A Reluctant Queen is a story based on the life of Esther. I think knowing that this book is based on the story and not an accurate re-telling of the story is key. While many of the elements are from the story we have read in the Bible narrative, additional ideas have been added to the story to fill in the gaps. The differences are discussed at the end of the book by the author in the chapter entitled "Author's Note." For example, Esther does not marry King Xerxes, but instead marries a fictional character named Ahasuerus who is Xerxes brother. The characters we all know--Haman, and Mordecai--are still in the story. The book helps to re-create living in the Persian Empire and brings the story of Esther alive with a little romance.
Joan Wolf does a great job helping your imagination come to life while reading this wonderful story about Esther. It allows you to think through all the possibilities that might have happened while she was queen and the emotional struggle she must of went through. I'm anxious to read back through the biblical narrative again now that I've read through this book. While I really enjoyed reading this book, I would suggest that this not be on the the reading list for teenagers. Obviously, Esther does marry the king and the book brings up what it must of been like for her to have that first night with this man she hardly knew. While everything was done tastefully in the book, I would suggest this book for a more mature audience. This book was delightful to read and made me really think about the culture of the day and what is must of been like for the Jewish girl to have the courage for such a huge task.
**I was given this e-book by Booksneeze Blogger's Program in exchange for an honest opinion.