This is book number 1 in the The Bold series.
Elzbieta Cherezinska'sThe 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, Swietoslawa and her two sisters represent three chances for an alliance. Three marriages on which to build his empire.
But Swietoslawa 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.
“Elzbieta Cherezinska 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. Elzbieta Cherezinska 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 . . . Cherezinska 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 Swietoslawa—twice a queen, mother of kings. An impressive and compelling story brought 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 Swietoslawa, Elzbieta Cherezinska 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 Swietoslawa, 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, Cherezinska 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