Kid’s Book Review: Swordswoman

Kid’s Book Review: Swordswoman

About the Book and Author

This is the real story of a remarkable woman – Queen Lakshmibal of of Jhansi told by historian Dr Devika Rangachari, an award-winning writer of books for children.

Queen Lakshmibal was an unconventional queen. She could read and write; she rode a horse and wielded a sword; she trained other women to ride and fight alongside her. When the East India Trading Company, who ruled India in the 19th century, demanded that she hand over control of Jhansi, she refused.

And when an uprising began to stir in 1857, and the British laid siege to her fortress, the warrior queen tied her infant son to her back, mounted her favourite horse, and escaped to raise an army.

This is the story of a woman who defied all conventions to become an icon of resistance in colonial-era India.

It is published by Pushkin Press as part of its Historical Adventures collection of true stories. The book includes contains several black and white illustrations that you will see examples of as you scroll down.

Swordswoman cover
Davika Rangachari

Dr. Devika Rangachari is an award-winning children’s writer whose book, Queen of Ice (Duckbill), was on the White Raven list, won the Neev Young Adult Book Award and has been optioned to be made into a movie. Her other books include Tales of Love and Adventure, Swami Vivekananda—A Man with a Vision, Harsha Vardhana, The Merry Mischief of Gopal Bhand, The Wit of Tenali Raman and Growing Up.

Devika has also completed her post-doctoral research on gender in Indian history from the University of Delhi. Devika is inordinately fond of reading (especially historical fiction), chocolates, potatoes, and exploring bookshops and libraries. She would happily spend her time among her four loves were it not for her lovely-but-stern editors who occasionally compel her to write!


Book Review

This is a really good story – the type that makes you want to secretly carry on reading it by torch light under your bedcovers!

This is a really good story – the type that makes you want to secretly carry on reading it by torch light under your bedcovers!

The book is set during the Indian revolution (1857) and the story is completely true! The British are trying to take over Queen Lakshmiba’s land because of a new law. She’s gracious even to her enemies and respects her people. Queen Lakshmiba is a really good role model and I think everyone should aspire to be as kind as her. Queen Lakshmiba shows that woman are just as good justice fighters as men are.

Part of the story is told from Queen Lakshmiba’s adopted son’s point of view. This gives a new side to the story.

The pictures are great and help to tell the tale.

I’d recommend this to anyone who likes reading the ‘Stories for Rebel Girls’ books.

I’d definitely give it 5 stars for those reasons and more.

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Rose
  • Age: 10 years
  • Likes: writing, baking and school
  • Dislikes: stag beetles and Wensleydale cheese
  • Favourite Book: The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson
  • Favourite Song: Waka Waka by Shakira
  • Favourite Film: The Princess Bride