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. – Goodreads
Holy crap, holy crap. I haven’t read a book that has sucked me in and glued my butt to the couch in such a long time. I have to get my hands on Moran’s other books now. Have to.
The story is told from the point-of-view of Sita, one of the guards in Queen Lakshmi’s female army, the Durgavasi.
Daughters are not appreciated. In fact, many are killed with opium when they’re born. To have a daughter instead of a son is shameful. They aren’t eligible heirs, and you have to save for their dowries, meaning you’ll be poor. Two daughters is worse, and two daughters is exactly what Sita’s father has. Instead of sending her to the prostitution house, he trains her to try out for a position on the Durgavasi, the Queen’s guard.
Moran’s storytelling is…amazing. Superb. I can’t even. Sita was so incredibly relatable, even though I have nothing in common with her. She’s incredibly beautiful, though it’s very rarely discussed. She kicks ass at fighting—in fact, someone commented on her beauty and she said she’d rather have them comment on her skills.
There is girl drama, there is treason, there is suspense, love, and war. I love that it is based on historical events with little embellishment. I’m very unfamiliar with Indian history, but I’m now very interested. It’s complex and goes back thousands of years.
I can’t say much without giving it away—but this book will not disappoint. I highly recommend it. A definite 5/5 on Goodreads—and added to my favorites shelf!
I was given a free ARC of The Rebel Queen by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. The Rebel Queen will be released on March 3, 2015 by Touchstone.