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The Last Queen

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  503 ratings  ·  80 reviews
‘I am Rani Jindan, Mother of the Khalsa. That is my identity. That is my fate.’

Daughter of the royal kennel keeper, the beautiful Jindan Kaur went on to become Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s youngest and last queen; his favourite. She became regent when her son Dalip, barely six years old, unexpectedly inherited the throne. Sharp-eyed, stubborn, passionate, and dedicated to prote
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360 pages
Published 2021
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Avani ✨
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
The last queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the story of the last queen of Lahore, Jindan Kaur. The story starts in Lahore, 1839 where Maharaja Ranjit Singh is sick and Jindan and his other Queen's are worried. Jindan has recently given birth to a son who is not even a year old yet.

The book talks about how Rani Jindan becomes the Queen from a mere village girl. She fights for herself and her child after King Ranjit Singh dies. From traveling to Jammu, and later Amritsar, coming back to Lahor
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Richa Sharma
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
'Your kismet has already spoken. You are not only a wife and a mother, but a queen as well. And a queen who is a mother must play the royal game more skillfully because she has more to lose.'


Rani Jindan, the queen of Punjab is a symbol of grace, wit and honour. The Last Queen is a book that showcases the deep devotion that Rani Jindan had for her family, her religion and her country. The book is a timeless tale of a lady that will excite you with a spirit of patriotism and bravery.⁣⁣


The book i
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Smriti
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: anticipated-2021
3.5 stars. Felt a little lack lustre though it was a great story overall.
Tanaya Deshmukh
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a poignant tale of Rani Jindan who had to go through so much. I did not know her story earlier, thanks to Chitra I now am also aware of how our Kohinoor was snatched from us by the Britishers. The book is extremely intriguing and I did not feel like keeping it down. A must read for everyone. This is my 3rd book from this author which I have loved! Amazing writing style as always.
Avani ✨
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the story of the last queen of Lahore, Jindan Kaur. The story starts in Lahore, 1839 where Maharaja Ranjit Singh is sick and Jindan and his other Queen's are worried. Jindan has recently given birth to a son who is not even a year old yet.

The book talks about how Rani Jindan becomes the Queen from a mere village girl. She fights for herself and her child after King Ranjit Singh dies. From traveling to Jammu, and later Amritsar, coming back to Lahor
...more
Smitha Murthy
My bookshelf has a fair number of books by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and for good reason too. Her books all make for compelling stories. When I heard of ‘The Last Queen,’ I immediately put in a call to one of my favorite bookshops to buy it. Historical fiction isn’t a genre I have read much of, and Indian history even less.

With characteristic élan, Divakaruni retells the story of Rani Jindan - the last queen of Punjab. I don’t want to qualify her as the ‘mother of Duleep’ and the ‘wife of Ranj
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Maahi Patel
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
ThePostbook
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.5/5

Summary: The Last Queen tells the tale of the courageous Rani Jindan, the youngest wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who later goes on to become the Regent of the Sikh Empire. The book humanizes her larger than life character, and portrays her struggles in a way that we can relate to, while we appreciate the momentous tasks she had to undertake to preserve her Empire. Her story is compelling and hard to ignore, and Chitra Banerjee ensures that in this fascinating novel.

Our Take: Rani J
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Shreya Choudhury
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni has done it again. . Woven a tale out of known facts, that keeps the readers hooked till the very end. Having known about Rani Jindan Kaur from William Dalrymple's Koh-i-noor, which wasn't much, I must say this book serves as a good introduction to the forgotten 'Lioness of Punjab'- her strength of character and her purpose.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this book and now off to overthink about what I read and Google about the last Maharaja of Punjab.
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Sahil Pradhan
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Years after writing her trailblazing works of fiction and mythological fiction, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has took on herself to discover and step into a new genre: historical fiction. Her footsteps as always do not make sound, they softly take their steps birthing lotuses on its path and making the audience grow enamored and remember that “she was here” for a reeling long time.

