If you haven’t yet read Jewel of Persia, I would recommend not reading through these questions yet, as some of them hint at key plot points.
1.) Kasia’s chance encounter at the beginning of the book leaves her with what Esther calls “a romantic story.” How would you have reacted if in that romantic story? Have you ever had an “at first sight” moment, whether it be love, infatuation, or instant connection with a friend?
2.) Have you ever paused to consider what Esther would have been like as a girl? Did anything about this fictional approach to her surprise you?
3.) Is Mordecai what you expected him to be?
4.) Do you like Xerxes? Why or why not?
5.) What would you do if you found yourself part of harem life?
6.) Prayer plays a crucial part in the lives of Kasia and Mordecai. Have you ever seen the Lord respond to prayer like they did?
7.) Is Amestris justified in her response to Kasia and the situation with the torc?
8.) Is there a special object that has great meaning to you and your spouse? Or perhaps an heirloom in your family with a story attached?
9.) Kasia’s headstrong outspokenness is both a blessing and a curse. What character trait do you have that leads you both into trouble and out of it?
10.) Do bursts of temper and passion amuse you or appall you?
11.) If you were Xerxes, how would you have reacted to the events during the Day of Darkness in Sardis?
12.) Which deity the characters put their faith in plays a big role in how they interpret the events that transpire. Do you believe things like this can still happen today? And if they did, would you attribute them to God or another power?
13.) As part of the New Testament church, we have certain views and understandings of the Holy Spirit. How did this portrayal of the Old Testament Spirit challenge or line up with your beliefs?
14.) Have you ever chosen not to pray for someone? What happened?
15.) Zechariah makes a series of poor decisions that nevertheless play into the plan of God. How has the Lord turned your mistakes into victories for His cause?
16.) Is your faith stronger when all is going well, or when the storms are raging around you?
17.) The affair that rips apart the royal family is a documented fact of Persian history, though the motivation is fictional. Why do you think Xerxes would have done such a thing? How far-reaching do you think the consequences would have been?
18.) How has Esther grown throughout the book? By the time she joins the harem, is she the Esther you expect from the Bible? Does she grow more while there?
19.) Kasia makes a decision to forgive for the sakes of Esther and Xerxes. Could you have done the same in that situation?
20.) Though before the time of Christ, salvation plays a key role in the theme of this book. How do the ideas of it differ from or strengthen the New Testament realization of salvation?