Nzingha, Warrior Queen of Matamba
by Patricia C. McKissack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Nzingha, Warrior Queen / 0-439-11210-9
The only thing frustrating about the Royal Diary and Dear America series is that most of the books are still only available in hardcover... and at a hardcover price. "Nzingha" is definitely a good addition to the Royal Diary series, but at approximately 90 pages for the entire novel, it feels almost criminally short. Of course, this tends to happen most with the novels constructed for historical figures whose childhood details are largely lost to history, but it still feels like some fleshing out could have been accomplished here and there.
Although "Nzingha" is short, it is definitely a worthwhile, entertaining, and educational read. Nzingha is a royal princess in a country where women are no longer allowed to rule, but her bravery, courage, wisdom, and skill all so surpass that of her brother that her people cannot help but take note of this strong princess in such troubled times. As the Portuguese continue to press forward from their shores, Nzingha struggles with the best way to study and confront her enemy. She receives schooling from a captured Portuguese priest, by the order of her father, but she remains deeply concerned that what the priest might have to teach them might change the makeup of their society, and not necessarily for the better.
I recommend "Nzingha" as a worthwhile read, but it may be more worth your money to try to find it at a library rather than to buy it outright.
~ Ana Mardoll
View all my reviews