I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran
Published by Touchstone on March 3, 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the 1850s, it expects a quick and easy conquest. After all, India is not even a country, but a collection of kingdoms on the subcontinent. But when the British arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, expecting its queen to forfeit her crown, they are met with a surprise. Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies—one male, one female—and rides into battle like Joan of Arc. Although her soldiers are little match against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi fights against an empire determined to take away the land she loves.
Told from the perspective of Sita, one of the guards in Lakshmi's all-female army and the queen’s most trusted warrior, The Last Queen of India traces the astonishing tale of a fearless ruler making her way in a world dominated by men. In the tradition of her bestselling novel Nefertiti, which Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, called “a heroic story with a very human heart,” Michelle Moran once again brings a time and place rarely explored in historical fiction to rich, vibrant life.
- Previously I had only read Michelle Moran’s novels that were set in Egypt. Asps, Pharaohs and Pyramids has always been an era that interests me. I suppose it is comfortable to stick with what you know. Nevertheless, I enjoy Moran’s writing style and become lost in her stories. Therefore, when I saw Rebel Queen become available I thought I’d break out of my shell and give it a try.
- I have always liked novels that are told in first person. It gives a more intimate account and Sita was no exception. It was wonderful to learn how her person was shaped from childhood, with prejudice of being a girl and thus unworthy with her ambition to prove herself mingled with the love and devotion to her sister. As an adult, these attributes were only intensified with a touch of Katy Perry’s “Roar” added to the mix. The story was excellently presented.
- Her sister, Anu was a key participant in Sita’s actions and felt very reminiscent to Katniss Everdeen and her sister Prim. Everything Sita did she did for her. Like Katniss it bit her in the butt, but it led to a heart-pounding climax. I will say that foreshadowing led me to some suspicions but was enthralled just the same.
- Not just in Sita was the character development stellar but also in Queen Lakshmi, the other members of the Queen’s all female army and Sita’s love interest, Arjun came alive and felt real to the touch.
Not Fond Of
- While the majority was fast-paced, must read one more chapter, the middle did drag a little for me, it just felt repetitive with the “he loves me, he loves me not”. I’m a little anti-romance when it comes to reading though so this could be just my preference.
- A second small semi-critique is the gaggle of girls in the army. While both the comradely and rivalry was well done it did feel a little clique, sorority but left an “Oh no she didn’t atmosphere which was I felt added a high school element to the novel.
Rebel Queen reminded me of what an excellent writer Michelle Moran is and masters the art of a good story. So much so, that Rebel Queen has influenced me to break-out of my Egyptian comfort zone. simply wonderful.