ABOUT THE BOOKFlashing swords, firing guns, charging on horseback, planning strategies, talking peace… Twelve warrior women did it all, and how! Some were royalty, some ordinary women. But what they all had was courage. As they led from the front, this very visual peek into their turbulent, fascinating lives sweeps aside the myth that it takes a man to fight and rule and protect women.
- In Warrior Women, artist Tara Anand introduces readers to twelve warrior and leader women – all historical figures whose bravery and unflinching leadership made them very special in their times. The book takes us briefly through the acts and events that they are remembered for. Warrior Women is an attempt to create an alternative women-centric narrative around war and rebellion in British India.
- The book is a great entry point into the question of why history remembers some people and not others. The names of many of these warrior women – for example, Mai Bhago and Rani Gaidinliu – will be unfamiliar to readers, and will encourage them to interrogate the gender biases that have prevented these women from being as well known as their male counterparts.
- The book is useful as a resource. It provides specific and briefly stated historical information about each woman, while also giving a reader some insights into the workings of battle strategy, the cultures that these women grew up in, and the circumstances of India under colonial rule. It can be used well in a classroom-scenario to facilitate conversations and projects about women in history, and women in colonial India.
- Author-illustrator Tara Anand has made an excellent effort to feature women from all over the country. It includes women like Rani Velu Nachiyar (Sivagangai), Rani Chennamma (Kittur), Joya Thaosen (Assam), and Bibi Dalair Kaur (Anandpur Sahib).
- On a few spreads, the text is arranged in a non-linear way that makes it difficult to read the paragraphs in order. The book also makes use of many different typefaces and this disturbs the visual continuity of the text.
- The book would have benefited from an introductory note or preface in which the writer contextualises the book and explains the rationale behind exploring warrior women specifically. When read, it comes across simply as a series of facts on the lives and achievements of women in battle, and does not necessarily convey to a young reader why it is important to remember the warrior women of history.