Thanks to the LiteFuse Publicity Group for a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a favorable review.
Oh. Wow. People. I loved this book. I must admit initially I wasn't too sure about the idea of the book. I've read a few retellings of Esther and I was thinking, "Really, another one?" I could. not. put. this. book. down. Seriously. Now, she admits to using some artistic license with the story to keep the plot going and you'll notice them but I felt she stayed true to the spirit of the story.
It came alive for me more than it ever has. She gave all of the characters very plausible, real motives. That make sense and make for a very compelling story. I was hooked from the first couple pages. In fact, I got the book on a Saturday after working 12 hours and had another 12 hour work day on Sunday yet I managed to finish the book by Tuesday afternoon. It was so good I just couldn't put it down.
I would read a sequel to this. I loved the characters. I loved the story line. I love her writing style. It was exciting and romantic and fun. Put it on your list. This is a must read. I am off to check out her website and see what else she has that I can pick up.
Oh, and I have an extra copy! Through some mix-up I got my book super late and then got 2! I have one book to give away to someone. Leave me a comment letting me know you're interested. Monday I'll us The Random Number Generator and pick a winner. Then I'll have your book in the mail to you by Tuesday! I am so excited for you, my friends and family, to read this! Good luck!
A Reluctant Queen Book Club Party on Facebook (details below)! Hope to see you there – bring your 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.