Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rebel Queen

From the internationally bestselling author of "Nefertiti "and "Cleopatra's Daughter" comes the breathtaking story of Queen Lakshmi - India's Joan of Arc - who against all odds defied the mighty British invasion to defend her beloved kingdom.

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Summary (via When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a quick and easy conquest.  India is fractured and divided into kingdoms, each independent and wary of one another, seemingly no match for the might of the English.  But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge.

Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies-one male and one female-and rides into battle, determined to protect her country and her people.  Although her soldiers may not appear at first to be formidable against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi refuses to back down from the empire determined to take away the land she loves.

Told for the unexpected perspective of Sita-Queen Lakshmi's favored companion and most trusted soldier in the all-female army-Rebel Queen shines a light on a time and place rarely explored in historical fiction.

The Ramparts of Jhansi - from
Review (3/5 stars): I listened to the audio version of this book.  The narration was excellent.  I may not have fully understood all of the Indian words, but because she was consistent in her pronunciation I was able follow along easily.

I know little to nothing about this time period in India, but a cursory search in Wikipedia tells me that much of this fictional story is historically accurate, although perhaps not all.

The wicked characters in the book are sufficiently evil and hold very few redeeming qualities.  The development of the main character is gradual.  I like that from time to time she makes mistakes in judgement and quickly learns her lessons.

I admit though, that I expected a little more from the Queen's female regiment.  For the most party they came across to me as more of the Indian equivalent of the European ladies in waiting, except with daggers in their belts.

Speaking of the European court, the little jaunt over to England in the story felt a little out of place to me.  I have no idea if this actually happened, but if it did, I would think it would've had much more of an impact on the lives of those who  made the harrowing journey.  As painful as it was to read about the obtuseness of the English court, I think a little more could have been made of this part of the story.

All in all, it was a fun read about a great adventure.  The Rani of Jhansi is another one of those incredible females from history whose life seems like it could only have been made up as part of a fairy tale, but she was real.  She was intelligent, and strong, and fought until her last day.  For this reason along, this book is worth reading.

Rani of Jhansi
I've read several Michelle Moran books and always find them fun and interesting.  She has a great website with loads of information and resources for all of her books, including her newest release Mata Hari's Last Dance!

Have you read this, or other, Michelle Moran books?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below!

(Pssst!  Come back tomorrow to learn about another 'rebel queen' in Friday's book review!)

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