When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.
When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.
Biblical fiction seems to be on the rise and readers will find nothing better in the genre than bestselling Hunt's interpretation of the biblical book of Esther. Hadassah is a teenager when she is captured by ruffians while on her way to Jerusalem with her betrothed, Binyamin. Instead of escaping the king's call for young virgins, she is brought to the palace in a slave trader's carriage. Harbonah, the king's chamberlain and a eunuch, knows Hadassah's cousin Mordecai and befriends the frightened girl, who takes the name Esther. Esther is chosen as the new queen, adjusts to life in the palace, matures into a thoughtful and brave woman, and does battle with the evil Haman to save the Jewish people. Hunt (Magdalene) handles the tale's nuances with care and openness, presenting readers a beautiful, honest, captivating retelling of a familiar story.