Did you know the story of Queen Esther from the Old Testament is considered by some to be the Bible’s fairy tale? Debut author Mandy Madson Voisin knew that and wanted to put her spin on the timeless classic.
“‘Star of Deliverance’ is a modern retelling of one of the oldest and most beautiful stories of all time,” said Voisin. “I wanted to explore that concept, since it is a story I have always loved. Combining intrigue, love, and biological warfare, this story is one that I hope will reach young and old, just like the version in the Bible. I hope readers finish the book feeling a little braver than when they started it.”
“Star of Deliverance” will be released on Sept. 9.
From the Author: This excerpt describes Emi’s appearance and what that means in the larger scheme. As a Savian, she is a slave to the Brockan people—an important characteristic, since it is the Savian people, her people, that she must save.
He was avoiding the obvious response. I knew I didn’t look like a Savian. The girls in the village made certain to tease me for my dark hair and blue eyes behind my back. Although we all descended from the same forefathers, many believed that Brockans had paler skin and eyes, while Savians sported darker features. As for me, I didn’t see much of a difference. I turned back to my stitches and thought about my mother—about her being a Savian.
That much I was reminded of on a daily basis. I am reminded that my mother was a Savian every day I see a Brockan soldier beat one of my neighbors in the streets of the village, or in the orchards. I know she was a Savian because of where I live—on the outskirts of the capital, in an orchard village—just one of the many that surround the kingdom of Deshan, patrolled by Brockan soldiers that whip us for sneaking one cherry, one olive, one fig into our hungry mouths. Most of all I know I am a Savian because of how we as a people are treated by the soldiers. Every day my neighbors in the village work in the orchards, the fruit of our labor belonging to the king. We get a meager allowance once a month of cornmeal and milk. Some beans if we are lucky, and the old fruit that has gone bad before it gets to the kingdom. There is a village well where we draw water to drink and bathe and cook with, and most of us also tend to a small plot of soil outside our homes. It is the only way we can feed our vacant bellies.
At a moment’s notice our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters—if we are lucky enough to still have them—could be killed for breaking a minor infraction whether innocent or not. We are watched carefully and not allowed to venture outside of the village perimeter. The night where I heard the conversation in the orchard very well could have ended my life. There would be no trial; no explanation given to Cen. Every judge is Brockan, and every soldier, leaving us no one to turn to with our pleas. We live by mercy, although very little is offered. The King’s guards patrol our cities night and day, and we as Savians know our place as slaves to the Brockan people of Deshan.