King’s Shadow

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Hunt, Angela. King’s Shadow. The Silent Years Series- Book 4. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2019.

SUMMARY:
As King Herod’s only sister, Salome lives her life full of resentment, selfishness, and uncertainty. On the other hand, Zara, Salome’s handmaid, is full of compassion, selflessness, and humbleness. With a storyline that alternates between characters, King’s Shadow, written by theĀ New York Times bestselling author, Angela Hunt, demonstrates the struggles of each woman. Set in the years between the Old Testament and the New Testament, both women must survive their different positions during King Herod’s rule.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Giving voice to a quiet time in history, author Angela Hunt fills in the gaps in a story-like fashion. Certainly not an easy, light, fast read, rather this novel is deep, strong and full. With a convenient format of each chapter being labeled, not only was the book interesting but it also kept me reading to reach the next chapter as I followed each woman. (Sometimes, I even jumped ahead a bit if I just couldn’t wait.) Absolutely a book for fans of Biblical Historical fiction (which I generally am not), I think it may also offer a substantial Bible study. Not having read all the previous books in The Silent Years series, the story was able to stand alone fine but may have been even heartier if the other books were read before. Definitely a thought-provoking and well written book.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of King’s Shadow from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

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Esther

Hunt, Angela. Esther, Royal Beauty: A Dangerous Beauty Novel. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2015.

SUMMARY:
estherShared from two differing points of view, Hadassah (Esther) and Harbonah (an eunuch of the king), Angela Hunt weaves the story of Esther in new light. Taken as a young girl and chosen as the wife of the king, Esther is called upon to save her people though hiding her identity. Told from accurate detail yet mingled with fiction, Esther is a book of a beautiful woman who was designed by God for a purpose.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Following a personal goal to try new genres, I read Esther; however, I did not truly care for the novel. While the concept was intriguing, the book did not keep my interest for long. The balance of history and fiction was disjointed in that the sections told through the perspective of Harbonah, became didactic – or in other words, it became too much of a history textbook experience. Though Esther had a purpose in saving her people (the Jews), this aspect of the Bible story was not drawn to the forefront of the novel; thus, the opportunity to expound on Esther’s beauty as a gift designed for God’s purposes was missed. The story of Esther appeared to be used as an opportunity to take liberties that result in content that may be too graphic for a conservative reader’s taste or a younger audience. Esther is part of the Dangerous Beauty series with Bathsheba and Delilah due out in the future.

RATING:
2 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Esther, Royal Beauty from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*