Happy Publication Day to this beauty! Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen is historical fiction at its finest and is firmly on my Favorites Shelf!
I wavered back and forth between four and five stars for this gem, and the more I thought about it, I felt five stars fits. The deciding factor that pushed it over the edge: based on the true story of Cathy Williams, the only woman to have served with the Buffalo Soldiers in the Civil War, she was a force to be reckoned with, and I crave reads where women are depicted with fierce and inspiring tenacity. Cathy Williams is a legend, and the perfect main character to depict in a book.
Born a slave in Missouri, Cathy did not consider herself as such. Her grandmother was previously a queen in Africa, and a warrior queen at that. Her mother told her she was simply held captive until she could escape.
Her escape comes in the form of Union General Phillip Henry Sheridan who, along with his men, pillages the plantation on which she lives. Sheridan deems her worthy of his service, and she is separated from her mother and sister and thrown in a wagon until she arrives at the army camp where she serves as assistant to Sheridan’s cook.
Cathy is surrounded by men, and at times is confused for one and/or passes as a male. She uses this to her advantage for safety and transforms into Private Williams, a true American hero. I get chills when I think about her story, and I’m not sure I’ll ever forget the inspiration.
Sarah Bird weaves a beautifully-told adventure. Characterization, setting, and plot are all on point. I found the story immersive and all-consuming. If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a book you will not want to miss. Books like this are why we read historical fiction. And if you are a fan of strong female characters, you can’t miss Cathy’s story, even if this genre is not in your wheelhouse. It is epic, exciting, and inciting. I loved every minute I spent with Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the complimentary ARC. All opinions are my own.
From author Sarah Bird comes the compelling, hidden story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers.
Here’s the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of a queen and my mama never let me forget it.
Though born into bondage on a “miserable tobacco farm” in Little Dixie, Missouri, Cathy Williams was never allowed to consider herself a slave. According to her mother, she was a captive, bound by her noble warrior blood to escape the enemy. Her means of deliverance is Union general Phillip Henry “Smash ‘em Up” Sheridan, the outcast of West Point who takes the rawboned, prideful young woman into service. At war’s end, having tasted freedom, Cathy refuses to return to servitude and makes the monumental decision to disguise herself as a man and join the Army’s legendary Buffalo Soldiers.
Alone now in the ultimate man’s world, Cathy must fight not only for her survival and freedom, but she vows to never give up on finding her mother, her little sister, and the love of the only man strong and noble enough to win her heart. Inspired by the stunning, true story of Private Williams, this American heroine.
Have you read Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR