Fight to Overthrow the British in Michelle Moran’s “The Rebel Queen”
Instead of the usual historical fiction novel that delves into the usual Western history topics such as the Tudors or Victorian London, in The Rebel Queen, Michelle Moran takes her readers to India to meet an extraordinary ruler who is ready to defend her kingdom at all costs. Told from the point of view of Sita, who is one of the guards in Queen Lakshmi’s army, and the story she weaves is absolutely spellbinding.
When the British army sets out to conquer India in the 1850s, they expect Queen Lakshmi to hand over the Kingdom of Jhansi. She raises two armies in retaliation, one comprised of men and the other women. Even though the Queen is outmatched, she still fights ferociously to defend her country from the invaders who think they can get away with stealing her birthright.
Moran’s devotion to detail and her skill at bringing complicated historical narratives to life allows you to walk side by side with Lakshmi and Sita. Both women are a breath of fresh air because they’re not all-powerful stereotypical female warriors. They have fears, doubts, and quirks that make them so relatable and real.
Thankfully, Moran also makes sure to focus on the strong bonds of friendship that existed between Lakshmi and her female guards. Women who are fans of strong female characters will revel in their world, which is often a haven from the men who seek to destroy their way of life.