Thursday, April 11, 2013

Esther the Queen

Esther the Queen is biblical fiction written with sensitivity and historical detail. I love reading fiction where it’s obvious the author has taken time to research facts that build a realistic setting and add depth to the description. Here’s an example:
One of the dishes held meat that looked like pork with an orange glaze, which Esther couldn’t eat because of the law of Moses. There was also a milk mixture with bits of meat—probably squirrel or rabbit. Esther bypassed that one too. She reached for the moist figs and scaled fish, both of which were permitted. Every thing inside Esther seemed to have shrunk, and she could only eat a little. Fortunately, Nan didn’t comment on her food choices. 

 Heather has a gift for creating characters that are believable and likeable, or downright despicable. I found myself caring for Esther and her people and wanting to know more of her story even when it ended. On the flipside, characters like Biniti, one of the king’s concubines, leave you wondering who put sour milk in her cereal.

 “The boy is awake,” Bitini said, her emphasis on boy. Following the woman to the basket, Esther peered down on the tiny infant. Another innocent child of the king. Biniti picked up the child and thrust him at Esther. She nearly grappled to hold on to the child; he was so light in her arms. Even Samuel hadn’t seemed so small as an infant. Esther looked down into the babe’s murky gray eyes. She didn’t exactly know what she was supposed to say or do, but perhaps Biniti didn’t either. “What’s his name?” “Ramin,” Biniti said in a proud voice. “It means warrior.” Biniti’s tone stung. “I know what the name means,” Esther said. 

 This is a mixed tale of romance and political tension. Although it mentions concubines, harem life, and even a wedding night, these topics are handled briefly and tastefully. As for politics, the timing of events is explained at the beginning of the book, and events that occur as the story proceeds are clear and well defined. I would recommend Esther the Queen to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or fiction in general.

You can find Esther The Queen for purchase at Amazon and  Deseret Book. To learn more about Heather and her other books she has written, visit her site at