Book Recommendation ~ Jewel of Persia by Roseanna M. White

Book Description:

How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?

Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But when a chance encounter forces her to the palace of Xerxes, she becomes a concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes’ wives, loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the heart of the king of kings.

Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against Greece, Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they’re not the Spartans or Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah–even if it costs her her marriage.

Years of prayers are answered when Kasia’s childhood friend arrives at the palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?

Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus’s Histories, Jewel of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and the friendship that saves a nation.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

Jewel of Persia is Roseanna M. White’s exciting Biblical fiction novel set in Persia around 480 BC during the reign of King Xerxes. Historical events from the Book of Esther are included in the story.

Kasia, a young Jewess, is bathing her feet in the icy river water in Susa when she has an unexpected encounter with King Xerxes. She doesn’t recognise the charming King, and she is more concerned about protecting her young charge, the future Queen Esther, than hiding her own identity.

King Xerxes is captivated by Kasia’s beauty and, much to Kasia’s father’s displeasure, decides he wants Kasia as his wife. Kasia is moved to the palace, and her friends and family assume her disappearance is caused by drowning in the river.

Twelve year old Esther is devastated by the loss of her best friend, only a few years after her parents passed away and her cousin Mordecai became her guardian.

Kasia falls in love with the King, and her life is in jeopardy because she is the King’s favorite wife. Palace life in the harem is a culture shock for the young Jewess, and her faith is tested and strengthened during the story. Drawing on historical events, the love story between Kasia and King Xerxes unfolds and provides a fascinating insight into the danger, jealousy and intrigue of life in the Persian Palace.

Jewel of Persia is a compelling story about royalty, fidelity and love, in the context of a society that expects their King to have numerous wives and concubines. The differences between Jewish and Persian society create conflict between Kasia and King Xerxes, who are from different worlds and hold diverse values and religious beliefs. I recommend Jewel of Persia for those looking for a powerful and challenging Biblical fiction story.

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