Although this story is based on the Biblical account of Esther, the author took some fictional liberties in order to make this a love story. Since the Biblical account is firmly fixed in my mind, I didn’t mind reading this fictionalized version. Often, we don’t think of people from Bible times as people. They are lessons from which we learn Biblical truths and principles. But the truth is, they were real people with emotions just like ours. I doubt if it played out anything like this book details, but I am certain many of the emotions given to Esther by the author were true.
In this book, Joan Wolf personifies Esther as a young Jewish girl living in Susa during the Persian rule. Joan’s historical information enriches the characters and gives a tremendous setting to the story. Additional characters such as Esther’s handmaid and eunuch guard also bring the story to life. What I appreciated was the emotional journey of Esther. Joan shows the doubts and fear Esther may have felt as she entered the competition to be queen. This is an enjoyable read. I look forward to more from this author.
This book was provided to me by LitFuse for review and blog tour. I am not required to write a positive review.
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!
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!
Q & A with Author Joan Wolf
A Reluctant Queen, Thomas Nelson, June 2011
What draws you to historical/biblical fiction?
I have always adored history, a love I inherited from my father. He used to discuss people from history as if they were people in the current newspapers. I think almost 90% of my books must have an historical setting.
You’ve had a successful career writing for the ABA, why start writing for the CBA now?
A few years ago I had an extraordinary experience where God touched my life. This encounter stirred my interest in writing about other people who had experienced the presence of God in their lives and the CBA seemed to be the best place for me to do that.
What is it about the historical account of Esther that led you to write a romance story about her?
When I was a girl Esther fascinated me. It seemed wonderful that God had chosen a woman to be the person who would save His people. And, since I am a romantic soul, I also thought that there must have been a great love between her and the king for him to have done as she asked.
Why did you move away from the traditional interpretation of King Ahasuerus’ conduct?
I always thought that Ahasuerus must have loved Esther deeply because he listened to her and revoked the edict that Haman had sent out. A king who not only allows his wife to break into his religious feast without punishment, but also comes to have dinner with her the following day, must care for her very much indeed. And such a man must be a much nicer person than the king traditionally portrayed by Xerses/ Ahasuerus.
You love animals. Do you ever incorporate them into your books?
Do I not ever incorporate animals into my books? I am famous for my horses, but dogs play their part as well. Unfortunately, I couldn’t put Esther on a horse, but I did make Ahasuerus a fanatical horseman.
What is your favorite historical era to write about?
I love to go way back in time, to periods where the records are mostly archeological. I actually did three books set in the Upper Paleolithic, the period of the last ice age. My next book is about Rahab, and I’m having such fun reading about pottery and stone remains from the late Bronze Age.