical account, which I appreciated. I found myself getting near the end of the book while still feeling in the middle of the story, and was preparing myself for a disappointingly abrupt ending - but I should have known better. The ending was expertly crafted to provide a satisfying result without all the bloodshed and political machinations needing to be spelled out (trying to avoid spoilers here - not sure whether I'm succeeding...)I greatly appreciated the historical note at the end, with its comments about what was based on extra-Biblical sources - it's nice to know when something is actually based on fact rather than merely an author's imagination. In addition, the writing is great and the content clean. All in all, a great book if you're looking for fictionalised Bible stories, or even historical fiction with a religious slant.Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.
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  • Jessica Higgins
    January 1, 1970
    Another great annotation of the story of Ester, told a little differently than Ive always imagined!Prior to his departure for war against Greece, King Xerxes decides to throw a months long banquet for all the nobles from the Persian provinces at his palace in Susa. Once the banquet was over, he threw another weeklong banquet for the people of Susa for having to deal with the previous few months. On the final night of the banquet after a generous portion of wine, King Xerxes is convinced to show Another great annotation of the story of Ester, told a little differently than I’ve always imagined!Prior to his departure for war against Greece, King Xerxes decides to throw a months long banquet for all the nobles from the Persian provinces at his palace in Susa. Once the banquet was over, he threw another weeklong banquet for the people of Susa for having to deal with the previous few months. On the final night of the banquet after a generous portion of wine, King Xerxes is convinced to show off his queen to all the nobleman of the city. He calls for Queen Vashti to be presented in all her splendor, but she refuses him. Such an insult cannot go ignored and the King puts a decree in place to banish Vashti from the palace. After these events, the King is at a loss without his true queen and is convinced by his servants that he should perform a kingdom wide search of virgins until he finds a suitable replacement queen.Esther is but a young Jewish girl living in the throngs of Susa. Orphaned after her parents died when she was young, she was raised by her cousin Mordecai. He has always protected her and has delayed arranging a marriage for her. When the King’s decree come out, he hopes to get Esther out of the city before she is discovered, but to no avail. She is taken to the palace where she quickly gains favor with all around her and becomes the King’s chosen queen within the year. But her troubles won’t end at being queen. She soon becomes caught in a battle between her adoptive father and the King’s highest advisor. She will have to risk her life to save her people.It is no secret that Esther is my favorite book of the Bible. I love getting to read different adaptations of it and this one was very enjoyable. One of the different aspects of this adaption was the character of Queen Vashti. I had always pictured her as a self-absorbed person in my head who simply denied her husband what he wanted when he was drunk. I loved that the author did her research on the laws of Persians and Medes that gave more clarity to her choice. She wasn’t denying him, she was trying to help protect him by not breaking the law. This book brought her into a whole other light.This book was separated into four parts. The first being that of Queen Vashti’s denial. The second part consisted of the search for the virgins. The third part was Queen Esther’s early reign as queen. The final part was of the battle between Haman and Mordecai. Each was well known but enjoyable being told from different points of view. If you enjoy biblical fiction, then this will no doubt be a delight.I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
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  • Conny Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Why did she think for a single moment that God cared for a lonely young woman in a foreign palace in a foreign land, Esther ponders in Jill Eileen Smiths Biblical fiction novel, Star of Persia: Esthers Story.~ What ~This three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those who enjoy an enhanced version of the Biblical story of Queen Esther and her oftentimes lonely relationship with King Xerxes. Containing no profanity or explicit sexual scenes, topics of execution and death may not be “Why did she think for a single moment that God cared for a lonely young woman in a foreign palace in a foreign land,” Esther ponders in Jill Eileen Smith’s Biblical fiction novel, Star of Persia: Esther’s Story.~ What ~This three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those who enjoy an enhanced version of the Biblical story of Queen Esther and her oftentimes lonely relationship with King Xerxes. Containing no profanity or explicit sexual scenes, topics of execution and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. An author’s note, acknowledgments, biography, and advertisements complete the book.In this retold story taken from the Old Testament, King Xerxes banishes his favorite wife when she would not show herself at one of his banquets. Forlorn, depressed, and quick to make rash decisions, the dictator trusts the wrong people continually but finds new love in young Hadassah, a Jewess who has been unwantedly chosen as his new queen. As she falls in love with a Persian leader who is almost two decades older than she, the renamed Esther must not only deal with her secret of being a Jew and solitude lifestyle but also a vicious, scheming wife, a over-achieving advisor, and others.~ Why ~The book of Esther is one of my most cherished stories in the Word of God, so I was excited to read this rendition. I like the secular history interjected throughout the story as it relates to palace politics, interaction with guards and servants, and family-related dynasty outcomes. The trustworthiness and sincerity of young Esther are well developed and promoted between her relationship with the king and her cousin, Mordecai.~ Why Not ~Those who do not like fictionalized Bible stories may pass on this one as the author has used ample liberties to enhance the story. With Vashti having met Esther when the younger girl was only six years old, parts of the story are fabricated. Some may find the mix of secular history blended into Scripture confusing, but it does help comprehend Persia’s military and kingdom nances.~ Wish ~I liked the detailed descriptions of palace life in Susa during Old Testament times. I wish the novel was more accurate to the Bible and included the full story (however, the author does explain why parts are omitted). With a plethora of characters, it would be helpful having a list at the beginning of the book of which ones are fictional.~ Want ~If you enjoy learning about Esther’s rise to becoming a queen and how she had to stand up for her belief in God and her people, this is an intriguing read that has plenty of fiction added.Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am not obligated to review.
