True Stories of Six Ancient Rebels Who Slayed History
Warrior Queens is the perfect “girl power” read, as it reminds us that women have always led nations and military campaigns. Middle-Grade readers will be delighted to learn about fearless women who unhesitatingly took up arms to defend themselves, their queendoms, and their people. With stories set in ancient Egypt, Greece, Vietnam, Britain, Nubia, Syria, and Rome, they are true tales that will ignite the imaginations of students of history and the Latin language (the latter because ancient Rome plays a role in three of the six stories).
Kirkus Reviews says the stories are “all worth reading,” and SLJ’s Curriculum Connections points out that it’s the perfect vehicle for reflecting on the ways modern women are mirroring the past and “developing strong voices of their own.”
Blood-Thirsty Warrior in Crowns
Some ancient queens were fabulous. Others were fierce. The best were both—brilliant leaders who expertly ruled their kingdoms while furiously fighting anyone who dared threaten them or their people.
The ancient world was particularly brutal to women. Men made laws and rules to keep women out of power, uneducated, and often hidden from the public world. Yet these six queens came roaring out of their palaces like lionesses protecting their cubs, ready to eviscerate challengers and enemies alike.
And eviscerate them they did! Unfortunately, we don’t have records of how these women fought because often it was the queens’ enemies who recorded their stories. You know, the very men angriest about being bested by women. So the victors often downplayed the women’s talents, abilities, and victories. It was almost as if male recordkeepers found losing to women somehow…embarrassing.
Luckily, modern scholars are able to fill in some of the holes with archaeological evidence. The result is a look into the lives of women who prized razor-sharp swords and armor-piercing arrows just as much as jewel-encrusted crowns of gold.
Most of the ancient warrior queens in these stories didn’t go looking for trouble. It came to them, usually at the hands of invaders who wanted to steal their land and power. Every single one of these queens pushed back hard.
Not on my watch, they cried.
All of them were prepared to die for their queendoms. Some of them did, choosing death on the battlefield rather than submitting to their enemies. They fought in chariots, on ships, and even on elephants, wielding weapons that cut right to the heart (and often right into the heart) of the matter.
These fearless queens were more than ready to throw down against the biggest, meanest, baddest guys who dared challenge them. They were powerful women who laughed in the face of their enemies, women who had one message for anyone who claimed they shouldn’t or couldn’t stand up to invaders: Watch me slay.