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Star of Persia: Esther's Story

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  152 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 i ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Myra Hill Yes, it is a romance between Xerxes and Esther.

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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. Sh ...more
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Real people with real flaws and palpable emotions play your heartstrings in this unforgettable telling of the Bible’s greatest Jewish heroine. Jill Eileen Smith’s conversations style makes Esther’s story relatable, its complex history understandable, and its details fascinating. A must-read for every biblical fiction fan.
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Engaging retelling of parts of the book of Esther. I liked how the author started sections of the book with the verse(s) about to be brought to life in the pages that followed. I feel like I've visited Susa and learned new things about Esther and other key figures during this time.

This is my first Jill Eileen Smith novel, but will not be my last.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 Smith’s latest biblical fiction novel, Star of Persia: Esther’s 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, whi
Jenna Van
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 time w
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

I have read several accounts of the story of Esther from the Old Testament. It is an account of God faithfulness to his people. Esther's one night with the King saved her people. Several things I liked about this account was the historical account to the biblical account. Esther had replaced Queen Vashti when Vashti refused to be paraded by her King at a banquet. This account addressed why she did not. To protect herself and her husband. Once the King had set Vashti's fate in motion, he could no
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 unsa
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 i
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 gr
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 Au
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this version of Esther’s story. I’m 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. A
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 tha
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story of Esther has always been one of my favorites from the Bible. Not just because of Esther's courage in the face of possible death, but also for the way it shows God at work in all details—big and small—of our lives. It's such a good reminder of the love and care He has for His people.

Jill Eileen Smith has brought Esther to life in a way that readers will really enjoy. This book moves quickly and touches on all parts of the familiar story. There were some historical facts woven throughou
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a review.

Star of Persia
By: Jill Eileen Smith

I don't know much about the biblical history behind Star of Persia. Nevertheless, Jill Eileen Smith has crafted a compelling insightful story that even I understand. I especially enjoy the well written intermingling of fact and fiction to create a seamless tale. Esther is a beautiful woman who will be queen. Beauty is a blessing and a curse, bring
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Star of Persia is the newest novel by Jill Eileen Smith, and it’s about Esther. We all know the story of how a Jewish girl became queen in the Persian’s king court and saved her people from the evil Haman who would see all the Jews annihilated. I love Esther’s 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 a
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this version of Esther's story. There were a lot of details about the real-life king Xerxes (whom scholars believe was the 'Ahasuerus' mentioned in the Biblical account), including about his mother Atossa, and his wife Amestris. I hadn't known about these women previously, and to see them fictionalised was quite interesting.
I also think the reasoning that Mordecai had for hiding his (and Hadassah/Esther's) heritage was an intriguing one. I think that at times, we're tempted to h
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 fa ...more
Raechel Lenore
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
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
Kellyn Roth
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 one
Nay Denise
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-favorite
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
Nay Denise
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
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!


-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,
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 sla
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 Esther’s world and the opulent world of the palace. Ms. Smith transports the reader to the biblical time period. I especially love how ...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?
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 it’s too far back and I can’t relate, I open one of her books and it all makes sense. It feels like you’re really in that world back then. The only thing I wasn’t really a fan of is that the ending isn’t 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
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 ap ...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 charact
I don't really read much Biblical fiction but I couldn't pass this one up. Esther's story is one of my favorites from the Bible and this novel was a stellar retelling of it. It really expanded the story and got me to see things in a new light. It really came to life for me.

I enjoyed the fact that we not only got Esther's perspective but many of the other prominent characters as well. It really added a whole new and interesting dimension to the story.

This was my first time reading anything by Ji
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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 isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friend

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According to some historians, the month of April is actually named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, by way of the Romans....
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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.”
“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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