I’m a big fan of historic fiction and when I see books written on Indian historic figures its exciting. I picked this up at the airport and was completely absorbed in this book as soon as the flight took off.
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
My Review –
The story is told from the point of view of Sita, who is a part of the elite group of female guards Durga Dal, especially to protect the queen. This approach of telling the story from Sita’s prospective makes it more powerful.
I loved the character of Sita and as the book progresses, you will start to like her and feel the emotions.
The story starts with Sita and her family, her background and her relationship with her father who plays a pivotal role in training her and making her ready for Durga Dal. The difficulties that a woman has to go through, especially during the 1840/1850s.
The entire portion where Sita and her colleagues visit England to meet the queen and their experience is beautifully described. How they did not understand anything about parliament and its importance and power.
I will not speak of the story. Most Indians know of the queen of Jhansi and how she was much ahead of her times.
It is a great read. The language is simple, and the author has been able to capture most of the portion of the Indian culture and the political situation of 1850.
Overall, it’s a great read. I would recommend this book to all who would want to know more about the history.
I will rate it 3.5/5