"Esther", the biblical book named after the beautiful Jewish woman chosen by the Persian King Xerxes to be queen, is a story of love, political intrigue, and religious faithfulness. Carey A. Moore combines his treatment of scholarly issues with an engaging explanation of the popular Jewish festival of Purim.One of three biblical books named after women (Esther, Ruth, Judith), "Esther" reads like a novel, with its fast-paced, action-packed story. Drawing on ancient tales of court intrigue and midrashic sources, the author captivates the reader with the story of Queen Esther, her uncle Mordecai, King Xerxes, and the the royal court's villain, Haman. The story not only entertains, it also explains the origins of the Jewish festival of Purim.Moore deftly deals with the scholarly issues peculiar to this book without sacrificing his sensitivity to its literary quality. The uncertainty that "Esther" should be included in sacred Scripture stems from its apparent lack of religious elements, its absence at Qumran, and its questionable historicity. Moore takes up these issues, carefully explaining and weighing prevailing scholarly theories before registering his own conclusions on the origin, date, and purpose of the book of "Esther".