Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia by Diana Wallis Taylor: A Book Review

Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Whitaker House
Release Date: 2019
Pages: 304
Source: My personal collection
Synopsis: One of the great heroines of the Old Testament, Hadassah was a beautiful, graceful young woman who put her faith in God and her guardian, her cousin Mordecai.

    She dreams of marrying Shamir, a tall, handsome, studious young man who is the rabbi’s son. Her heart beats faster when she hears the sound of his deep voice as he reads the Torah. And she hopes that he will visit Mordecai soon to present a betrothal request.

     Then, an upheaval in King Xerxes’s palace changes everything. Queen Vashti has been banished and an edict goes out for all qualified young virgins throughout the empire to be taken to the palace as he searches for a new queen.

     Fear strikes in the hearts of many, including Mordecai, as he realizes Hadassah will be taken. To hide her identity as a Jew, he tells her to go by the name of Esther. Since he works as a record-keeper at the king’s gates, he can keep tabs on how she is doing.

     Hadassah: Queen Esther of Persia imagines what life was like for the woman who saved her people—and perhaps found love in the process.

    My Review: The Book of Esther is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It is a mix of a Cinderella story and a political thriller. In this retelling. Hadassah dreams of marrying Shamir, the rabbi’s son. Her hopes are dashed when she is taken to King Xerxes palace to be a candidate for queen. Hadassah is forced to hide her identity as a Jew and changes her name to Esther. She rises to the position of queen. Esther gradually realizes that her role as queen could save her people from danger.

      Hadassah is portrayed as an innocent and reluctant young girl who is forced to enter the king’s harem. Esther’s beauty captivates the king, and he makes her his queen. As queen, there are many duties she has to oversee. She works hard to establish a caring relationship with her step-siblings. The novel also portrays a loving marriage between Esther and King Xerxes.

      Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia has courtly intrigue, romance and religious conflict. The author does an excellent job in fleshing out Queen Esther’s story. She has given the reader a detailed portrait of Hadassah’s origins. One example is how she became an orphan and lived under Uncle Moredecai’s household. I also found it interesting that Moredecai is portrayed as a widower. The author does a fantastic job in weaving the biblical tale with known facts about King Xerxes. By the time the novel is over, the reader feels as if you have come to know King Xerxes and his family. I also thought that Hadassah’s relationship with her mother-in-law Queen Atossa was the best aspect of the novel. The only thing I did not like about the book was the Haman plot seemed very rushed. Still, Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia is a feast for fans of biblical fiction! Mrs. Taylor has given us another refreshing retelling on one of the Bible’s most enduring heroines!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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