cecilia's Reviews > A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther

A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf
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's review
Jun 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: orange-covers, faces-covers
Read in June, 2011

The Book of Esther is one of my favorite Bible stories from childhood because I had been enamored by a lovely illustrated version (at least, that’s what I remember, although I do not recall the title). Among all the patriarchs and strong male figures of the Bible, it is great to see the few women like Esther as role models of strength and bravery. While her story focuses more on finding the courage to express her faith, I have always viewed the Book of Esther as a beautiful love story.

A Reluctant Queen definitely brings the romance to life between Esther and the Great King of Persia without losing the main Biblical message. I loved how the Great King was portrayed – how decent and intelligent he was! Not to mention his good humor, especially when Esther forgot that he was King and spoke her mind freely. The greatest moments are when the King teases Esther for getting embarrassed by what she says without thinking. Their relationship started on barely nothing except a royal whim, but it blossomed – how it blossomed! – into something that made me dance with delight!

The only part I had trouble with was how Haman turned into the villain. In the original story, he is the one who is hell-bent on getting rid of all Jews and tries to utilize his trusted position with the King to do so. He focuses most of his anger toward Esther’s uncle Mordecai. He seemed truly the villain! In A Reluctant Queen, Haman holds such a close, intimate friendship with the King. To watch him get that wrapped up in his personal issues and forget to protect his friend makes it seem like he became possessed by the Devil. I cannot fathom how blinded by jealousy Haman became in the end! It seemed a little random given how devoted he had been to the King’s well-being – which I suppose that was how the King and Esther felt when they discovered his betrayal!

Joan Wolf created such a richly-detailed retelling that will surely captivate anyone who loves a good, tasteful romance! There is no better place to learn about Esther’s story than A Reluctant Queen – I guarantee that you will fall in love with Esther and her people!
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