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The Widow Queen

The Bold, Book 1

by Elzbieta Cherezinska

The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska X
The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska
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  • Christine B. (Lilydale, MN)
    The Polish Ken Follett
    My goodness what a fantastic saga! Although I am of 100 percent Polish ancestry, I learned so much history from this sprawling novel. The interplay of the Polish, Swedish, English, Norwegian, and Danish kingdoms was fascinating. I enjoyed the allure of the main protagonist Swietoslawa who ruled her subjects, including her husbands, with unmistakable aplomb. I am looking forward to reading the next installment of what will be an unforgettable passage into Polish history.
  • Marion C. (Peabody, MA)
    Swietostawa
    The Widow Queen is a captivating read of the years 960 to 995 where the Vikings conquer and steal the wealth of neighboring Scandinavian countries and England. During this time, various Kings introduce Christianity to their subjects, although reluctant kings allow their patrons to continue their Viking practices. The author left us with a cliffhanger. The widowed queen, Swietostawa, wonders if she can go after her heart's throb, another King, or is it too late. Next year the series continues with The Last Crown, and I cannot wait to read it.
  • Sherilyn R. (St George, UT)
    Sigrid Storrada a forgotten Queen
    The Widow Queen authored by Elzbieta Cherezinska is the fascinating and forgotten story of a tenth century queen who ruled two kingdoms, and is remembered in the Norse sagas but was totally unknown to me.

    I love historical sagas and this had all the requirements for great historical fiction: great characters, star-crossed lovers, lots of action, and a story which opened the window on a time and place with which I was unfamiliar.

    I did need to keep google at hand for about the first fifty pages to familiarize myself with the real-life characters, the geography and the events in medieval history.

    I would most definitely recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction and especially those who love medieval history. I couldn't put this book down and am anxiously awaiting the sequel to the Widow Queen called The Last Crown.
  • Judy K. (Montgomery, TX)
    Not an easy read
    The names of people and places in The Widow Queen were so foreign, it presented a stumbling block for me. The story was long and it took me at least 100 pages before I was able to follow it. I almost gave up. I persevered and was rewarded with a saga about Vikings, Danes, Swedes and Norwegians, about Kings, Queens, Princes, villains, heroes and gods. I struggled to keep up with the politics and wars and never did get that part straight. What kept me going was the love story between Swietoslawa (try saying that three times quickly) and Olav. Just when I was able to keep up with characters and back stories, the book ended and I was told to read the sequel to find out what happens next. I probably won't do that. I'm not saying the book was awful, just very difficult to read.
  • Portia A. (Monroe Township, NJ)
    A Hard Slog
    I received an ARC which doesn't have the maps or family trees which will be part of the final book.

    The story is fictional, based on the Nordic Sagas which may or not be factual. There are many intertwined facets all centered on Swietoslawa, the queen of the title. I found it difficult to keep track of the various characters involved because many of their names were unfamiliar and similar.

    I persevered and finished the book, but if you are looking for an easy read, this isn't it.

    Interesting factoid..Bluetooth was named for one of the characters in the story.
  • Jeanne W. (Colorado Springs, CO)
    Disappointingly incomplete
    An imagined life story of a 10th century princess in what are now known as Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, there is great potential here to tell a story that most fans of historical fiction are unfamiliar with. The unfortunate thing about receiving an advance copy is that it is missing the family trees and maps that would have been helpful in determining alliances and rivalries and borders. But the few characters who were likable were minor characters and the main ones come across as self-involved and uncaring except for power and riches. And the things people do in the name of religion is absolutely horrifying. You can be baptized or you can be killed. A scary time to be alive. This is the first book in a 2-book series and the author just flat stops right in the middle of some pivotal action, so be forewarned if you don't like cliffhangers.
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