"Kristina, the Girl King"

Author: Carolyn Meyer
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Scholastic
Series: The Royal Diaries

In spite of the claims of the historical notes at the back of the book, calling Kristina "the most talked about queen in history, second only to Cleopatra", I had never heard of her before reading this book.
The book was a great read, though (I read the whole thing in a single afternoon) and Kristina herself made a fascinating study.
Since both her parents were disappointed at Kristina's birth over the fact that she was a girl, her father made the decision that she would be raised as a prince and trained to be king after his death (in that culture queens were looked upon as merely the wives of kings, having no power or authority themselves). So, rather than embroidering and gossiping like the other girls in the royal court, Kristina spent her time fencing, riding, shooting, and studying to become a wise ruler.
Her mentally and emotionally unstable mother creates a never-ending source of tension and worry for Kristina, as do the constant promptings from her advisors, telling her that she should marry.
The author does a fabulous job letting the readers into Kristina's thoughts. Of course it's all speculation, but when you read the actual historical facts about "The Girl King of Sweden" and see how well it coincides with the fictional portrayal of Kristina in this book, you feel like you actually know the girl.
If you're looking for something pleasant and relaxing but still educational to read, I definitely recommend this book.

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