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Star of Persia: Esther's Story

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4.49  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  100 reviews
In an effort to complete a war his father had planned to win, King Xerxes calls every governor, satrap, and official in his vast kingdom to his palace in Susa to strategize and feast. When they finally leave, he decides on one more week of frivolity, which ends in the banishment of his favorite wife, something he never intended to do. But when he discovers Esther, Xerxes ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Average rating 4.49  · 
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Jane
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Delightful fast-moving version of the Biblical story of Esther. I liked the way the author mixed in historical characters who lived at the same time and were part of the royal family, with the Old Testament narrative. She set the story after the Persian defeat by the Greeks and equated the name Ahasuerus [in the Bible] with that of Xerxes. She did change the ending of the original story, but with no detriment to it. I also appreciated her giving logical motivations to the characters' actions. ...more
Nicole
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on Inkwell Inspirations

Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?

Award-winning author Jill Eileen Smiths latest biblical fiction novel, Star of Persia: Esthers Story, is a fascinating look into the life of the beautiful Queen Esther, whose favor with King Xerxes is put to the ultimate test as she risks her life to save her people from death. Jill Eileen Smith is a master at bringing Scripture to life and authentically filling in the details, which
...more
Jenna Van Mourik
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Jill Eileen Smith since I first stumbled upon The Crimson Cord (Rahab's Story) at my local Barnes & Noble. I quickly gobbled up her Wives of the Patriarchs series shortly thereafter, and have been following her books ever since.

Her previous release, The Heart of a King: The Loves of King Solomon (a standalone/compilation novel) was underwhelming for me as a reader. Perhaps it was because I just wasn't interested in the story or the time period, or because I had a hard
...more
V. Palmer
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it

Biblical Fiction is such a wonderful medium to better understand the pains, heartaches, betrayals, and struggles of our heroes of faith! Star of Persia: Esther's Story by Jill Eileen Smith is another unique look at what Esther's life and struggles may have looked like -- and it's definitely worth reading!

I was truly impressed with the way the author was able to breath life into this account that's been read and told many times. While the author gives readers hope for Esther's happiness, the
...more
MJSH
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jill Eileen Smith is one of my favorite biblical fiction authors and I have loved every one of her books that I have read so far. Star of Persia is no exception. Rich in details of the time period, infused with historical accounts of Xerxes and his reign, supported by Biblical accounts from the book of Esther, and beautifully layered with fictional events, Star of Persia offers a unique look at what may have occurred behind the scenes as Esther gathered her courage to help her people.

The story
...more
Cheryl
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
To be honest, I am not that familiar with Esther's story or have that much knowledge about King Xerxes. Yet, I am familiar with Mrs. Smith's books. Mrs. Smith really does her research and is a great storyteller. She brings to live all the women of the Bible.

I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since I first heard about it. Well I can tell you that it did not disappoint. It was great to get to know Esther. She may have started out innocent but by the end of the story; she had
...more
Loraine
Jill Eileen Smith is one of my favorite Biblical Fiction authors. In her newest release she brings the well known story of Hadassah known as Queen Esther to life. With a strong Biblical foundation and excellent historical detail of the life and times in Persia during King Xerxes reign, this is a beautiful read that's hard to put down. It definitely expresses the theme that if God wants us to do something He will see us through it.

Recommend for those who love Biblical fiction and authors Lynn
...more
Kailey
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this version of Esthers story. Im not typically a biblical fiction fan, but I did enjoy this book. It made me want to open my Bible and reread the book of Esther. I liked how the story was broken into parts. I also enjoyed the way we got so many different character perspectives. To me that made the story better. I would have liked to see more about Vashti after she was sent away.




I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All
...more
Lori
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Once again Smith has done a fabulous job with the story of Esther.
She has a way of making the characters come to life and enables us to imagine living during the time of Esther.
Her research into Biblical history is well done.
I love detailed descriptions and all the wonderful characters that came with it.
I consider Esther an amazing woman of her time and it's because of her courage and love for the Lord that she's one of my favorite people. A perfect example for us women today.
I believe
...more
Abigail Harris
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
The fact a book is a Biblical fiction would normally stop me from reading a book, but I had to read this one. You see of all of the stories in the Bible Esther is my second favorite old testament book, it's just so beautiful, Joseph is my favorite, Ruth is my third favorite.

Now if you've followed me long you may have noticed I rarely read Biblical fiction, because I want to make sure I know the true account of the story. Makes sense, right? But I have one weakness in Biblical fiction and that is
...more
Monique
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Star of Persia is the newest novel by Jill Eileen Smith, and its about Esther. We all know the story of how a Jewish girl became queen in the Persians king court and saved her people from the evil Haman who would see all the Jews annihilated. I love Esthers story, it is one of my favorites, and I actually know it quite well, so I was curious to see what this story would bring.

