Rebel Queen

Rebel Queen

A Novel

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
9
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"When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a quick and easy conquest ... 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2015
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410478696
1410478696
Characteristics: large print
521 pages (large print) ; 23 cm

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t
TheresaAJ
Dec 05, 2016

Moran's rebel queen is Lakshmi, the Rani of Jhansi, in central India. Sita, a young girl from a small village, wins the right to be a Durga Dal, a member of the Rani's personal bodyguard, in the 1850s. As Sita moves from the purdah of Barwa Sagar to the freedom of the royal court, she becomes involved in the politics surrounding the British encroachment on the Indian kingdoms. When she uncovers treachery from the Rani's closest relative, Sita finds herself vulnerable when the Rani refuses to believe her. As the story gallops to its fateful climax, the reader is taken on a furious ride through Indian beliefs, customs, and societies from 1840 to 1858.

j
julia_sedai
Aug 15, 2016

What a great book! I found it extremely interesting. A queen in India had her own personal bodyguards that were all women. Michelle Moran tells the story of one of these girls, and through her we get a glimpse of India during the mid 1800s and the wars between the British and Indians. I recommend it for anyone who likes historical fiction. The ending is kind of depressing, though, but it's good that Moran doesn't hesitate to write exactly what life was like for people there.

r
ruthfowler514
Jul 23, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I will not add a synopsis - others have done that - but I will say that the book title does rather imply that the queen is the main character, but she is not. It really should be titled, "Life in the Women's Army of the Rebel Queen." There are probably plenty of books that tell the story of Rani Lakshmi, but I really enjoyed the perspective of a member of her elite female guard (the presence of which was a surprise itself). I appreciated the portrait of Indian life in the 1850s and the lot of women at that time. I knew nothing of that period of India's history, and if the author took liberties with exact dates of when things happened, that does not bother me - the essence of what went on is more than enough.
I started this as an audio book on a 7-hour car trip. I found the readers' voice wonderful and was able to totally be in the story. She has a British accent but is of Indian birth, so had authentic pronunciation of the Indian words/names. My car trip ended before I got to the end of the book, and I had to return it to the library, so I then had to wait a few weeks to get the eBook, which is how I finished it. An overall great read. I look forward to reading more of this author's books.

FindingJane Jun 09, 2016

While the title and blurb implies a warrior ruler with the ferocity of a Queen Boudicca, what we get instead is
a gentle Indian queen who tries valiantly to place her people first and ensure their safety even as both Indians and the English view her with rising suspicion and resentment.

The treachery of British government and the indifference of their queen have profound effects on the lives of Indian citizens. But what Ms. Moran gives us is a more nuanced picture, one with British immigrants conflicted about their roles in the new society, vengeance and horrifying brutality on both sides of a rebellion.

The whole book is written from the viewpoint of one Sita, a girl who was destined to be a prostitute and chose to be a warrior instead. Even while we smile over the unprecedented freedom she enjoys as a soldier-handmaiden to the queen, we realize that, even in a world where she can stride around outside her home and village exposing her face to strange men, where she can wear weapons and train to use them with skill, where her knowledge of English makes her an invaluable asset to her queen, she still has difficult obstacles to overcome.

This novel is both a sweeping portrait about a land in turmoil from foreign invaders and a private vision of women who yearn for more than what life has given them. Ms. Moran isn’t presenting an idealized world, by any means. You would think that the hostility of men would be the worst that Sita has to face but it is the venom of women that we see a great deal of, enough to make any woman who reads this novel squirm with embarrassment for her gender.

What we get here are precise and unflinching insights into human nature, about our capacity for generosity and our equally furious urges for revenge. Ms. Moran makes the story of foreign queens and culture seem contemporary, as if the rebellion happened yesterday instead of over a century ago. She takes liberties with truth, as any author may do, but what remains is an enlightening, bold, shocking and moving look at a bygone age.

d
dhanvarshini
Sep 27, 2015

I like it

g
ghyslaine
Aug 17, 2015

I really enjoyed this book found it very informative as to the history and how the british conducted themselves at the time. Not having learned too much in school about this period in the history of INdia it was very enlightening I could hardly put it down. I plan on finding more books on the subject.

j
JANET FLAPAN
Jul 11, 2015

I enjoyed this book because it's about a culture and history unfamiliar to me ... and based on a real queen and what she did.

l
luminea
Jun 26, 2015

This was a well written and engaging book that I didn't want to put down, even though much of it saddened me. I will definitely check out the author's other books.I love reading books with strong female protagonists, especially historical fiction.

ehbooklover May 09, 2015

A very interesting fictionalized account of Queen Lakshmi told from the point of view of one of her most trusted female soldiers. I know next to nothing about Indian history so the subject of this book was a refreshing change from all of the Tudor-focused historical fiction that I normally read.

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