Monday, March 30, 2015

Julie's Review: Rebel Queen


Author: Michelle Moran
Series: None
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 455
Obtained: via author
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Empowering, Inspiring and Riveting
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: 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. 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 from the unexpected perspective of Sita—Queen Lakshmi’s most 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. In the tradition of her bestselling novel, Nefertiti, and through her strong, independent heroines fighting to make their way in a male dominated world, Michelle Moran brings nineteenth-century India to rich, vibrant life. ~michellemoran.com  

Review: Rebel Queen  isn't the story of a war but a story of a Queen strong enough to try to fight the British to save her country. While we might all know how that ends for India, it is the story of Queen Lakshmi and her private all female guards. The story is told from one of her Durga Dal soldiers, Sita. This make the Queen seem that much more accessible when you see her from a close confidante's point of view. She is very much a Queen of the people of Jhansi.

Sita is the heart of the story. It is her story to tell. We learn of her path to being a Durga Dal as she is later in life and reviewing her journals for an autobiography. We learn of her father's determination to make a life for her even though girls are seen as a burden instead of a joy. He makes sure that Sita has the training that she needs both mentally, emotionally, and physically so that when an opening makes itself available, she is ready. While Sita is all of these things when she is picked as the newest Durga Dal, it is the political webs that she will need to not get caught up in. She will need to learn friend from enemy and that it not always an easy task.

Must of the book focuses on the relationship between the rani and her staff. It isn't until the last quarter of the book that we get the feel for the Queen in battle. There is no doubt about her leadership ability and her passion for her people.

Ms. Moran always has a way of pulling her readers in immediately. I pretty much pre-order anytime she has a book out, even if I'm not sure or know nothing of her subject matter. She makes each of historical figures jump off the pages. Her lush descriptions in Rebel Queen of India and the palace are easy to create in your mind as you read.

It is always evident that Ms. Moran does her homework (aka research) when it comes to her subject matters. I love how she travels to the places that she is researching. She really throws herself into the research. If you want to see her travels through India then you need to check out her website, Michelle Moran, because her pictures are gorgeous. If this happens to be your first Michelle Moran book than you must immediately read her back-list. I swear you won't regret it.



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