Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
A young woman, Hadassah, is taken from her home like so many other women, by order of the king of Persia. Though Hadassah could become queen, she holds a secret that could mean her death in Esther: The Star and the Sceptre by author Gini Andrews.
It intrigues me to see how different writers adapt the biblical story of Esther. I’ve seen at least four different film versions, have read at least three, and one I enjoyed a few years ago is this novel from the ’80s. I appreciated a number of the author’s descriptions throughout the story, like when Esther dances and becomes “poetry and fire.”
At times, the plot and character development seems disjointed. I would’ve liked some thoughts to be unwrapped more, to bring cohesiveness between one idea and another and to make more sense of the characters’ experiences.
It also appears that the overall story, along with Esther herself, doesn’t have much to do after Haman’s storyline ends. I didn’t find a reason to care much about the minor characters David and Ruth from the beginning, so their subplot wasn’t all that interesting or necessary to me.
However, the novel redeems itself, as it heads toward its poignant end, by refusing to tie everything together in a neat little bow. The sense of triumph doesn’t neglect the sense of loss, and Persia doesn’t become a utopia, but Mordecai gives Esther an important reminder about their people and the Messiah.