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.
Michelle Moran did it again, she brought history back to life!
In 1850’s India, Sita’s mother dies in childbirth. The baby is save but it’s another girl. Sita’s grandmother sneaks Sita off to the temple to negotiate a price for them to buy Sita for prostitution but her father finds out the plan and puts a stop to it. He says that since they can’t afford to marry her off, he will train her be in the female guard, called Durga Dal for the Rani (Queen).
This is very tough to get into but her father, along with their friend and neighbor, trained Sita and she learned fast. Against incredible odds, gets accepted into the Durga Dal. When Sita joined the guard, she learns quickly that not all is what it seems and she can trust no one. As we Sita grow into the position we also see the shift into the British empire and their eventual rule of India.
Michelle Moran sucked me into the story from page one and never let me go. I will be thinking about the book, Sita, and the Rani for a long time. She captured the landscape of place and time beautifully. The characters were well developed and it is evident that the history was well researched. This is a must read for historical fiction fans! If you are like me and have been a fan or Michelle Moran’s books, she does not disappoint!
I received the ebook for my honest review.
Michelle Moran is the international bestselling author of six historical novels, including Madame Tussaud, which was optioned for a mini-series in 2011. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.
A native of southern California, Michelle attended Pomona College, then earned a Masters Degree from the Claremont Graduate University. During her six years as a public high school teacher, she used her summers to travel around the world, and it was her experiences as a volunteer on archaeological digs that inspired her to write historical fiction.
In 2012 Michelle was married in India, inspiring her seventh book, Rebel Queen, which is set in the East. Her hobbies include hiking, traveling, and archaeology. She is also fascinated by archaeogenetics, particularly since her children’s heritages are so mixed. But above all these things, Michelle is passionate about reading, and can often be found with her nose in a good book. A frequent traveler, she currently resides with her husband, son, and daughter in the US.