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  • Becca-Rae Weidel
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars*With Esther being such a favorite biblical character for women, her story can be quite the risk to undertake. By now, unless readers are brand new to biblical fiction, there's a good chance that they've already read at least one other retelling of Esther's life. As someone who has read a few others myself, I would have to say that even though I enjoyed this one, it admittedly hasn't dethroned my favorite. In no way does it mean it wasn't a solid read, it just means there's also a lot *3.5 stars*With Esther being such a favorite biblical character for women, her story can be quite the risk to undertake. By now, unless readers are brand new to biblical fiction, there's a good chance that they've already read at least one other retelling of Esther's life. As someone who has read a few others myself, I would have to say that even though I enjoyed this one, it admittedly hasn't dethroned my favorite. In no way does it mean it wasn't a solid read, it just means there's also a lot of good competition out there.I liked that this telling included parts that were from Vashti's perspective. I don't think I've seen that before but it gave an added layer of depth. I wish we could have seen from her following her banishment, but just as in the Bible, her tale ends when Esther steps in. I also liked getting a glimpse into the mind of Xerxes. It was easier to see him as a man and not just a king. In some ways I was even able to relate to him. He clearly had an approval addiction, and because of it he was easily misled. Over time he grew more and more paranoid as he wasn't able to trust anyone anymore. By looking to other men instead of God for direction, he found himself wrought with anxiety. I am always one who greatly encourages reading the author's note at the end when they are included, but I have to admit that this was one that didn't sit right with me. As I was reading this story there were pieces that seemed to stand out, and I wasn't sure if it was due to creative license or through actual research. For example, this was the first read that I recall adding an extra wife (Amestris) to the main narrative. In the author's note she stated that she tried something different by weaving the "secular history into the biblical story." I understand that there is secular history about Xerxes that doesn't quite match up, but it bothered me to see that it appeared the secular history was elevated above the Bible in order for the pieces to fit together. It also bothered me to see that it was secular HISTORY vs Bible STORY, when the Bible itself IS history. Maybe it's just me reading into it too much, but it didn't sit right with me.Even though there were elements that I wasn't fond of, overall I did enjoy the read and could still easily recommend it to others. At the end of the day this is a work of fiction, and should not be looked upon as the ultimate truth. Instead, we should be looking to the Bible for that. It was still an interesting and engaging read.*I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishers. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
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  • Leona Atkinson
    January 1, 1970
    Book Review of "Star of Persia" by Jill Eileen SmithFirst off, I must say that "Star of Persia"--"Esther's Story" is more than just another re-telling of the biblical story of Esther. Though it indeed is that, it is so much more. It is a story that adds historical and imaginative accounts to the biblical truth in a way that draws the reader in from the very first page and holds their interest until the very last page, actually the story stays in one's mind, lingering, long after that last page. Book Review of "Star of Persia" by Jill Eileen SmithFirst off, I must say that "Star of Persia"--"Esther's Story" is more than just another re-telling of the biblical story of Esther. Though it indeed is that, it is so much more. It is a story that adds historical and imaginative accounts to the biblical truth in a way that draws the reader in from the very first page and holds their interest until the very last page, actually the story stays in one's mind, lingering, long after that last page.Jill Eileen Smith does a wonderful job of making each character come alive and seem real, bringing the reader to form a relationship with each one. The story is about Esther, but it is also about Mordecai, her uncle and his wife and family. It is about King Xerxes,and his thoughts and feelings, not only as a King, but also as a person. It is about Queen Vashti and Queen Amestris, the two queens before Esther and how each of them react to their roles in the kingdom. It is also about the servants, maids and eunachs under the King's rule, plus, of course, Haman and all the political undertones of those days. Each character is revealed to the reader through their thoughts and actions making the story come alive more than if it were just told by Esther herself. One sees how the thoughts, feelings and actions people have not only effect how they live their lives, but also how they effect others lives around them. One also sees how God often works in the background to bring about His plans and purposes even though people think He's absent.Jill Eileen Smith shows the reader what is happening on each page rather than just telling them, as she weaves fiction with truth into a wonderful story which is biblically based but also formed from historical facts.Though I have read the bible story many times and a few other fiction and non-fiction books that have been written about Esther, I have to say that this book "Star of Persia" is one of the most inspirational, informative, interesting and imaginative fictional works on Esther that I have ever read. It also clearly shows God weaving His plan and purpose for Esther's life and His people, the Jews, lives throughout each event. Plus the title and the cover are most intriguing and eye catching.I highly recommend this book, it's a page turner that will not disappoint you.I was given a copy of this book free by Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.--Leona J. Atkinson
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