I almost passed over Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt. Some time ago, I'd read another version of Esther's story and disliked the romanticism and idealism. However, the stunning cover stands as an example of how a cover can positively affect a book's appeal and convinced me to try it.
Ultimately, I was glad that I choose to read Esther, the first in Angela Hunt's Dangerous Beauty series. I didn't get too much idealism and the plot was well-written. I liked the perspective changes between Esther (Hadassah) and the king's attendant as it added depth and, at times, suspense to the story line. The plot captured my interest early on and didn't drag – I finished the book in two days.
The ending seemed a bit rushed. The author spent substantial time throughout the book adding in fictional, but appropriate, details that made for a good work of fiction. However, the finale recounted the Biblical ending without much fictional addition. This isn't necessarily bad, but it just felt different from the rest of the book. I still will reread the book in the future and recommend it to people who enjoy Biblical retellings.
An excerpt from Esther by Angela Hunt is available at the publisher's site.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."