10 June 2011

A Reluctant Queen, Book Review and Giveaway

Publisher's Review:

An inspiring re-imagining of the tale of Esther, a young Jewish woman thrust from a life of obscurity into a life of power, wealth, intrigue . . . and tender love.

See the story of Esther in an entirely new way-with all the political intrigue and tension you remember, but told as a passionate and tender love story between a young man and woman. Misunderstood by many, King Xerxes was a powerful but lonely man. Esther's beauty caught the eye of the young king, but it was her spirit that captured his heart.

Imagine anew the story of Esther, one of our faith's great heroines, destined to play a key role in the history of Christianity. More here

About the Author:

Joan Wolf was born in New York City but has lived most of her adult life with her husband in Connecticut , where she raised two children and countless numbers of assorted animals. Joan is the author of numerous historical novels including The Road to Avalon which Publishers Weekly lauded as “historical fiction at its finest.”

For more about Joan and her other books, please visit http://www.joanwolf.com./

Now for my review:

Joan Wolf courageously chose to write this novel after one of the most familiar books of the Bible, the book of Esther.

In "A Reluctant Queen" the author gives us some insight to what life must have been for this beautiful Queen who captured the love of the Persian King, leaving her way of life, her faith and her family for his Harem.

But taking in consideration her honest call to our attention this is to be a fictional story after all, I still find myself struggling with it.

(Esther and Mordecai - Aert de Gelder)

Telescoping us in time to pace the novel is quite understandable.
Historical facts however can only be tempered so much if the story is to have some credibility.
I could not agree with the Author's notes: for i.e. as Ahasuerus's name has many variations including the Greek equivalent of Xerxes (thus making it one and only one person and Esther's husband), depending on which Bible translation you are using and is also documented historically.

Additional liberties were taken when depicting certain characters and it also included a tendency to sexual innuendos which for my part distracted from the beauty of the Queen's love for her Persian King. Sometime less said is better!

In addition the Book of Esther has inspired countless generations of Women all over the world for her courage, determination, love, loyalty and sacrifice. As such, a novel based on this inspiring story could have been a lovely gift for any young Christian woman!

Regrettably this "light read' version brought neither enjoyment or knowledge. I have always thought of Esther as larger than life and felt somewhat cheated.

I give it 2 stars.

I received this book free from LITFUSE as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

You might like to check out other reviews here: 

 A Reluctant Queen KINDLE Giveaway and Facebook Party

To celebrate Joan Wolf’s debut Christian Fiction title, A Reluctant Queen, Joan and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away A Reluctant Queen prize package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen

* A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf (for KINDLE)

To enter, just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the contest ends on June 20th. Winner will be announced on June 21st during Joan’s A Reluctant Queen Book Club Party on Facebook (details below)! Hope to see you there – bring your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Join the fun on June 21st! 

Joan will be wrapping up the blog tour and Kindle giveaway promotion during her A Reluctant Queen FACEBOOK party on her FB author page. During the party she'll announce the winner of the Kindle, host a book chat discussion, test your trivia skills (Is Esther's story in A Reluctant Queen fact or fiction?), and more. Don't miss this chance to meet the author and make some new friends!

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