In The Last Queen, the story of Rani Jindan Kaur, the last and youngest wife of Sher-e-Punjab Ranjit Singh and the mot
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Vaibhav
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
As the synopsis of the book, the title and everything around the book suggests, this is the story of a queen and not just any queen, The Last Queen of Sikh Empire and Mother of Khalsa Rani Jindan Kaur. Story starts with describing her humble background, how she meets Ranjit Singh and he falls for her, how she develops an uncanny understanding of the geo-political situation surrounding their empire and how with every passing day as her husband's deteriorating health, plunges the empire closer and ...more
Pulkit Tiwari
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chitra Banerjee’s 350 pager epic ‘The last queen’ does a sound justice to portray life of Jindan Kaur, the youngest wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Arguably the last great ruler of Punjab empire). I am reading this book in interesting times when the state is locked in an argument against the rulers of the wider land, and very recently foreign influence (at-least some sections of it) is by their side in that debate. This story however feels like a love letter to a heroic protagonist from another t ...more
Prashanth Srivatsa
Feb 03, 2021 rated it liked it
Great first half, with some beautiful moments in the court and palaces of Lahore. The second half, with its rushed up battles and litany of bodies, sucks out some of the magic that Chitra Banerjee is so deft at weaving. Not her finest, but a good read nonetheless.
Vidhya Nair
Mar 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. Very engaging. Well researched. Fills in the gaps in the overall story of the fall of the Punjab empire. She’s a master story teller on indian women.
Ruchita
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vidya
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In celebrating victories of women today, we often forget stories like that of Mai Jindan, who was not just brave but ferociously brave. She fought for what she believed in and learnt the art of politics and excelled in that too. The story shows so many different sides to her personality, as a young uninhibited girl, a young lover, a wife to the King, then a mother, a widow, a refugee, a fighter and a very able companion to her son in the later stages of her life.

I thoroughly enjoyed the writing
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Kakul
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chitra is a compelling storyteller no doubt and what a compelling story this was: with its snaky twists and turns. However, her skill with language and soft prose shines brightest in Palace and then in Forest of enchantments.
Vrinda Varma
Mar 15, 2021 rated it liked it
A 3.5 star for the Queen I did not know before reading this book.
Divya
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Maharani Jindan Kaur - the last, and (as recorded accounts tell us, the loveliest) wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the most famous and iconic ruler of Punjab, a figure we know very little about, when compared to other historical figures from her era.
There's still much that's known about her son, Maharaja Duleep Singh, the 'Black Prince', the last Maharaja of Punjab, but of the brave, wily, enigmatic mother, historical accounts are by no means abundant, perhaps because she was a perennial thorn i
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Priti Tiwari
The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a historical retelling of the life of Maharani Jind Kaur who was the last regent of the Sikh empire from 1843 until 1846. She was the youngest wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the mother of the last Maharaja Dalip Singh.

The book has been divided into four parts:
1) Girl ( 1826- 1834): This part covers the teenage life of Jindan; her life in her village, Gujranwala with her mother, her sister Balbir and her brother Jawahar, how she moves from her v
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Sangeeta Relan
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing

The unsung heroines of Indian history are how I would like to describe many of the women who though an integral part of who we are, have been forgotten and buried in history pages. And I love the way some of our modern writers like Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Kavita Kane, to name a few, have taken it upon themselves to pull these women out of these pages and reacquaint us with them. In many cases, the books have been written from the perspective of some of these female characters like Sita, D
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Namrata Ganti
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Last Queen follows the life of Rani Jindan, the youngest wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh as she goes from being a common to a Queen. Her story is exquisitely written in this book by author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni with a keen attention to detail and historical fact. This is a poignant tale of love, loss, loyalty, bravery, betrayal, changing alliances and much more. 

