“Leap, and the net will appear.” Goethe
What a tale! Allison Pataki’s sophomore novel (following her New York Times Bestselling debut) follows the life of another fascinating royal family, Austro-Hungarian Empire’s longest ruling Emperor, Franz Joseph and his wife, the intriguing Empress Sisi (Elisabeth). Captivating from the first page this book gives us a glimpse of royal life of one the biggest empires from over 100 years ago.
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.”
Filled with sadness, love, family loyalties, heartache, happiness, betrayal and everything in between, this tale keeps you hooked from the beginning. One quick glance at the Wikipedia page of Empress Elisabeth (I tend to go on an internet research binge before and while reading a historical biography drama) you find she defied many, lived life differently and yet was loved by her people and her husband. This novel shows all parts of that and her choices; the good, the bad and the ugly.
How different life was back then and how different of a world royalty is! This captivating book dives beautifully into the heartbreaking world of politics, empires, wars, alliances and love. They don’t play when they say court was treacherous. It was! Plus Pataki’s attention to detail and historical happenings brings this era to life beautifully.
Allison Pataki has once again taken us into the life of yet another fascinating (whether one agrees with life choices or not) woman in history. I love that she has focused again on a woman who many might not know much about. I can’t wait for what’s next from this author!
Who is one woman in history you find intriguing and interesting?
(With thanks to Howard Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion)