I love Biblical Historical Fiction and enjoy Angela Hunt as an author – so I jumped at the chance to review a new Biblical Fiction series by Hunt. To start, I want to clarify: I understand all Biblical History Novels are fiction, we don’t really know how all the parts of the story play out and what is factual vs what is fictional. I know the authors put in an extreme amount of time to keep the story as close to truth as possible, while still making “stuff up” to make full length novels, or series.
I have been fascinated with Esther’s story for along time – it seems so modern for the times. The whole spending-the-night-with-the-king audition to become queen is mind boggling to me. Regardless, I found myself feeling jerked around with all the “extra” story leading up to the more well-known story of Esther. There were several times I had to force myself to continue reading, but felt it was totally untrue to the Biblical accounting and Bible Studies I’ve done in the past. At the end, it is clarified that Hunt did lots of research from other historical documentation and went with more widely believed ideas – in that sense I think she did an amazing job. Also, it made me go back and search Scripture and double check why I thought certain parts were incorrect. <- Another REALLY good thing. In the end I’d have to say the book is good, it presents perspectives I’ve never considered before. I’m thinking our Sunday School version has been sorely mis-represented.
With all of that understanding I appreciate that Hunt challenged me with possible “extremes” to check out what I thought I knew. However, I honestly have to say I found myself disappointed while reading the book. Does this mean I won’t read the rest of the series? Absolutely not – I look forward to reading them, but I will read them with a different mind set than how I started Esther – more novel’ish, less Biblical. And I’ll know in advance Hunt has studied the history thoroughly for the “open to interpretation” parts of history; so I won’t be questioning major differences like I did throughout this story. The cover of the book is beautiful & has a nice feel, there is a hint of texture, which always makes me happy :-).
**I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.**