You will experience a wild emotional roller coaster ride of adventure, drama, and romance in the historical fiction novel Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran. The novel takes place in India in the mid-1800s when tensions with the British were high and focuses on a telling the story from Sita’s eyes. Sita has a sheltered life as a child: she cannot leave the house without covering herself and a man escorting her, as women must follow purdah.
Women during this time did not have much freedom, and Sita trains daily for eight years to pass the trials to become a Durgavasi when she turns 17, a woman-soldier who protects the queen. Sita wants to provide for her family and avoid going to the temple where she would essentially be a prostitute. Sita passes the trials and fights for the Rani Lakshmibai, but the horrors of a creeping war soon emerge from this once strong kingdom. Naïve Sita must learn to overcome her shyness and distinguish her friends from her enemies.
Moran weaves a tale with memorable characters that jump from the page and a main plot line and sub plot lines that have a rhythm of suspense and excitement. The author engrosses you in the novel to the point where you feel you are an observer in the story rooting for Sita.
Moran provides historical details throughout Rebel Queen about India’s culture and customs during this time, such as the caste system, the Hindu religion, and the Rani Laksmibai, and she talks about the details she changed for the novel as well. Moran visited India and talked to several people from India to create this novel to be as accurate as she could.
If you have read Rebel Queen, what did you think? Any historical fiction novels that you recommend that sound similar to Rebel Queen?