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Star of Persia: Esther's Story

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4.50  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  98 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 4.50  · 
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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
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
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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
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
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
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
Conny Reviews
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Why did she think for a single moment that God cared for a lonely young woman in a foreign palace in a foreign land, Esther ponders in Jill Eileen Smiths Biblical fiction novel, Star of Persia: Esthers Story.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those who enjoy an enhanced version of the Biblical story of Queen Esther and her oftentimes lonely relationship with King Xerxes. Containing no profanity or explicit sexual scenes, topics of execution and death may not be
...more
Becca-Rae Weidel
*3.5 stars*
With Esther being such a favorite biblical character for women, her story can be quite the risk to undertake. By now, unless readers are brand new to biblical fiction, there's a good chance that they've already read at least one other retelling of Esther's life. As someone who has read a few others myself, I would have to say that even though I enjoyed this one, it admittedly hasn't dethroned my favorite. In no way does it mean it wasn't a solid read, it just means there's also a lot
...more
Stephanie Norton
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is my second book I read from Jill Eileen Smith. I am always worried about Bible stories being really boring and hard to follow, but Smith does not do that. She knocked it out of the park again. I never read Esther's story in the "Holy Bible".

She takes us into the story how a Jewish girl became queen in the Persian's king, Xerxes, court and how she saved her people from Haman who wanted to see all the Jews annihilated. The story is told from a variety of point of views. There is
...more
Leona Atkinson
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book Review of "Star of Persia" by Jill Eileen Smith

First off, I must say that "Star of Persia"--"Esther's Story" is more than just another re-telling of the biblical story of Esther. Though it indeed is that, it is so much more.

It is a story that adds historical and imaginative accounts to the biblical truth in a way that draws the reader in from the very first page and holds their interest until the very last page, actually the story stays in one's mind, lingering, long after that last page.

...more
Korin
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
We all know the story- a young Jewish girl is called to the palace for a sort of Biblical-era beauty contest, and what happens next is the stuff of legend. But in an era known for its intrigue and mayhem, what else was going on behind the scenes?

Combining history and some creative license with the story found in the Bible, Jill Eileen Smith explores the palaces of Persia and, with a fresh new look, visits the story of Esther that we know so well.

My Review:

I've always loved the Biblical account
...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
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
Esther is one of my favorite heroine's of the bible, and I couldn't wait to read Smith's rendition of her story. It's always interesting to me to see what liberties biblical fiction authors take. I like to see if they match things I may have thought of, make me dig deeper into research, or just put a fun twist on a story that I am already familiar with. That's what is fun about reading it - I know it isn't scripture. I know not every single thing I read in it is truth - that's where the word ...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
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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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