Victoria Crossman

From pirate queens to elephant hunters, and spanning thirty centuries, this book is a celebration of strong, fearless women from all around the world who ruled in one way or another. There are some, such as the Indian Queen Nur Jahan, said to have saved a whole village from a man-eating tiger by shooting it, and the third century ruler in Japan, Empress Himoko believed to have been a magic practising shaman, who are the subject of folklore. Then there’s the mysterious Queen of Sheba (Queen Makeda) who is mentioned in the Qu’ran and the Bible with both Ethopia and Yemen claiming to be her birth country.

There are alternating focuses on an individual – the Queen of Sheba, Lady K’Abe; Mayan warrior queen whose rule was from 672 to 692

and Yaa Asantewaa who led a rebellion against British colonists trying to expand into Ashanti country (1840-1921) – for instance.

In between are topical spreads that include information about queens depicted on money, their clothing and footwear,

make-up, pets, hobbies and more. I was fascinated to discover Rani Lakshmibai reportedly had a pre-breakfast regime of weightlifting and wrestling, while Queen Rania of Jordan has written a children’s book.

The author’s style of writing is chatty and full of interesting facts, while the illustrations are inviting, vibrant and detailed.

The last few spreads are devoted to a visual timeline of the rulers, a world map showing their homelands, a glossary, and a list of places to visit should readers be interested to discover more about the featured women.