Review: ‘Esther’ by Rebecca Kanner

In a time in history where women are not only viewed as second-rate citizens but as the property of their fathers, brothers and husbands, Esther proves strength is much more than a physical concept and that one woman can change the world even when that world views her as irrelevant. 

“Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14

23492476I love books that put a smile on your face, invite you in and take you on a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs but the books that stemmed my undying love for literature are those that really make you think. The kind of books that make you question your own views and ideals and provide contentious insights into the realities of the world. ‘Esther’ is one of those books.

I struggled to find the correct word to describe the ideas this book put forth and settled on contentious for two reasons.

  1. Contentious refers to a topic that invokes arguments. I found this fitting as Kanner’s words provoked a quarrelsome internal dialogue that continued long after I turned the last page.
  2. Contentious, also because I hope you will go into this book inquisitively and in doing so form your own debates and discussions about the messages within.

This is the true story of Esther brought to life by Rebecca Kanner. Kanner humanises Esther, envisioning her as not all good nor all bad. She describes a woman willing to do whatever it takes to fight for what’s right.

It is not only the message behind the story that I loved but also the beautiful way Kanner brought it to life. Her writing is bewitching, her words transporting you to the trying world Esther endures. You can feel the hot sand under your feet, see the extravagant luxuries of an ancient lifestyle and hear the pounding footsteps of soldiers that echo throughout a castle of captivity.

“A hundred steps loomed before me. By the tenth step I understood that the heat had penetrated my bones and the marrow inside them had caught fire and turned to ashes. What blood had not evaporated from my body seemed to have crusted in my veins.”

I hope you will read this book and find it as captivating as I have, especially those parts you may find somewhat contentious. If you do, feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to discuss ideas with you.

About the Book

“A glittering Persian king with a vast empire that reaches farther than where the sun meets the horizon. He is bathed in riches and commands a frightening military force. He possesses power beyond any other mortal man and rules his kingdom as a god. Anything he desires, he has. Any women he wants, he possesses. Hundreds of them. Young virgins from all across his many lands.

A Jewish girl is ripped from her hut by the king’s brutish warriors and forced on a treacherous march to the capital city. Trapped for months in the splendid cage of the palace, she must fight her feelings for one of the king’s soldiers and avoid the ire of the concubines and eunuchs all while preparing for her one night with the king.

When the king’s most trusted adviser promises to pour vast wealth into the royal treasury if the king will allow him to wipe out the Jews. Esther must find the strength within to violate the king’s law, risk her life, and save her people.”


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