When the King and Queen of Vidaria finally produce an heir, it isn't the son they expected, nor a daughter anyone could expect! The King's directive to educate his young Kristina as only male princes were produces an heiress who's unconventional, unpredictable, and uncontrollable. After leading the military in her early teens, much to the consternation of the male-dominated political establishment, her family's intrigues lead to the fight of her life.
The Maverick Princess
Nearly four months had passed since Kristina first came into the full powers of the crown. A crippling late-season blizzard had buried the Vidarian landscape underneath a substantial white carpet and a mass of bitterly cold air. Entire towns had been submerged in a thicket of ice and snow, paralyzing travel and thus postponing Kristina’s planned post-coronation jousting tournament.
They say one is judged by the company he or she keeps. The basic Vidarian court remained virtually unchanged, but now Kristina was beginning to mold it in her image, surrounding herself with continental scholars, artists, and vagabonds. Most of these intellectuals were loners like herself who, paradoxically, congregated and existed in their own parallel universe. Previously ostracized for their often radical beliefs, they saw the young, progressive queen's court as a safe haven -- a means of escaping the stake or the axe.
At the same time, though, she had become even more powerful and thus became attractive marriage bait. "The time has come," the Chancellor told her on the first morning of April. "You must wed. It is for the good of Vidaria."
Kristina gave him the same reply: "Honestly, Chancellor, I do not wish to ever be married. The whole notion of it bores me."
He told her, "You are not thinking clearly, Madam."
She retorted with, "The problem, Chancellor, is that I am."
Luckily Kristina had two true pleasures in this drab life -- reading and sport. She read whenever she could, even if it meant not going to sleep at night to soak up knowledge. As for sport, she used them in the daytime hours to escape, hopping on her black stallion and riding at full speed for hours at a time. The same went for hunting. She would come in with all sorts of spoils from her kill and then either eat them herself or have them served to castle inhabitants and sent to the servant quarters.
The ceremony had merely empowered and emboldened her to do as she pleased. Now that the crown of Vidaria officially sat on her head no one had the right to tell her how to behave. Not even the Lord Chancellor. Nobody dared interfere with her now -- and, as a consequence, her attire became pronouncedly more masculine. The older she got, the more defiant she got, and the more outrageous she got in her recalcitrance.
Kristina had adopted the attitude of being a man among men. She swore like a man -- and a robust Scandinavian one at that, and now that she could do what she liked, she dismissed many of her personal maids and instead hired a male attendant, an illiterate, trustworthy, and shrewd valet de chambre called Poissonet. Except for her slight figure there was very little that was distinctly feminine about her.