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Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders (Book 1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  172 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Bertha Maude Anderson has no inkling of how famous she will become. She lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in the year 1843.

Her world changes forever when she is enticed to join The Romanoff Brothers Circus and her name is changed to Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders. Inzared discovers her true calling while learning to live with the nomadic Gypsies.
Kindle Edition, 328 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Amazon KDP
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The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternWater for Elephants by Sara GruenSpectaccolo by Christine CatlinGeek Love by Katherine DunnAwake by Melanie Surani
Best Circus, Sideshow and Museum Books
12th out of 25 books — 17 voters
An Elephant Is On My House by O.D.D. CummingsLove, Life, and Elephants by Daphne SheldrickModoc by Ralph HelferWhen Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Moussaieff MassonThe Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
Elephants on the Cover
32nd out of 43 books — 17 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 424)
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Free today on Kindle! Yay! I've been wanting to get this and now it's free, excellent!
Jan 16, 2013 DC rated it really liked it
Circus, circus, we love the circus~

This is the tale of a young girl of sixteen, one who has taken it into her head that there's more to life than what her family has brought her up to become. It's a tale of growing up, of love and loss, of Gaji and Gypsy, of fitting in and being left out, of life and change, of applause and tears.

The book is voiced by the headstrong Bertha, whose cordial (and perceptive) view of life gives zest to this coming-of-age story. With her simple language and seemingly
Jan 07, 2013 Caitlin rated it it was ok
This... I don't know. The story idea itself was good: teenage girl in the 19th century is unfulfilled in her hillbilly life, so on a whim and a plea from a pretty gypsy elephant handler, she runs away with the circus. The writing needed heavy editing, as time wasn't tracked consistently and many circumstances for the side characters were repeated as if just revealed. It seemed that important plot points would be brought up randomly, then completely forgotten by the main characters until a new oc ...more
May 31, 2015 Krista rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I had vowed to read more self-published or indie published books this year and Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders caught my eye when I went browsing through my rather out-of-control e-book collection. I made a quick visit to the author's website to confirm my suspicion that this was self-published through Amazon and came away satisfied that this was the case.

Setting aside some of the traditionally published books in my TBR, I started reading
Aug 22, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


Living in the mountains of North Carolina around 1843, Bertha Maude Anderson is always getting into trouble for dreaming bigger than what her plain name would warrant. “Fancy is as fancy does,” as her mother says, Bertha longs for adventure, travel, the kiss of a handsome stranger, and to be free of her daily responsibilities. In short, she’s a dreamer in search of adventure, and the chance to go out and take it.

That chance for adventure comes in the form
Ella Medler
Jan 10, 2013 Ella Medler rated it it was amazing
You know those books you used to read long, long ago, when you were a little child and every page was a revelation? That’s exactly how I felt while reading INZARED.

I rarely enjoy reading novels set anywhere other than the contemporary world. I like having a good idea of where I am and enjoy the comforts of knowing what to expect. Inzared took me far out of my comfort zone, but the story was like nothing I’ve read before.

Set in the 1840s, and on the background of a Gypsy travelling circus, Inzare
Laura Reading
Sep 19, 2012 Laura Reading rated it really liked it
I have always had an interest in circus stories and even better when one gets to look behind the scenes, or Big Top, as it were. This is an adventure story with a mystery thrown in. I will admit that for a long time I figured I knew who was to blame, but I was partially wrong up until the end. Although I think part of the story was left out.
It was a love story, not just for the people but for the animals.
I could see a sequel about love found a second time.

At first the immature language put me of
May 22, 2014 Virginia rated it did not like it
This did not hold my attention AT ALL. For the most part I was extremely distracted by the poor editing. Nobody else has complained in their reviews, so I'm assuming it must have been a flaw on the version I downloaded on my Kindle. For example on almost every single page there are words missing at the beginning of a sentence. Instead of saying "I had a twinge of guilt...." - It says "Had a twinge of guilt...." or instead of saying "I realized it was easier.....:" It reads "Realized it was easie ...more
C. Michaels
Oct 23, 2012 C. Michaels rated it it was amazing
Inzared Is a Heartwarming Tale of Innocence and Love

L. Leander writes with grace in this beautiful story about a young girl finding herself by joining a circus during the mid 1800’s.
Unlike many narratives that warm our hearts with new romance, this one takes on much more.

The love between our protagonist and the circus elephant, Cecil.

Leander captures the relationship between Inzared and the circus star, Cecil in a way that animal lovers will identify with. The communication between the two ce
Nov 30, 2012 Books rated it it was amazing
As I love animals and am fascinated by circus life, reading “Inzared: Queen of the Elephant Riders” was a very special treat for me. When Bertha meets Paytre and his Elephant, Cecil, it is love at first sight for both the boy and the elephant. Roped in to act as stand in for the indisposed elephant rider, Bertha - now renamed Inzared - feels that she could make the circus her life. She is a hillbilly, not afraid of hard work and tough enough to fit in with the Gypsies. There is a traitor in thei ...more
Shalini Ayre
Sep 24, 2012 Shalini Ayre rated it liked it
Frustrated and longing to live a different life - one that doesn't involving tending a farm and marrying a farm boy - Bertha Anderson's hillbilly life changes when the circus comes to town.

