I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
Published by Simon and Schuster on February 17th 2015
Genres: Biographical, Fiction, General, Historical, Romance
New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki follows up on her critically acclaimed debut novel, The Traitor’s Wife, with the little-known and tumultuous love story of “Sisi” the Austro-Hungarian Empress and captivating wife of Emperor Franz Joseph.The year is 1853, and the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia, from Germany to Italy, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry. Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg Court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead. Thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world. With Pataki’s rich period detail and cast of complex, bewitching characters, The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into one of history’s most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Hapsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved “Fairy Queen.”
The Accidental Empress is a true gem of a story about the most beautiful woman in the world, Empress Elisabeth, otherwise known as Sisi. This is the best historical fiction I’ve read in a while that actually made me feel something about a historical figure. I rooted for Sisi, even while I knew already a little about her history, I hoped that she would find happiness. Her life was one I wouldn’t have wanted myself. Her husband, the emperor, was a terrible mamma’s boy. Could anyone have put up with such a mother-in-law as Sisi had, I’m not sure. The loneliness and despair she felt lifted right off the pages from this book, but the moments of happiness and renewal also did, too.
I usually read mostly Tudor related fiction, but I’m glad I did not pass over The Accidental Empress. Even when I had to put down my tablet for the night, my thoughts were not very far away from this book. The writing was very much alive for me and the drama that unfolded in Empress Elisabeth’s life kept me interested until the very last word.