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Esther's Song

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Esther’s Song presents a realistic fictional account of Esther; the Jewish queen immortalized in the Bible book bearing her name. This historical novel imagines how a Jewish orphan, adopted by her cousin Mordecai, successfully navigated the lethal corridors of a royal harem, withstood palace intrigue, and overcame religious persecution to marry Xerxes, King of the Persian Esther’s Song presents a realistic fictional account of Esther; the Jewish queen immortalized in the Bible book bearing her name. This historical novel imagines how a Jewish orphan, adopted by her cousin Mordecai, successfully navigated the lethal corridors of a royal harem, withstood palace intrigue, and overcame religious persecution to marry Xerxes, King of the Persian Empire, and save her people from extermination at the vengeful hands of Haman the Agagite.


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Esther’s Song presents a realistic fictional account of Esther; the Jewish queen immortalized in the Bible book bearing her name. This historical novel imagines how a Jewish orphan, adopted by her cousin Mordecai, successfully navigated the lethal corridors of a royal harem, withstood palace intrigue, and overcame religious persecution to marry Xerxes, King of the Persian Esther’s Song presents a realistic fictional account of Esther; the Jewish queen immortalized in the Bible book bearing her name. This historical novel imagines how a Jewish orphan, adopted by her cousin Mordecai, successfully navigated the lethal corridors of a royal harem, withstood palace intrigue, and overcame religious persecution to marry Xerxes, King of the Persian Empire, and save her people from extermination at the vengeful hands of Haman the Agagite.

30 review for Esther's Song

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Peterson

    I’m sorry, but I disagree strongly with the other reviews I’ve read here. This book was awful. Esther’s story is absolutely gorgeous. It has everything. It begins with an exotic setting and a great and terrible king who is bent on extending his kingdom through war and conquest, advanced building projects, fabulous libraries of information, and lots of sex. It’s the story of a subjugated people, and a scared orphan girl is at the center—she rises from impoverished obscurity to the greatest power. I’m sorry, but I disagree strongly with the other reviews I’ve read here. This book was awful. Esther’s story is absolutely gorgeous. It has everything. It begins with an exotic setting and a great and terrible king who is bent on extending his kingdom through war and conquest, advanced building projects, fabulous libraries of information, and lots of sex. It’s the story of a subjugated people, and a scared orphan girl is at the center—she rises from impoverished obscurity to the greatest power. It balances one man’s struggle for power with another man’s struggle to keep his own head. There’s a complicated generations-old vendetta. In the end, hope and resilience bring justice against seemingly unbeatable odds. And it is all true. It would be hard to mess this story up, but this author managed. Here is just a bit of the lazy writing that wasted my time: Her nanny, knowing that Esther was about to be collected as the personal property of the King of the Persians and the Medes, and never returned: “Handing me the soap Ustana said in an unusually harsh voice, ‘Make sure you clean behind your ears. I do not want anyone to think I don’t know how to do my job. I will pack your things while you bathe. Is there anything special you want to take?’” Her eunuch and doctor discussing her injured ankle: “Before I could answer Hegai rose to his feet. ‘Instead of letting me help her our of the carriage, she falls down the steps and almost crushed the footman.’ … ‘Good news. Nothing seems to be broken, but it is a severe sprain. You must keep off your ankle for several days or it will not heal properly. It is beginning to swell, but that is to be expected. It will look bad for some time, but it is not terribly serious. Soon you will be up and dancing again.’” Esther, on missing her childhood friend: “She did not live far from the palace. If only I could visit with her, what fun it would be. We could lunch together like old times.” Esther and her servant on the palace gossip: “’Who told you this?’ I was more than a little miffed that she knew about the queen’s banquet before me. … ‘No one told me. The news is all abuzz in the servants’ quarters.’” Esther, inviting her harem friends to her apartment for a visit: “A week after I learned about the Great King’s banquet, my beauty treatment and language lessons were unexpectedly cancelled. I sent a messenger to ask Meritptah and Myrra if they could join me for afternoon tea. The messenger returned to say they were delighted with my invitation and looking forward to our get-together. What a pest I made of myself. I harassed the maids relentlessly. Were the carpets clean? Had the floor been swept? Was there any more of the smoked pheasant left from the night before? Could ripe cantaloupes be found? ... ’It has been ages since our carriage ride here. That was the last chance to relax since our arrival, with classes and all.’” Esther, sneaking out of the palace: “I had to find a way outside without being detected. I knew the main entrances had guards posted; it had to be a servant’s entrance or something like that. I’d go see Sarah and come right back. Surely there could be no harm in me being gone for such a short time or Myrra would have said so. … I looked around to see who had spoken, but there was no one but me… had I truly heard the voice of the God of heaven? Yes, I knew that I had and that I could not go through with my plan. I had to return to my chamber at once. There was not a moment to lose.” One of many meals Esther ate: “There were spinach appetizers and Caspian caviar, which we spread on buttered bread, squeezing a small amount of fresh lemon juice over the whole thing… Ada was especially pleased with her new eggplant and squash casserole recipe… To round off the feast, the royal bakers had sent a plethora of petite cakes and fancy cookies… melons, which were topped with crushed ice.” And then, the next day: “I was just finishing a second cup of breakfast tea in the sitting room.” Esther’s footwear and hairstyles? “Ada placed on my feet and buttoned up a pair of beige pumps with gold rosettes affixed to the toes and heels.” And “pacing back and forth in my violet high-heeled shoes, I said, ‘I am sure I do glitter, I feel like the chest of gold King Xerxes sent yesterday.’” And “’I want to look especially attractive tonight. Please do my hair the way he likes it.’” Esther’s problem solving method: “’I asked myself what Queen Atossa would do in my situation? I thought and I thought. Then it came to me, she would find out all there was to learn about this man Haman.” Seriously. Stick with King James. Even his antiquated language tells the story with more gripping emotion and detail.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lorna Gundaker