Not expecting to ever see it, she is surprised when her Ma agrees to go and along with her father and older brother Ezra, they enter a colorful world. There their senses are assaulted with the exciting smells, sights and sounds - popcorn, animals and side show curiosities. There Bertha meets Cecil. A beautiful
Kitty Muse Book Reviews
Dec 28, 2012 Kitty Muse Book Reviews rated it it was amazing
At some point in time, we all have an urge to run away and "join the circus". Whether or not it's an actual circus is beside the point. We want to get away from where we are and explore a different type of life.

Bertha Maude Anderson does just that. A self-described "hillbilly" eking out a hard life in the hills of 1843 North Carolina, she dreams of seeing the world rather than being stuck in her present situation. Being a young teenager with few choices in her life, she is desperate to escape co
Sep 30, 2012 Brian rated it it was amazing
Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders is a wonderful debut release from L. Leander. The story follows Bertha Maude Anderson, a girl who grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in the 1800s. She is unsure of her place in the world, feeling she wants more than her small town home in Appalachia. When a gypsy circus comes through her town, she falls in love with the lifestyle the gypsy troupe leads--as well as being intrigued by a young man named Paytre and his elephant, Cecil--and fi ...more
Judy King
Aug 28, 2012 Judy King rated it really liked it
It seemed to me that the first half was much stronger than the last -- some bits got dropped and weren't tied up in the ending -- i.e. Lileth who was so in love with Peter. She just seemed to disappear about 60-70%.

There were a few inconsistencies that bother those of us who are detail oriented -- In one place they are looking for Star fish and sand dollars. Two pages later it's Sea Horses and Sand Dollars -- certainly not vital but disconcerting -- as were a couple of references, unimportant t
Roy Murry
Sep 22, 2012 Roy Murry rated it really liked it
Written by L.Leander

Reviewed by R. Murry

We all wanted to run away to join the circus at one time or another – to follow our dream. It is a difficult decision that few, who are not happy with their present situation, take. Ms. Leander’s character makes that choice that affects those around her and her farming family forever.

She leaves her mountain hard working family, without telling a soul, and joins the Romanoff gypsy family circus for the mesmerizing advent
Sage Adderley
Jan 20, 2013 Sage Adderley rated it really liked it
Bertha is a 17-year-old farm girl from the Appalachians. Her life consists of working on the family farm and preparing to marry a local farm boy and start a family. When a Gypsy circus visits her home town, Bertha finds herself getting whisked into the wonders of this foreign culture. Her uneventful life swiftly turns into an awesome adventure.

I really enjoy the time period of this story and the setting. L. Leander does a wonderful job creating a story set in 1843 in the desolate mountains of No
Dannie Hill
Jan 29, 2013 Dannie Hill rated it it was amazing
Inzared-Queen of the Elephant Riders by L. Leander is a story almost every child who has been under the Big Top has dreamed of- running away to join the circus.

A young girl from the mountains has bigger dreams than living the hard, desperate life of a farmer’s wife. She wants to see the world.

While attending her first circus she meets Paytre, a young handsome gypsy man who invites her to run away and ride an elephant in the Romanoff Brothers Circus. She leaves that night and never looks back.

Michele Whitecotton
Sep 11, 2012 Michele Whitecotton rated it it was amazing
I got this book for free one day and it turned out to be an amazing gift. I was hesitant about reading it at first because a few years ago I tried reading "Water for Elephants" and didn't like it. Maybe I didn't read enough. I started this book and almost quit a couple of times, it took me until about 40% of the book to really get into it. Once I got over the hump, this story took off like crazy. I couldn't put it down. It is the story of Bertha who ran away from home as a teenager and joined th ...more
May 13, 2013 Kysha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: digital-book
I am not usually a fan of historical fiction, but I LOVE the circus.

