Customer Reviews: Kristina: The Girl King, Sweden, 1638 (The Royal Diaries)
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on April 15, 2003
Gustav and Maria Eleanor, the king and queen or Sweden, always wanted a child. What they got after many miscarriages, was Kristina. Maria wailed and keened, but Gustav praised his daughter. Gustav died only 6 years later, leaving his daughter as the KING of Sweden under many regents. Maria hated her daughter (she had mental illnesses that caused her to lveo and hate her daughter on and off)and after attempts on her life, Kristina was sent to live in Stockholm at the Castle of the Three Crowns with her beloved Aunt Katarina. When we meet 11 year old Kristina Vasa, the KING of Sweden, she is sitting by her window at the Castle of the Three Crowns in Stockholm, Sweden, writing in the small book given to her by her Aunt Katarina to record her thoughts and feelings. Over the next year and a half, we watch as young Kristina matures into a young woman (although she becomes more masculine everyday)and we witness her lessons in languages, military tactics, astronomy, history, etc. and her many (MANY) troubles: her insane mother, her frequent nightmares, memories of deaths and attempts on her life, and of course the constant nagging by her tutors and regents to marry. However, Kristina does not wnat to marry for she wants to become KING, as her father intended her to be. The diary greatly describes life in the Swedish court, the fashions, the arts, and the great people of the time. This diary reveals the Kristina most people ignore: not the very masculine woman who gave up her throne to parade around Europe dressed as a man on a white stallion and for Catholicism, but the young misunderstood princess who was alone in the world and had a very difficult childhood as she prepared for her greatest role: to be crowned king of Sweden. We end our journey with Kristina seeing how much she has matured when Kristina is presented before the Rad ( a group put together to quiz Kristina on her studies and preperations) and informs the men that (Kristina's mother had recently escaped Sweden to live in the enemy of Sweden's, Denmark, land and to mingle with the Danish king which showed treason and disloyalty to Sweden)she is going to support her mother now living in debt in Denmark with her own money. This act shows her regent, Axel Oxensteirna (who has only ever referred to Kristina as queen, not king)that Kristina is truly a wonderful and skilled young girl who will one day be a great KING of Sweden. I truly enjoyed this book and thought it was one of the best of the Royal Diaries, next to Carolyn Meyer's other Royal Diaries (Anastasia and Isabel)and Kathryn Lasky's. All fans of the series will enjoy this popular woman's story and leave with the notion of the feminist movement Kristina started so that women could be where they are today. Kristina should be a role model for all girls and if you ever see this book, be sure to pick it up, for despite the diary is short compared to others in the series at a mere 135 pages (epilgoue, historical note, photos, and family tree add up the book to 170 pages) those 135 pages will introduce you to a new world that you will enjoy.
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on April 18, 2003
From the moment Kristina was born she was the disappointment of her mother. The astrologers had all predicted that she would be the long awaited heir of her father, King of Sweden, but instead she was a girl. For weeks her mother's court were too afraid to inform the King that the "boy" was indeed a girl and the whole Kingdom of Sweden rejoiced, ignorant to the truth. When finally the truth came out the King surprised all by declaring the girl a prince and raised her like a boy that he would never have. He was determined for Kristina to become King, not Queen. When her father died during battle, the young Kristina, then six, was declared the rule ruler of Sweden, and upon turning eighteen she would become King. When the story dawns on us, the young Kristina is eleven and can't wait until the day she will finally be able to rule without her father's council. Her days are monotonous, except for the occasional nightmares that have plagued her since her father's unfortunate death. She lives with her Aunt, and receives the education of a prince, but her thoughts are alway lingering to her mother, the women she disappointed so much at birth, who is broken after her father's death. Talks of marriage ensue, but the headstrong Kristina will have none of it, for her dream is to rule like Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen of England.
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on April 27, 2003
Kristina, daughter of King Gustav II of Sweden, is a different and fun look into a little known figure. Being the only child of King Gustav, she has been brought up under male customs so she may become Sweden's next king. Taking place during the half way mark where she will become king, we learn many things in this book. We learn about her crazy and eccentric mother. We can also see the many male habits she has been brought up with. Throughout the book we question, why is she like this? Has she been brainwashed? Kristina, The Girl King will lead you on a great path. I promise you won't want to put it down. Although the first few pages are a bit boring, continue reading because the rest of the book is great.
