This post also appears on my Goodreads blog
As a long time reader of Philippa Gregory’s Tudor series, I’ve always wished that someone would write similar accounts of Indian history, and that’s how I chose to pick this book up. Overall, it’s a very good account of the Durga Dal and the mutiny at Jhansi. I especially liked the fact that it was narrated from the perspective of someone in the Durga Dal, and therefore also highlighted the great trade-off between Sita’s loyalty to the queen, and loyalty to her family. My biggest complaint with this book, though is that Rani Lakshmibai comes off seeming like someone who kept going with the flow, and not really the strong character we encounter in our history books.
I would love to read more non-fiction from the era to get a better sense of the Durga Dal, as well as the Rani’s motivations. And that push to getting the reader to want to know more about the era and it’s people is where Michelle Moran succeeds with this work.