This was a very fast read for me, I just flew through the pages. Jill paints a very vivid picture of the court, and also
...more
Kellyn Roth
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-to-come
RTC

Basically, it was an okay story-of-Esther book, and it followed the same pattern of most of Jill Eileen Smith's books. I honestly don't know that I would've had Vashti and the queen whose name I can't spell be different, but then I still think of Vashti as a little spoiled when in reality she was like, "Can we not break cherished customs just because you and your buddies had a couple beers?"

But anyways. I also wished Smith had chosen a different story for Esther since there didn't seem to be
...more
Jamie Bates
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a delightful read! Jill did a wonderful job of adding depth to the supporting characters by using secular history for insight. I loved the little hints of palace intrigue that helped pull the story along. God gave us everything we needed for His purposes in the biblical account, but Jill has done a fantastic job (as she always does) at using a biblical character as inspiration for a novel meant for enjoyment and entertainment. You won't be disappointed reading this book - whether you are ...more
Raechel
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
The account of Esther is a beautiful story of strength, courage, and obedience. Esther did what was difficult for the love of her God, her cousin Mordicai, and her people. I really enjoyed "Star of Persia" and its telling of this Biblical account. It was written beautifully and captivatingly, inviting the reader into its pages. The characters were all written realistically, and it was easy to relate to Esther and even understand the King too. The entire story came vividly to life in my mind, and ...more
Nay Denise
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Received an eARC and finished copy from the publisher for review.

Wow! Where do I even begin with this glorious story. This is by far my favorite Esther story I've read. A solid 5 star rating for this! Jill has such a way with words. The way she wove the entire book of Esther into a fictional novel was outstanding. Her character development and attention to details were both phenomenal! She created a beautiful love story while maintaining the integrity of scripture. She blended fiction with truth
...more
Nay Denise
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Received an eARC and finished copy from the publisher for review.

Wow! Where do I even begin with this glorious story. This is by far my favorite Esther story I've read. A solid 5 star rating for this! Jill has such a way with words. The way she wove the entire book of Esther into a fictional novel was outstanding. Her character development and attention to details were both phenomenal! She created a beautiful love story while maintaining the integrity of scripture. She blended fiction with truth
...more
Eva
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
I've been a huge fan of Jill Eileen Smith's biblical fiction ever since I read The Heart of a King - and Esther is one of my favorite books of the Bible. So when I found out that Smith had written a novel based on the life of Esther, it instantly went on my 'to read' list. And you know what? It didn't fail my expectations!

WHAT I LIKED:

-Esther was relatable. Maybe a liiiiittle perfect, but she still felt like a real character. As did Vashti, Xerxes, Mordecai, etc.
-The plot was super interesting,
...more
Linda Smith
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This has been a month of Esther for me between Devotionals, Awana lessons and now this novel. Jill Eileen Smith has written a book that stays true to Scripture yet weaves a truly beautiful tale.
Esther, a Jew, becomes queen after being chosen by King Xerxes to replace Queen Vashti when Vashti dared to refuse his request to attend a party. Esther has been being raised by her Mordecai and his wife following the death of her parents. In the palace she encounters plots to kill the king, plots to
...more
Megan
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Star of Persia: Esther's Story" by Jill Eileen Smith is a retelling of the book of Esther from the Bible. I love the story of Esther and Esther as a person. She has always struck me as being so brave amid some very scary and life-threatening circumstances. This retelling by Ms. Smith does a wonderful job of bringing this well-known story to life. I love entering Esthers world and the opulent world of the palace. Ms. Smith transports the reader to the biblical time period. I especially love how ...more
Brooke
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jill Eileen Smith has a way to make the Bible come alive again. In times where it feels like its too far back and I cant relate, I open one of her books and it all makes sense. It feels like youre really in that world back then. The only thing I wasnt really a fan of is that the ending isnt correct biblically. I think it is so cool how she added different characters and their perspectives to add a more full view of the story back then! I also love the message of anyone can be used by God. I ...more
Libby May
Ok time to make some sense with my review.

I didn't love this one. It's really hard for me to get into biblical retellings, and this was not one of the better ones I've read.

For one, I hated the way Esther's relationship with Nebechenezar was all sensual. A retelling didn't need that. We didn't need the sexualization of Esther and her husband. We didn't need the details of their encounter and their kisses and the fact that he owned her already. Why? Why did we need this in the story of Esther?
...more
Darla
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Esther has always been one of my favorite Bible stories, so I jumped at the chance to preview this new historical novel by Jill Eileen Smith. It was a beautiful and intriguing read. The decision to include the POV of additional characters like Vashti and Xerxes added enlightening insights into the narrative. I was disappointed that the two days of fighting were glossed over, but including them would have made the book much longer -- perhaps too long. I definitely recommend it and ...more
Rachel DeVaughn
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love reading biblical fiction and I especially love this author's books and writing style so I was very excited to read this!

