Hadassah, a young, Jewish orphan, forced to enter the palace at Shushan, has had her world turned upside down by Ahasuerus, the despot King of Persia. Not only has Hegai, the custodian of women, changed her name, but everything about her life is now controlled by this eunuch. She must witness and experience the heathen excesses of the palace while awaiting her night with the king in his bedchamber.
“It is evident that the author knows scripture well but also relies on sound historical research to fully bring to life the culture and customs of the people. Couldn’t put this one down – An excellent read!”
“You will understand the Biblical account of Esther more deeply.”
CIR: What inspired this version of the Biblical account of Esther?
BAUMGARDNER: A very dear lady who had purchased my other books asked me to write a book about Esther. I promised her I would. The book is dedicated to her.
CIR: What was the writing process like for your book?
BAUMGARDNER: I spent much time in research of the book of Esther in the Old Testament and 5th Century B.C. history of the Persian Empire, gathering information about foods, cosmetics, games, palace life at the time. And I delved into the character of a king who would sentence a whole race of people to death.
CIR: What do you hope your readers will get out of this book?
BAUMGARDNER: They should understand the overruling providence of God in the lives of his people. Esther asked why she was being subjected to the trials placed upon her. It took years before she could see the big picture. We, as God’s children, cannot see the end of a crises in our lives, but must trust God for his help in the time of trouble.
CIR: Tell us about the heroine.
BAUMGARDNER: Hadassah is sixteen when taken into the palace of the King. This is a guess of course, but women were married quite young in those times, and the king demanded virgins in his quest for a new queen. So it follows that most, if not all of the girls gathered, were in their teens. Her name is changed to Esther, but she refuses to think of herself as changed. She would remain Hadassah at heart, a young woman who loves God and knows the Scriptures. She is amiable, smart, and courageous. At the critical moment, she is up to the most heart-wrenching challenge of her life.
CIR: What makes this telling outstanding?
BAUMGARDNER: Esther Queen of Persia remains faithful to the Biblical text. This book, as with my other Biblical books, has a section at the back listing all Bible verses quoted in the book. Also, there is a listing of books consulted in the research.
Learn more about Jim Baumgardner and his writing at www.biblenovels.net