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.
First, yay! New Moran book! Loved it!
Honestly that blurb, I kept waiting for her to be this Warrior Queen with her big armies, but nope. Not a good blurb for telling me things that did not happen. But again then I was surprised instead when things happened. So yes the blurb is there but do not mind it.
Sita grows up in a little village. Her family belongs to the warrior caste and her life is spent at the house as that is what women should do. I loved the small (and horrid) details.. Like how female babies are killed cos they are female, and then they tell people the wolves got them. Women are worthless. Silly men, what happens if you kill all women? Like when her grandmother took her to a temple to sell her 0_0 A kid! But that was religious prostitution. Sita was lucky though, she had a warrior for a dad who trained her so that would not be her fate.
The rani in the kingdom of Jhansi where Sita lives has female body guards, (10?) so that is what Sita trained for, and obviously she won her place, duh. So no female army. Just female bodyguards who were fierce indeed.
The palace was interesting. Clashes with fellow warriors. Intrigues. Friendships. And the danger of the British. Yes those British, this book certainly did not make me like them. Ok so both sides will do horrible thing when the fighting starts. But, the Jhansi kingdom, and the either Indian kingdoms were "good" kingdoms. The British just wanted more land and stuff and to take over. The "rebels" only fought to save their countries.
So yes a war will come, but it's over quickly and in the last 100 pages. It was sad too cos it changed history and kingdoms fell apart. I would have loved to see "India" as it was then. Temples at their best, palaces and everything. But then it was bad too, like things I have mentioned. So live there would have sucked.
But all in all it makes an interesting book. I have not talked a lot about actual things that happen. Because I was so fascinated by the history and culture. Those small and little things that just makes a book so good. A well researched and interesting book. I do wonder where she will take us next? Somewhere interesting for sure. I could write on and on.
And I must say, it killed me not to google Rani Lakhsmi to see how it would end for her and her husband's kingdom. But I managed to hold myself and read about it here ;)
Another great book from Moran. I do recommend all of them.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Touchstone