    Esther’s Song I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this book about Queen Esther. Anything taken from Scripture is so easy to mess up. But Dr. Brainhard is a biblical scholar as well as a good storyteller. The book breathes new life into the story of a young girl taken from all she knew and insulated from family and friends behind harem walls as she is prepared to meet King Xerxes. It is an enthralling tale, straight out of the Bible that will leave you moved, thrilled, and amazed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marla

    Meh, it was ok The best part of this story was the last few chapters. Too much of it was mindless chit-chat for me. This could've easily been a much shorter, more to the point story. But, with that said, the purpose of Esther and the greatness of God and his power did shine through towards the end. Meh, it was ok The best part of this story was the last few chapters. Too much of it was mindless chit-chat for me. This could've easily been a much shorter, more to the point story. But, with that said, the purpose of Esther and the greatness of God and his power did shine through towards the end.

  4. 4 out of 5

    S

    I thought this book was just ok. It was very loosely based on the Bible story and left out major parts of the story, Major parts were simply unrecognizable and it left out a lot of the customs and lifestyle of that day. It was worth reading, but needed character development. I will try another book by Ms. Brainard before making any final decisions on her writing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    An interesting retelling of the book of Esther. I enjoyed the book but it was slow to get started. Lots of back stories were given in the beginning. I was hoping for something more like The Red Tent which was excellent. Overall I am glad I read Esther's Song. An interesting retelling of the book of Esther. I enjoyed the book but it was slow to get started. Lots of back stories were given in the beginning. I was hoping for something more like The Red Tent which was excellent. Overall I am glad I read Esther's Song.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ronald L Sommers

    Gives a historical perspective,intriguing

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bob Rivera

    A well done fictionalization of the life of Queen Esther, wife of Xerxes from the Bible's Book of Esther. A well done fictionalization of the life of Queen Esther, wife of Xerxes from the Bible's Book of Esther.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia T Cannon

    Liked this historical fiction novel Enjoyed this story of Esther very much. She was a brave woman and was able to save her people through the grace of God.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Tomlinson

    Beautiful I enjoyed the book very much and felt I knew Esther better as a real and beautiful person! She was a favorite Bible character to me, my daughter and granddaughter.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Janine De paiva

    Potentially a great book but just didn’t cut it for me. Well researched but story line didn’t grab me. Characters were bland and far too many unexplained coincidences

  11. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

    Experience the story of Esther like never before . . . After deposing his queen, King Xerxes sends his men to scour the entire Persian empire for the most beautiful young girls in hopes that he might find a new queen. To her father, Mordecai, it is no surprise that young Hadassah, well known throughout Babylon for her beauty, is among those chosen to join the King’s harem. At only 12 years old, she enters a world unlike anything she has ever known, full of unimaginable riches, lavish gowns and Experience the story of Esther like never before . . . After deposing his queen, King Xerxes sends his men to scour the entire Persian empire for the most beautiful young girls in hopes that he might find a new queen. To her father, Mordecai, it is no surprise that young Hadassah, well known throughout Babylon for her beauty, is among those chosen to join the King’s harem. At only 12 years old, she enters a world unlike anything she has ever known, full of unimaginable riches, lavish gowns and beautification treatments, but Hadassah is not always happy. A veritable prisoner, she misses her father immensely, and struggles to obey his warning to hide her Jewish ancestry at all costs. There is a growing tension between her and some of the other concubines as the King’s mother requests more and more time with Hadassah. Inexplicably, the Great Queen Atossa shows her favor, giving her the new name of Esther, and there is talk that she will be chosen as the next queen. But many dangers lie ahead for Esther, from the bitter deposed queen Amestris, to the King’s new prime minister Haman. When Esther hears of a conspiracy between Amestris and Haman to slaughter all of the Jews in the persian empire, she knows she must risk all to save her own people. Esther’s Song is a fascinating book based on the biblical story of Esther. Wonderfully detailed, B. G. Brainard writes with a beautifully uncluttered style that is succinct and with purpose and is anything but boring. I loved how the author remained true to the biblical account, only filling in the details so that the reader can get a better taste of what life was like during this time period. As both a lover of the bible and a devoted student of anthropology and history, I devoured this book in record time. Clearly, the author put a lot of time into research, which is evident in the many small details that I thought made this book so interesting. A wonderful account of the story of Esther, highly recommended for anyone interested in history or the bible! I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review. Check out this review on my blog:EpicBookQuest.com

