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The Widow Queen: Book summary and reviews of The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska

The Widow Queen

The Bold #1

by Elzbieta Cherezinska

The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska X
The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska
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About this book

Book Summary

Elżbieta Cherezińska's The Widow Queen is the epic story of a Polish queen whose life and name were all but forgotten until now. It's a sweeping saga perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, Bernard Cornwell, and the Vikings TV series.

The bold one, they call her―too bold for most.

To her father, the great duke of Poland, Świętosława and her two sisters represent three chances for an alliance. Three marriages on which to build his empire.

But Świętosława refuses to be simply a pawn in her father's schemes; she seeks a throne of her own, with no husband by her side.

The gods may grant her wish, but crowns sit heavy, and power is a sword that cuts both ways.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Elżbieta Cherezińska writes with great depth and imagination, bringing to life seductive and detailed worlds." - Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel Prize Laureate and Man Booker Prize winning author of Flights

"The Widow Queen is the story of a woman standing strong in a world run by men, and of the sacrifices we must make for power and love. Elżbieta Cherezińska brings epic history to life with her own unique and recognizable voice. Her stories have emotion, drama, and make even the most well-known historical events feel exciting and fresh." - Tomek Baginski, Executive Producer, The Witcher, Netflix

"A fascinating and forgotten corner of history ... Cherezińska brings to life a world of violence and beauty, superstition and intrigue."- Linnea Hartsuyker, author of The Half-Drowned King

"Fascinating, authentic, and beautifully told, The Widow Queen is the story of a forgotten Polish princess in an era of warriors, the headstrong, clever Świętosława―twice a queen, mother of kings. An impressive and compelling story brough vividly to life!" - Susan Fraser King, author of Lady Macbeth and Queen Hereafter

"The Widow Queen is a genuine gift for historical fiction enthusiasts: a deeply-detailed story of power, politics, and love―and the impossibility of keeping all three. In Świętosława, Elżbieta Cherezińska reveals to us a complex woman who was ignored by historians, rightfully elevating her to an equal standing with her more-famous allies and enemies. This carefully-crafted novel lives up to its protagonist's title: the Bold One." - Nathan Makaryk, author of Nottingham

"Look no further for your next great adventure. The Widow Queen unspools the true history of two courageous siblings, Boleslaw―the first and future King of Poland, and his daring sister Świętosława, fated to a royal destiny in a great Norse kingdom. Ranging across Baltic shores to the northern reaches of Scandinavia, and far West to King Ethelred's England, Cherezińska propels us through a tale of great personal and social transformation, from pagan to Christian, and private to political. This hidden history of a forgotten yet vitally important heroine brings Swietoslawa into the limelight she so richly deserves." - Octavia Randolph, author of The Circle of Ceridwen Saga

This information about The Widow Queen was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Kay K. (Oshkosh, WI)

The Widow Queen
I enjoyed this book once I got past trying to keep the names of people and places straight. They are foreign and made it challenging at first. If you like the History Channels series The Vikings, you will love this book. Fans of Philippa Gregory would like this book. It has intrigue, battle strategy, love triangles, and plots inside the plot. The main family that this story is about seeks to unify all the lands of Europe and Scandinavia. They are courageous and intelligent, spreading Christianity amongst Vikings. The author depicts the time and people in a very believable way. I would recommend this read.

Peggy K. (Westminster, CO)

More, please
For lovers of deep historical fiction with sweeping scope—and a healthy dose of strong, savvy women characters—Elzbieta Cherezinska's The Widow Queen delivers richly. While there are many names and places to keep track of in the book, the story of Swietoslawa is a wryly told saga that only promises more. This is the first book in the trilogy, and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment. Be prepared to be swept off your feet, sometimes forcefully (we are talking about Vikings after all), and absorb the rich history of Poland during the late 10th century. Love, betrayal, war, exile...this story will stay with you. I'm looking to read more about Poland's past as a result of this book. Do not let this one pass you by.

Sharon R. (Deerfield, IL)

Forgotten Polish Princess
This is a sweeping and detailed journey of a Polish princess that has not come to light in this century. She is strong, fiercely independent and brave beyond her years.
There is Witchcraft; people who change from human to animals and back again; Wars; Feasts; all richly detailed down to exactly what everyone is wearing.
This is wonderful present to be opened by historical fiction fans everywhere. Many have compared this work to the "Game of Thrones" Series however instead of waiting for the next episode you, the reader, can immerse yourself into the destiny that only the heroic Swietostawa can achieve.

Julie M. (St Paul, MN)

Historical Saga
In The Widow Queen we meet a Polish princess in the tenth century who is determined as a young girl to end the chain of women forgotten by history. It was refreshing to see a woman as the main character in a saga where the main players are usually men. Even though this book is just shy of 500 pages, I did not want it to end. Imagine how excited I was to find out at the end that there will be a sequel called The Last Crown. If readers enjoyed Ken Follet's Kingsbridge series or Linnea Hartsuyker's Viking series, The Widow Queen will not disappoint!

Margaret A. (Cornelius, NC)

The Widow Queen
The story is not lost in translation!
The Widow Queen is a historical fiction masterpiece set in the time period from 984 A.D. - 997 A.D. The story focuses on the Piast dynasty of Poland and the Vikings in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Norway

Duke Mieszko of Poland is a ruthless leader, who seeks to expand Poland's borders through cunning, strength and his children. He grooms his children in the roles they are to play and arranges marriage alliances between his children with whomever he chooses he feels will aid them to become the most powerful rulers of all time.

At the center of this epic novel, is Swietoslawa, the Bold One, Mieszko's favorite daughter with intelligence, and her very presence that commands respect, because she indeed has proven herself to be the Bold One.

This historical fiction has something for everyone; battles, intrigue, alliances, betrayals and even some love stories. It will keep you turning the page and leave you wanting more.

Jan, Colorado

An Adventure of a Different Time
The Widow Queen is not just a story, it's a saga. Elzbieta Cherezinska writes so powerfully that her words pull one through the story. The lands and the times are as foreign as the names of the characters that you can't forget. This book is packed with timeless stories of love, deceit and power. This is not a "beach read." One must take the time to explore the many plots and subplots, know the many characters, and discover the many foreign places. The author leaves the reader ready for her promised next book "The Last Crown."

...12 more reader reviews

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More Information

Elżbieta Cherezińska is a bestselling and award-winning author from Pila, Poland. She has written 14 novels, and The Widow Queen is her first to be translated into English. She and her husband currently reside in Kolobrzeg, Poland.

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More Recommendations

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