I have read the story of Esther from other authors, but I love her story and knew Jill Eileen Smith would do an amazing job and I was right! Of course she included biblical facts that we know about Esther, but the extra fictitious liberties made the character and story so alive and wonderful to read.

I also enjoyed reading about Queen Vashti along with the other
...more
Ceci
I've always loved the book of Esther. It's such an incredible story of how God places you in certain places, at certain times, and for certain reasons. The story of Esther shows that perfectly. And I really liked how this book told her story.

I enjoyed how we were introduced to Esther before she was Esther, when she was Hadassah. I also liked the insights to Xerxes courts, the intrigue, and struggle. Esther's gentle ways are a breath of fresh air and it is really lovely to see how if you are a
...more
Carissa
first reviewed here: https://belovedgraceful-carissasbooks...

Title: Star of Persia: Esther's story

Author: Jill Eileen Smith

Chapters: 42 plus prologue and epilogue
Pages:368

Genre: Christian fiction, Biblical fiction

Rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Revell

One of my favorite books of the Bible is the book of Esther, so when I saw that Jill Eileen Smith had written a Biblical fiction book on Esther called the Star of Persia: Ester's Story I knew that I had to read it. Jill Eileen Smith is one of only
...more
Camille Esther
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this retelling of Esthers story. The historical details were very well researched, and the author includes some interesting points of view, including that of Haman.
Some of my favorite things: Xerxess point of view was interestingI enjoyed seeing the authors interpretation of him as battling insecurity. I loved the historical details! The inclusion of Vashtis viewpoint really brought to life the first part of the story.

Some of my least favorite things: The portrayal of Mordecai as an
...more
Abby
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been wanting to read a book about Esther, but the ones I have tried to read just haven't really drawn me in. I decided to try out The Star Of Persia. From page one I was drawn into Esther's world. I really loved the author's writing style and the way she told this story. She did a fantastic job! I really felt like Esther's story came to life for me. I definitely want to read more by this author.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. I was not required to post a
...more
Kristin
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Star of Persia: Esther's Story, is a fictional account of the biblical story of Esther. Like many of Jill Eileen Smith's other works, it is a standalone novel.

When the story begins, Esther is but a little girl and Vashti is immersed in palace life as the favored king.  The story explores Esther's life as the adopted daughter of Mordecai and his wife while simultaneously exploring the events that led up to Vashti's being banished from the kingdom.

The author managed to capture my imagination in a
...more
Cathy Morgan
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Xerxes is preparing to go to war, and attempts to get his country 'on side' by having a huge banquet - with the unfortunate result that the combination of alcohol and palace intrigues end in the banishment of his favourite wife. When he returns from war some year later, longing for Vashti but unable to get her back, further advice results in him ordering the collection of beautiful young girls from across the empire, to 'audition' for the position of his wife. Young Hadassah, a Jewess, is taken ...more
Jessica Higgins
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another great annotation of the story of Ester, told a little differently than Ive always imagined!

Prior to his departure for war against Greece, King Xerxes decides to throw a months long banquet for all the nobles from the Persian provinces at his palace in Susa. Once the banquet was over, he threw another weeklong banquet for the people of Susa for having to deal with the previous few months. On the final night of the banquet after a generous portion of wine, King Xerxes is convinced to show
...more
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Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isnt writing, she loves to spend time with her family and
...more

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April is the most hopeful of months, promising warm days and sunshine just around the corner. The weather is a little unpredictable, sure, but tha...
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“She rose and bathed, and Parisa helped her to dress in her royal robes. Shirin pulled her hair into a style reminiscent of her first night with the king. Mahin covered her glowing black tresses with a colorful veil. Hettie placed the royal crown on her head and a ring on her finger. Rosana tucked jeweled sandals on her feet. And Jazmin spritzed the faint scent of lavender over her clothes.
Peace settled over Esther as Zareen held the golden mirror before her. She was ready. As ready as she was going to be. Olive oil moistened her lips, lest she appear as though she had been in mourning. The king must not know that yet.
"Shall we go with you?" Parisa asked, concern etched in her gaze. None of them looked at peace- not like the peace that Esther felt- but none of them had prayed as Esther had prayed, at least not with the knowledge she had. How could they? They had no idea what trials her people had been through. They did not know the history of the Jews had with Haman's people or how the Amalekites had attacked them when they were vulnerable on their journey out of Egypt. Hostility had existed between the Amalekites and the Israelites ever since.
She looked at each one, cupped each dear cheek. "You have been a blessing to me to attempt what I did not think I could ever do." She drew in a breath. "If I do not return, please know that I could have chosen no better maids. But do not mourn for me. Mourn for my people, and do what you can to tell your family and friends that we are not your enemies. Perhaps you will make a difference in my place.”
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“After a meal of yogurt soup, duck with pomegranate and walnut sauce over barley, stewed spinach, and baked apples, they could move to her receiving room and enjoy wine in the comfort of a more private setting.” 0 likes
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