Book Review: Star of Persia by Jill Eileen Smith

Star of Persia: Esther’s Story
by Jill Eileen Smith
Rating: 4/5

Who doesn’t love the story of Esther? Who hasn’t read a retelling of this epic story from the Bible? I was curious how the author would put her own spin on the story and was super impressed! 

Meet the king of Persia, Xerxes, who is planning a war and has all of his officials and leaders celebrating for the week. Tricked into exiling his favorite queen, Xerxes is feeling even more inadequate at being a king. After selecting the young and beautiful Esther to be his new queen, he finds himself still distrusting all those around him. He doesn’t know who to trust except maybe Esther. As much as he finds himself falling more and more in love with Esther, the duties of his kingdom pull him away from their love. Esther must also face challenges of her own and risk her life to save those she loves.

The author thoroughly researched the historical record and compared it with the biblical record to weave a brilliant story that never fails to encourage and inspire. The author introduces some historical figures who are not in the biblical account but they provide hidden agendas and motivations for why certain familiar characters act the way they did. I loved getting a different perspective on Vashti and hearing her story in the beginning is definitely different than the account I grew up learning in Sunday school. The main characters have more layers and their backstories really drive them in their decision-making. I loved the author’s notes at the end regarding “Sometimes our God works in silence.” Though God’s name is not mentioned in the biblical account, “His handiwork is visible on every page.” So good!

I highly recommend this retelling of the story of Esther, especially for those who think they know what happened.

My thanks to Revell and NetGalley for an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

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