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The Tsar's Locket by Ken Czech is a historical fiction that is based on events that did happen. This book was published in 2020 by Fireship Press, LLC. This interesting book is 303 pages long but worth the read.

The Author

Ken Czech lives in Central Minnesota on an abandoned granite quarry with his wife, Mary. He is retired from being a history professor. He is also known as an authority on historical literature of sports and exploration.

You can check out his website at


Julian Blunt, a despised Catholic, and former sea captain is tasked with delivering a betrothal locket to Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible in Moscow. If he delivers this locket, the Queen has promised to give him a ship and make sure his wife is properly buried. The marriage is between Tsar Ivan the Terrible and the Queens niece Lady Mary Hastings. He is warned that if the locket falls into the wrong hand then there will be a war between England and Russia.

With an assassin on his tail trying to prevent him from delivering the locket, Julian is joined by the Queen's messenger, Jessandra Calcross. To deliver this locket, they have to cross the Baltic Sea and go into the heart of Russia. This is no easy task. Even though they are at odds over station and religion, Jessandra leans toward Julian as he is the only one she can trust. They grow closer as the journey continues. Soon Julian is caught between doing what the Queen has tasked him or abandoning the mission to better protect Jessandra. What to do when duty, honor, and love collide?

Historical Note

Ivan the Terrible did negotiate for the hand of Lady Mary Hastings without even seeing her. He did become infatuated with her and did he did request a portrait of her.

By writing this novel, author Ken Czech combines his knowledge of real events with the Tsar Ivan the Terrible and adding a dangerous voyage across the sea, assassins, and a political versus religious agenda you have a must-read novel. Ken knows how to keep his readers interested from the first page to the end. I love that at the end of the book, he adds a historical note that tells more about Tsar Ivan and England. This novel is great for anyone who loves to read adventure, historical fiction, romance, and danger. This book is filled with excellent dialogue between the characters that the readers will looking for more.