powerful that he could make his choice from all his Empire.
He picked the one girl who would have given anything to have
been passed over, a Jewish scholar, Esther, from the back streets of
his capital, Shushan. To a King bored by the chattering of women
wreathed in musky scents, this changeling was a breath of fresh air.
But the new Queen of Persia was lost in a world of protocol and
soon lost her husband's favour. Worse, she had to hide her faith and
deny her origins for Haman, the King’s favourite, was an Amelekite,
an ancient enemy of the Jews, and determined to have revenge.
Esther's only hope to avert a holocaust was to risk her own life
and go, uninvited, before a King who had already disposed of one
Norah Lofts’ Esther, first published in 1951, is a magical re-telling
of the Old Testament Book of Esther, the story behind the Jewish
festival of Purim.