This is the story of Bertha, a hillbilly teen with a wild imagination and not much work ethic. She falls in love with Cecil, the circus elephant, and his trainer, Paytre. She decides to run off with them and join the Gypsy circus. She finds a home, a family, and new name, Inzared.
The love between Inzared, Paytre and Cecil is wonderful. They have a connection that few can make. I enjoyed reading about their relationship and its
Clarissa Simmens
May 27, 2013 Clarissa Simmens rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful surprise! As a Gypsy I'm one of the "Gypsy Police" of the written word and recently wrote a review about a book that probably set the Roma cause back years. This book is completely balanced, depicting Romani/Gypsy people like all people: some are good, some are not so good, some are evil. Lots of good description about the customs and there was one in particular I had never known. Having a circus grandfather (whom I only met a few times) gave me a glimpse into his probable life. ...more
Billi Tiner
Sep 28, 2012 Billi Tiner rated it really liked it
Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders is a charming story of a girl who does what many of us have dreamed of doing; she runs away with the circus. The story is told through the eyes of the main character, Bertha. L. Leander does an excellent job of developing the colorful gypsy characters. She paints a vivid picture of what life under the big top was like for circus performers in the 1840s. The romance between Bertha and Paytre, the elephant trainer, is sweet and romantic. There were some repeti ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Karen rated it it was ok
The first half of the book was fun and fresh and felt like another Jacky Faber-type story. The first half of the book gets 4 or 5 stars. But then....
Just a bit over halfway through... the book becomes disjointed. Even if it hadn't been for the terrible ending, I wouldn't have liked this book because it felt like the author couldn't pay enough attention to it to make it move smoothly anymore. The villain was obvious from the beginning, which is fine with me, but all of the red herrings were forg
Feb 08, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was a nice read with an innocence that I feel is suitable for a YA audience. It was warming in places, and in others very sad. I know very little about the language and customs of the Romany circus travellers in the US, back in the 1840s, so it was good to learn something new – acknowledging that I was reading a work of fiction. The concept of running away from home and joining a circus troupe took me back to childhood memories of books written about Circuses in the 1950s and 1960s. The lif ...more
Cindy Smith
Jan 04, 2013 Cindy Smith rated it really liked it
INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders (Kindle Edition)
This is a cute story of a girl who finds life as a hillbilly stifling and wants to see the world. Bertha goes to the circus with her family and is fascinated by the elephant Cecil. The next day she runs away with the circus. The characters are well developed and the historical info seems accurate. I was just a little confused as to why her family did not look for her when she ran away. I loved the emphasis on superstition and prejudice (both
Sarah King
Dec 03, 2012 Sarah King rated it really liked it
Overall I really liked this book- how can you not love a story about the circus!? It was sort of predictable with all of the really obvious foreshadowing, but it moved at a good pace and the other characters kept it interesting; and even though I knew what was coming it was still really sad! The ending did feel a little rushed but not enough to make me not like the book. The author tries to create a language for Inzared by randomly writing in sentence fragments and it's more disruptive than char ...more
Bubble Bath Books
Jan 10, 2013 Bubble Bath Books rated it liked it (aka Bubby and Sissy) think that Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders by L. Leander is a refreshing new setting for mystery, intrigue, and romance. Bubby says that the whole circus setting (The Amazing WolfBoy, The Human Skeleton, The 500-Pound Woman), acrobats, elephants, gypsies, wagons, plus a mysterious saboteur, travel, and excitement make this an unpredictable and interesting read. Sissy loves the title, loves elephants, and says that the circus name of “Inzared” perfe ...more
Janet C.
Nov 24, 2012 Janet C. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a good book to read
Recommended to Janet C. by: n/a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rabid Readers Reviews
Aug 14, 2012 Rabid Readers Reviews rated it it was amazing
This is a novel that transports you straight to 1843. You are part of the prejudices and the challenges that Inzared (Bertha) faces. The novel is written in regional dialect and beautifully constructed. The author is a master of imagery. I don't know anything about the gypsy culture of the time but the author led me to feel that she had researched it extensively. I couldn't put it down - just had to know what came next. Inzared is a wonderful story and I highly recommend it not only for those wh ...more
Jane McBride
Feb 17, 2013 Jane McBride rated it really liked it
I love the characters Inzared and Paytre, can't blame her for falling in love with him. I love Cecil, the elephant and was glad that in this circus, the handlers were always kind to the animals and considered them family. I don't think leaving her family would have been quite this simple for Bertha (Inzared). She not only left them, but let it go for years without giving them any news of what had happened to her. All in all, I thought it was not a bad read.
Sep 20, 2013 Cindy rated it liked it
Liked the premise but felt the storyline skipped too much time without much explanation. Found the dialogue of the main character somewhat odd. For a young hillbilly girl from Appalachia, she would occasionally use words that I felt probably wouldn't be in her everyday vocabulary. I wanted more in-depth about some of the relationships. Slight spoiler alert: Some knowledge about what her family thought would have been nice.
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Goodreads Librari...: ASIN in ISBN13 field 3 151 Aug 23, 2012 01:27AM  
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L.Leander was raised in Lower Michigan, graduating from Hillman Community School. She worked in the Office Management field for many years, later attending Hot Springs Beauty Academy in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where she opened a beauty salon and taught cosmetology.

Ms. Leander began writing at the age of ten, when she wrote a short story for her English Class entitled "Three Mice On The Moon." The p
More about L. Leander...

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