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Before Kristina was born, her parents, King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden and his wife Maria Eleonora, had tried for years to have a child that survived. While her mother was pregnant with her, astrologers predicted Kristina would be a boy. Kristina's mother wept with disappointment upon discovering that her newborn infant was female, but her father declared his daughter would be as good as any boy. And when no more children were born to her parents and her father died when Kristina was just six, she inherited the throne of Sweden. Now eleven years old and waiting for the day when she will be old enough to rule on her own, Kristina begins a diary on Midsummer Day, 1638. She describes her education, which is that of a boy, as well as holidays and festivals and her difficult relationship with her mother.

I highly recommend this book to all fans of The Royal Diaries series. It brings to life the story of Kristina, a lesser-known royal whose life was fascinating. I also loved the unique setting. I truly enjoyed learning about a place and time I knew nothing about.
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on January 27, 2005
This book is really, really good.I really enjoyed it.This book is about Kristina,princess of Sweden.Kristina is a strong-minded character in this book who wants to follow the moral of Queen Elizabeth,to never marry.Kristina,though a girl enjoys the life of a boy.After one of her friend's death.Kristina's life turns upside-down and is puzzled at her friend's attraction towards her.This book is one of a kind and one of the best Royal Diary Books.It's as interesting and creative as Kazunomiya,the best royal Diary book yet.I strongly reccomend this book.It unlike 'The Lady Of Palenque' has strong characters that you feel friendly with and will soon love.Some of the parts in this book are about the politics in Sweden and those parts are very interesting.Also parts in this book are touching and sad.You may not be able to get this book but try hard to get it.It's good!I couldn't put it down.
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on September 10, 2015
My elementary school ago daughter loves these books. Glad I found the series. This particular one is about King Kristina of Sweden - who knew a woman could actually be a King! I love the mix of historical fiction along with actual facts and photos at the backs of the books. Great way to introduce other cultures into my child's life. She has been fascinated with history and I give some credit to these books. Got most of the books used - always high quality. Very impressed.
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on April 20, 2003
But they might want to be a king. Kirstina: The Girl King is a fabulous addition to the Royal Diaries series. Before reading, I hadn't ever heard of her, but after reading about her in this book, I truly admire her rebelious manner about not marrying and avoiding other things women were meant to learn those days. She is not your average queen type, she is more of a ... king.
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on September 28, 2003
Kristina, the Girl King, is on eof the best Royal Diaries. Not onkly is it brilliantly written, with a superb plot, but through Kristina's tales of Sweedens history, it is very interesting and educational.
Telling past hisory through the character, using tales of her family, is not somethiing that has been done much in other Royal Diaries. However, Kristina did, and it worked very well. Also, Kristina had an interesting twist, involving Kristina being raised as a king, and this made the book quite funny.
I would definitely reccomend this book, it is one of the best Royal Diaries!
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on May 27, 2007
My two girls have read just about all the princess diaries in this series now (and Ive dipped into them too) and this must be the best of the lot. And they're all pretty good. Yes, Christina was named king, which signified that she had power, not that there was any confusion about her gender. Quite a remarkable, real person, and not someone I'd ever heard of before.

A good thing about these books is that they deal with the real concerns and pleasures of girls of this age, princesses included, as well as the situations only princesses face. And they are all based on people who were historically real, and are well researched as far as we can tell - although one of my daughters tells me there was a tiny gaffe in the one on Elizabeth (who became Elizabeth the first of England), where she was 11 at the beginning of the book although historically she hadn't had her 11th birthday yet. But she says this is not a problem! She wants me to say that she loves them so much, she wants to write her own princess diary book.
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on June 21, 2003
Having a touch of Swedish/Finnish ancestry in my blood, I picked up this book wanting to know more about Queen Kristina of Sweden.
Kristina, the last Vasa heir to the throne, was born in Sweden in 1626 to the Swedish King Gustave II Adolf and his German-born wife, Queen Marie Eleonora of Brandenburg. Because Kristina was the couple's only surviving child, Queen Marie Eleonora was devastated that she hadn't produced a male heir to the throne, and after her husband's death when their child was only six, was later portrayed by historians as "unstable." Her husband, on the contrary, was delighted with his child and declared Kristina "King of Sweden," and she grew up as the "girl-king," led primarily by a group of older male advisors.
In the early 1650s, Kristina renounced her crown because of her inclination to Catholicism (Sweden was and still is a dominantly Protestant country). She moved to Rome, where she became a Catholic, and greatly contributed to art, literature, and music. She died in 1689 following a long illness. She is also known for never marrying, and she greatly admired the Virgin Queen Elizabeth I of England, who also never married.
This book was different from the other Royal Diaries books. It was not my favorite one, probably close to my least (if not the least), for some reason. I will give the author credit, however, for weaving an interesting story out of the life of "Kristina: The Girl King" of Sweden.
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