REBEL QUEEN, by Michelle Moran

A good tale for the lover of little-known history. Illuminating a largely unpublicized episode in the British Empire's mid-eighteenth century conquest of India, this fascinating story of young Queen Lakshmi of Jhansi will pin you to your seat. Told by Lakshmi's guard and confidante, Sita, a member of the all-female troop assigned to keep the queen safe, it contrasts the naive goodness of the young warrior with the intrigue both at court and by the British. Nobody comes off very well, of course; this is empire-building at its bloodiest and most unforgiving. Click below for more...
The clash of cultures, the desire of the Queen to keep her country out from under the thumb of the rapacious British, her maneuverings to accomplish that, all are told from the viewpoint of a young woman raised in purdah in a poor, remote country town. Astonished at the freedom of women in Jhansi, and at the opulence of the palace, Sita makes enemies who plot her downfall as well as the Queen's. A pleasant weekend read of a long-gone age. It's a 4.
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