After almost two years of work, countless hours of researching historical sources, and just shy of 100 illustrations, mine and Linda Linnskog Rudh’s book about Swedish monarchs is finally complete and available in bookstores!
Kungaliv : Sveriges regenter under 500 år, published by Opal, is a bustling non-fiction book for children aged 9-12 about 23 different Swedish monarchs, from Gustav Vasa to present day’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, with fictionalised anecdotes, tons of historical facts and timelines, and richly illustrated by yours truly!
It was definitely one of the most interesting and rewarding projects I had the honour to work on.
I became involved in the project in late 2017, when Opal’s editor Anja landed the opportunity at my doorstep. A book about Swedish kings and queens that requires tons of research for historical accuracy, but also storytelling with a great deal of freedom on how to bring everything to life? Sign me up!
Early sketches for the cover and for the look and feel of the interior.
The most challenging and exciting part of the illustrating process was maintaining the historical accuracy of characters, settings and clothing, as they span over 500 years of history.
Capturing the likeness of the 23 monarchs and other characters was particularly stimulating. Although many paintings exist that I could use as reference, some of the stories that Linda wrote take place in the younger years of the monarch (like in Queen Kristina’s chapter), of which there usually are not many visual representations, forcing me to de-age the characters starting from the images of their older selves.
The publisher had planned a release party at Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury) in Stockholm to celebrate the book, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to Covid-19. So we got some cool Kangaliv-themed playing cards instead as a giveaway!
This is a book I am really proud of, and a lot of effort and working hours went into its creation from all of us involved. The gold-foil title and bookmark are really nice finishing touches.
Check out the project’s page for more details about the book’s content.
The book is out now in all bookstore across Sweden, and can be purchaded online here.