Review: A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf Rating: 5/5

Esther is a beautiful girl whose mother was a Babylonian Jew and whose father was a Persian officer in the army. After both her mother and father die unexpectedly, her uncle Mordecai takes care of Esther and raises her as a Jew. After Mordecai has a disturbing dream about a Jewish massacre, he is convinced they need a spokesperson in the palace of the King. One of the King’s best friends and advisors is an Edomite named Haman who hates all Jews. Mordecai prays and feels that the Jews only hope is to offer Esther as the King’s next bride; the previous queen had disobeyed the King and he had gotten rid of her. Because Esther’s father was of the royal line, she was eligible to be presented to the King, but she didn’t believe that the King would actually pick her. After months of preparation, Esther is presented to the King, and he chooses her for His bride. As they fall in love, Esther realizes that the King will never forgive her for deceiving him about her heritage and hopes that she won’t have to ever reveal that she’s a Jew but God has other plans. Will she do what needs to be done to save her people? Will she sacrifice everything? How will the King respond?

Loosely based on the story of Esther from the Bible, I thorough enjoyed this recounting. I didn’t want to stop reading the story even though I knew the ending. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story and characters. The characters had motives and fears. They developed and grew throughout the story. They had their faults but also had strengths.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves the story of Esther and wants an honest portrayal of what she and the other characters may have been feeling.

I received this book for free from NetGalley but was not required to write a positive review.

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