Ten Queens: Portraits of Women of Power by Milton Meltzer Biography Review


Meltzer, Milton. Ten Queens: Portraits of Women of Power. Dutton Children’s Books: New York, NY, 1998. ISBN 0525456430

Plot Summary: 

This book goes over some of the most influential and powerful women who have ever lived. From Esther, Queen of old, to Catherine the Great, this book goes over the accomplishments of these amazing women

Critical Analysis:

I really enjoyed this book. Having recently been told that women shouldn’t lead, reading this book was a reinforcement that yes, women can and should lead. These remarkable women changed the world around them through their courage, their strength and their will, and Meltzer describes it perfectly. Fast paced and easy to read, this book goes through the lives of ten of the most prominent and influential queens this world has seen. The thing I love the most about this book is that it goes over their lives, not just the period for which they ruled. You get  a lot of feedback and history to understand how these women came to power and why they were the way they were. This is very much a TBR for everyone.

Review Excerpts: 

From Publishers Weekly:

“In an enticing mix of history and biography, Meltzer (American Revolutionaries) reveals many events and personal characteristics that contributed to 10 women rulers’ rise to power. Covering a 2000-year time span, the book’s subjects unfold chronologically and include well-known queens such as Cleopatra and Elizabeth I, as well as the lesser-known Boudicca (who led a revolt against the Romans circa A.D. 60) and Zenobia (who sought to establish her own united kingdom of the East in A.D. 269). Deftly placing each queen in historical context, Meltzer conveys the complexity of power and those who seek it. And, while maintaining a brisk pace, the text nevertheless raises political and ethical questions. “

From School Library Journal:

” Meltzer writes traditional political history. He has a storyteller’s flair and an eye for the small details and anecdotes that bring these queens to life. An added note explains the difficulties researchers face in sifting legend from fact and in weighing historical evidence. Colorful expressionistic paintings, boldly stroked onto unframed panels, enrich the pages. Decorative touches of flowers and jewels on the vibrant portraits celebrate the women’s wealth and femininity. While the sources of the quotations that are woven into the accounts are not identified, there is a bibliography of standard histories consulted. Maps and an index add to the usefulness of the book for reports, and the well-spaced lines of text make the pages inviting to read. This book will grace the history shelves and provide pleasure to its readers.”

From Kirkus Reviews:

“Meltzer (Weapons and Warfare, 1996, etc.) pulls together what is known and what might be inferred about ten women who held power and used it.”


Other books about powerful women:

The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir ISBN 0345425502

Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir ISBN 0345434870

Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie ISBN 0679456724

Other books by Milton Meltzer:

Ten Kings: And the Worlds They Rule ISBN 0439312930

Underground Man ISBN 978-0152055240

There Comes a Time: The Struggle for Civil Rights ISBN 0375804145


Published by

Adrinna Davis

Hello there! Not much to me, I'm just your average author and librarian who is obsessed with Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin, Divergent, ect... who is married with two kids. :) And now blogger. I love children's lit and want to share with you all the amazing books I find!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s