Jindan Kaur comes off a strong woman whose thirst for knowledge sets her apart. She seeks to learn and when she catches the Maha
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Annanya
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
𝕋𝕙𝕖𝕃𝕒𝕤𝕥 ℚ𝕦𝕖𝕖𝕟 𝕓𝕪 ℂ𝕙𝕚𝕥𝕣𝕒 𝔹𝕒𝕟𝕖𝕣𝕛𝕖𝕖 𝔻𝕚𝕧𝕒𝕜𝕒𝕣𝕦𝕟𝕚
‘𝑰 𝒂𝒎𝑹𝒂𝒏𝒊 𝑱𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒂𝒏, 𝑴𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑲𝒉𝒂𝒍𝒔𝒂. 𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒎𝒚 𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒚. 𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒎𝒚 𝒇𝒂𝒕𝒆’
Story of strong Rani Jindan, who came from a simple family to becoming the favourite queen to Lion of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh at a very young age. She had to travel the labyrinth of court life after being widowed with a young boy, having surrounded by a power-hungry fighting for the throne
"𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝒎𝒚 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒔𝒂𝒌𝒆, 𝒕𝒐𝒐, 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆. 𝑰'𝒗𝒆 𝒃𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒐𝒖𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒐 𝒎
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Sayantika
Mar 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been an ardent fan of Chitra Divakaruni’s writing. Ever since I read her, “Vine of desire”, I have been hooked and therefore have devoured her books as soon as they hit the shelves. However, the last book of hers, “The Forest of Enchantments”, fell short of my expectations. So, when “The Last Queen” appeared, I was hoping to get back to her enchanting writing.
Now, I am not a huge history buff. However, after reading William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns, I was quite mesmerized and re
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Sahib Singh
Mar 18, 2021 marked it as to-read
Maharani Jindan is one of my favorite people of history. Having read accounts of her life numerous times over the course of years this is a novel I'll know every step of before it happens. I'll go into this to visit back the things I've forgotten and to enjoy the words. One blurb said that history forgot her; I've always known her and so have people around me. I think most of the Sikhs and Punjabis know her. She's as famous as her husband Maharaja Ranjit Singh. People cry over her fate and sing ...more
Sabia khan
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I wish this was a never ending book 🥺

the Last Queen , is a historical fiction which focuses on Rani Jindan who became the last and the youngest wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh "the lion of Punjab".

The history of the last Queen of Lahore remains lost from the pages of our history.

Jindan coming from a small village in Punjab is excited when her father 'Manna' the kennel keeper of Maharaja Ranjit Singh takes her to Lahore along with her brother 'Jawahar' .Helping his father in lahore and living a sim
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Shreyas Garg
"The British are used to wresting away everything and, afterwards, returning a small portion to the dispossessed as though they are performing a great act of charity."

As much as I love that line, I'm rather disappointed with the way Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni handled this story. Kudos to her for bringing the fascinating life of Rani Jindan to the fore, however, the book's pacing makes it difficult to really grasp and appreciate the Queen's life. The author writes in her typical evocative and tho
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Krishnaveni Subbiah
I would give this book a solid 4.5 stars. And this book really had a huge impact on me. I had all kind of emotions and I am literally overwhelmed. I find it difficult to put in words of how I feel about it.

The Last Queen is the story of Rani Jindan who was the last wife of Raja Ranjit Singh, "The Lion of Punjab". For me, the story of Jindan was very new as I haven't heard of it in the past. That being the case, getting to know this history for the first time definitely had its impact on me.

Chitr
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Sneha Palkar
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Queen; story of a wife, sister, Queen and a MOTHER!

As a child, history was my least favorite subject. On the contrary, all my life, I've enjoyed reading and listening to stories the most. Reading historical fiction clearly answers why. History textbook are all information and no emotion and stories are all emotions woven around information. There is more to history than pages filled with names of places and people and the dates they lived. It's the storehouse of culture and socio econom
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Priyansha Vashi
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
351 pages in 24 hours.

The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the first book that I have literally finished in one sitting. There was not even the slightest inclination for me to not turn to the next page as I finished reading one.

Truly though I don’t think anything I say about this book will do justice to the masterpiece that comes from my most favourite author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. I have grown up reading her books and there could be no better introduction to the world of books
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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author and poet. Her themes include the Indian experience, contemporary America, women, immigration, history, myth, and the joys and challenges of living in a multicultural world. Her work is widely known, as she has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 ant ...more

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“love something—or someone—so much that you would willingly sacrifice yourself. I want to be brave like that.” 1 likes
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