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Game of Queens: A Novel of Vashti and Esther Hardcover – September 1, 2015
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“Edghill offers another winning tale of strong Old Testament women whose faith, intelligence, and courage changed the course of history.” ―Library Journal
“A simply told yet powerful story. Readers will be intrigued.” ―Historical Romance Reviews
“A good read with a compelling plot and rich detail ... deserves a place on bookshelves with Edghill's first novel, Queenmaker, and Anita Diamant's trendsetting The Red Tent.” ―Associated Press on Delilah
“Edghill has crafted a powerful, lyrical novel and created two unforgettable characters.” ―Library Journal, starred review on Delilah
“A spellbinding, emotionally powerful reinvention of a timeless tale from a master of lyrical language. With Delilah, India Edghill has written a song of the heart set among clashing kingdoms and created an historical novel to savor.” ―New York Times bestselling author Nicole Jordan on Delilah
“Richly textured, thrilling, and totally fascinating, this sweeping saga is sure to captivate readers across the board.” ―Booklist
About the Author
INDIA EDGHILL is a librarian living in the Mid-Hudson Valley in New York. She is the author of three other novels, Wisdom's Daughter, which was a Romantic Times Nominee for Best Historical Fiction, Queenmaker, and Delilah.
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Vashti is the first wife of King Ahasuerus. They met as children and were under the rule of his mother. Vashti was a protected child and soon became very spoiled in the rich atmosphere of the palace. This soon led to resentments. I won’t go into everything for I don’t want to spoil the story but her banishment ultimately leads to a call going out to all of the Kingdom for the most beautiful maidens to come to the palace to be presented to the king so a new wife can be chosen. This leads to Esther being queen.
But the book is so much more than that. It also shares the story of Daniel – who is far more than the story of the lion’s den. It encompasses the evil that is Haman – the man who would have eliminated all of the Jews. Just because. He is evil personified. There is love, revenge, hate, lies, plotting and a pet wolf.
The only issues I had with this novel came towards the end. One chapter seem apropos of nothing and with information that advances the story before it seems appropriate. Then the last few chapters seem rushed. Other than that I was truly enthralled with this book and it’s story. I’ll be keeping it for another read when I have the time.
I received a free copy for my honest review
Sure, it’s great to be smart and clever and beautiful, and a Disney Princess always succeeds through her own courage and pluck. What about the rest of us? Can we still matter if we’re not beautiful or particularly clever? God says yes in the Book of Esther. “For such a time as this” is not just for queens or princesses, but for each of us. Ms Edghill missed this. Too bad. It’s a terrific story.
The biblical Book of Esther is short and very accessible, check it out.
It is part of the Jewish tradition to question G-d, not in a rude or defiant way, but in an inquisitive way. The intent is to solidify one’s faith, not dismiss it entirely. This author takes far too much “artistic” liberty with Biblical content. She is rude. It makes no sense that she would do research to write a book and then take so many left turns with source material. If she was going to write whatever she wanted to anyway, no need to waste time researching!
As for style, she was far too expository. Too much telling, not enough showing. Adverb overuse. Dialogue is not believable for the time, and the characters are clichéd. Samamat – a feminist who complains about men. Mordecai – a religious stiffneck. Daniel – a jaded homosexual who feels G-d doesn’t love him and gives Him no credit for anything. (A further note on gay characters: they might seem relevant to modern readers but putting a gay character in every story is becoming a cliché in itself and the gay community is starting to feel patronized and/or caricaturized.) Also, I have no idea why she didn’t start the narrative with Esther or Vashti, instead of showcasing her negative voice toward men by focusing first on Mordecai, Daniel, and Hegai. She did way too much pipe-laying before getting to the flow of the story later on.