Summary: 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.” (Excerpt from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: Over the past year, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with historical fiction and I find myself picking up more and more of these types of books. A big shout out goes to Erika Robuck – I think my addiction started after reading her novels Call Me Zelda and Fallen Beauty (if you haven’t read them yet, I highly recommend picking them up.) When I heard about The Accidental Empress, I knew I had to go out and buy a copy…this was a piece of history I only knew a little about but the cover and synopsis had me hooked.
The story centers on Sisi, a 15-year old who leaves her home to accompany her older sister who is betrothed (unwillingly) to the young emperor Franz. However, things don’t go as planned when the sisters and their mother arrive at court – Franz and Sisi grow a fondness for one another and ultimately fall in love and get married, making Sisi the young Empress. I love Sisi’s spirited character and throughout the book, truly felt the excitement, love, pain and frustration she experienced from the time she arrived at court until the very end of the book.
I fell in love with this part of Europe instantly and have since added these destinations to my bucket list of places to travel to. The detail Allison puts into her stories are remarkable especially with the beautiful settings and details of the palace; I felt like I was living in the book with these characters. Also, the wide variety of characters in this novel are phenomenal – there were so many who I loved and of course, some I couldn’t stand but that just made me like the book even more.
The Accidental Empress was such a beautiful story that while mid-book, I was already recommending to my friends and family; I knew they would love it just as much as I did and no surprise, they did! I heard a rumor Allison is writing a sequel to this story and if it’s true, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! I highly recommend reading this book – it’s still one of my favorites from this year.
Connect with Allison:
- Website: http://allisonpataki.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllisonPatakiPage
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllisonPataki
Since I loved this book so much, I am giving away one copy! Enter via the Rafflecopter below (US entries only):