  12. 5 out of 5

    Philip Bailey

    I just read three books one after another about Esther, a total of one thousand forty-two pages. Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt, Esther the Queen by H B. Moore, and Esther by Rebecca Kanner. Each book obviously worked toward the same ending and had many of the same characters. Xerxes of course and Vishta the deposed queen (so called by name in two of the books) along with various eunuchs and servants, Mordecai who raised Esther and Haman the Agagite, evil and treacherous. Two of the books ga I just read three books one after another about Esther, a total of one thousand forty-two pages. Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt, Esther the Queen by H B. Moore, and Esther by Rebecca Kanner. Each book obviously worked toward the same ending and had many of the same characters. Xerxes of course and Vishta the deposed queen (so called by name in two of the books) along with various eunuchs and servants, Mordecai who raised Esther and Haman the Agagite, evil and treacherous. Two of the books gave some accounting of the Battle at Thermopylae and then against the Greek armies, and though that was Xerxes’s headache it certainly had an impact of Esther. Hadassah was a Jew born of modest means, orphaned shortly after her birth and then raised by Mordecai and the name Esther was given to her by the Persians, the name meaning star in the Persian language or possibly in reference to Ishtar, a Goddess. Each book tells a different version of how she came to be at the royal palace and there is variation as to her passage of time there prior to becoming the chosen Queen and wife of Xerxes, no doubt each author expressing their literary liberties. Much of the dialog is very similar, almost verbatim, perhaps some bit of recorded history. Each book gives colorful descriptions of the opulence of royalty without discussion of the lack of today’s modern comforts, heat, running water, electricity, air conditioning and so on and so forth. It is widely acknowledged that Esther saved the Jews from certain extermination. She is portrayed as all that is good about a person, and this in a land where even today women are treated less equal than a pet. While I cannot recommend one book over another I can easily recommend each and all three and rate them each five star reads. Even reading back to back copies I was fascinated with each story which is to say it is a terrific story and a tribute to each author in their telling of the story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Deba

    f you have read the Bible than you know the story of Esther so I will not expound on the story, but it was interesting to see how Brainard brought the characters to life. The book offers a great insight into the life of Esther as she searches to understand and discover her purpose. She decides that if she knew more of the kingdom that it might help her gain wisdom. So, one of her main objective is to learn all she can about the history of the King and the kingdom. She has found approval and frie f you have read the Bible than you know the story of Esther so I will not expound on the story, but it was interesting to see how Brainard brought the characters to life. The book offers a great insight into the life of Esther as she searches to understand and discover her purpose. She decides that if she knew more of the kingdom that it might help her gain wisdom. So, one of her main objective is to learn all she can about the history of the King and the kingdom. She has found approval and friendship with King Xerses' Great Queen Mother Atossa and the book expounds on their visits. As Esther visits with the Queen, she tells her the history of her life that weaves the biblical story of Esther into secular history, and chronicles the known exploits and foibles of the family in authentic detail. The in-depth history about in the middle of the book got a little tedious and confusing, so I found that part a little long. But the other parts of the book were very tantalizing and best of all is how Brainard writes to show Esther's sweetness that shines though in all her comings and goings. Good read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Randy Tramp

