We all know that behind every (supposed) great man is an even greater woman and the power of a strong woman should never be questioned. Digging into her own family’s past and reaching back as far as the Persian Empire, author Pardis Mahdavi relays the story of a forgotten group of female freedom fighters who had their hands in a number of different events throughout the years.

The story follows the lives of multiple significant individuals, from Mahdavi’s own grandmother who smuggled victims of domestic abuse out of the country to the general of the horsewomen who defended their country from marauders. The way in which Mahdavi writes this book is both informative and engaging, pulling the reader in that feels like a sit down chat with a friend spilling the tea about what their family did recently.

In addition to the powerful women we learn about, the legacy of the ancient breed of Caspian horses is also discussed in depth. From their discovery to breeding them back from the edge of extinction and more, these horses are just as strong as the women whose lives they saved and helped bring their freedom. I have a newfound appreciation for horses and the bond they can have with a human.

A story filled with heartbreak and fear, it is also one of hope and power. A lot of the women we read about in the story have horrible things happen to them and, with their horses, they find the power, liberation, and sense of purpose that propels them to continue moving forward in fighting for the things they deserve in their lives and protecting and liberating those that come after them. A powerful read that will live in my memory for a long time to come.

BOOK OF QUEENS by Pardis Mahdavi is available now and you need to grab a copy for yourself here.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."