    The Book Esther, the Jewish queen, is immortalized in the Bible book bearing her name. This historical story imagines how a Jewish orphan, adopted by her cousin Mordecai, successfully and in God’s wisdom helped Esther become queen, thus saving the Jewish people. My Thoughts This story is one of my favorites in the Bible and Brainard brought it to life. Now when I go back to the Bible I will see Esther in a three-dimensional way, in living color. She had fears, excitement, and troubles. But through The Book Esther, the Jewish queen, is immortalized in the Bible book bearing her name. This historical story imagines how a Jewish orphan, adopted by her cousin Mordecai, successfully and in God’s wisdom helped Esther become queen, thus saving the Jewish people. My Thoughts This story is one of my favorites in the Bible and Brainard brought it to life. Now when I go back to the Bible I will see Esther in a three-dimensional way, in living color. She had fears, excitement, and troubles. But through it all, with the aid of Mordecai, she came to a place in history for such a time as this. It showed how, if God’s people listen to the Eternal voice and are obedient, the Glory of God would be seen. I witnessed that within the book, Esther’s Song. I loved how the author added in great detail the background for the story. When I finished the last words of the book, I wanted more. I look forward to heaven even greater, awaiting more of Esther’s story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    I love the biblical story of Esther and the celebration of the Jewish festival of Purim and enjoyed this well researched novel. Little is known of Esther's life but this book tries to fill in the blanks, but remember, it's fiction. In the early pages I didn't like Hadassah/Esther but when I realized she was she was a 12 year old girl, yanked from her home and sent to the king's harem, her behavior was understandable. An interesting blend of known historical facts and fictional characters to move I love the biblical story of Esther and the celebration of the Jewish festival of Purim and enjoyed this well researched novel. Little is known of Esther's life but this book tries to fill in the blanks, but remember, it's fiction. In the early pages I didn't like Hadassah/Esther but when I realized she was she was a 12 year old girl, yanked from her home and sent to the king's harem, her behavior was understandable. An interesting blend of known historical facts and fictional characters to move the plot forward. The author's notes provided important information and after I finished the book I read more about Xerxes, Darius, Atossa, Mordecai, and Cyrus to refresh my memory. No sex No graphic violence

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I gave this book a 3 star rating for while I enjoyed the characters and the way they developed I did not enjoy the way the writer explained the history. I'm not sure why the author felt the need to change the name of he the king and his estranged queen, but kept some of the others as they are found in the bible. The way the author tried to explain historical events through story telling was confusing and hard to keep track of. I skimmed it a lot. I would recommend reading the biblical story of I gave this book a 3 star rating for while I enjoyed the characters and the way they developed I did not enjoy the way the writer explained the history. I'm not sure why the author felt the need to change the name of he the king and his estranged queen, but kept some of the others as they are found in the bible. The way the author tried to explain historical events through story telling was confusing and hard to keep track of. I skimmed it a lot. I would recommend reading the biblical story of Esther as well.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lillie

    I really enjoyed this fictional account of Esther becoming queen and saving the Jews. A lot of things in the story aren't in the Bible, but I didn't see anything in the story that conflicted with Scripture. It's a fascinating tale of what might have happened along with what really happened. Esther has always been a favorite Biblical character, and this story made me like and admire her even more. There were more editing errors than there should have been. I really enjoyed this fictional account of Esther becoming queen and saving the Jews. A lot of things in the story aren't in the Bible, but I didn't see anything in the story that conflicted with Scripture. It's a fascinating tale of what might have happened along with what really happened. Esther has always been a favorite Biblical character, and this story made me like and admire her even more. There were more editing errors than there should have been.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mina

    This story is very odd; the writer has all of this build up to the moment when (spoilers) Esther walks into the King's presence without permission, but doesn't make a very big deal of it when it gets there. Obviously more interested in displaying her knowledge of the times rather than telling the story, look at this as more of a Silmarillion type book. No story, just a timeline. This story is very odd; the writer has all of this build up to the moment when (spoilers) Esther walks into the King's presence without permission, but doesn't make a very big deal of it when it gets there. Obviously more interested in displaying her knowledge of the times rather than telling the story, look at this as more of a Silmarillion type book. No story, just a timeline.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Pleasant light reading. It was nice knowing that the facts surrounding the story were well researched. Very interesting look at what life may have been like during that time period. The court intrigue kept the story moving. This is a good book for anyone that likes to read historical fiction and likes a female perspective.

  20. 4 out of 5

    James B. Kuminecz

    Enchanting Bible novel about Easter. Good historical novel on ancient Persia and Greece. Brought back many names and places from my studies of Ancient Greek language. Very close and personal look into the life of Easter and the Powers to be of that time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Darling

    Esther brought to life..... I enjoyed this telling of a beloved Bible story.....as history is an interest of mine. Bringing to life these stories handed down in the Bible is a way for the younger generation. Bravo!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Angel Graham

    I can see some of the things happening as this book describes, but always remember, this book is fantasy, not fact. It was enjoyable. Glad I read it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Cochran

    I really enjoyed this book. I plan on reading it again. I will buy it for my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pat Pluebell

    Informative read Extremely interesting and informative read, slightly fictionalized to promote interest. Was not aware the girls were so young! Check it out!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Helen Pickering

    Esters song I love the book of Esther one of my favorites I enjoyed the book of Esther song love reading fiction of bible characters

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Holly Jenney

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sue Neuharth

  29. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Givens

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