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The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki
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The Accidental Empress

by Allison Pataki

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3623346,455 (3.92)22
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.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
A romanticized telling of the life of Empress “Sisi” Elizabeth of Austria and Hungry in the late 1800s. At the young age of 15, Sisi is chosen to be the bride of Emperor Franz Joesph after he rejects the idea of her older sister being his bride. Sisi accepts the proposal and takes on an unappreciated role as Empress. We follow Sisi life through three pregnancies, a turbulent relationship with her mother-in-law, and a husband who brings his mother everywhere even on their honeymoon.

I did not know anything thing about the life of Empress Sisi or Emperor Franz Joseph but now I have a new favorite royal life to follow. This book made me want to look up the actual history of the Empress. That is the badge of good historical fiction when it makes you want to read more about the subject.

According to many who live an area that Franz and Sisi reigned this book is very fictional and overdramatic. Well, according to a woman in my book club who visited the area it is. The tour guide said that Sisi was a complete diva and was not as beloved by the people as we think she was. In my opinion, I don’t think that will deter me from reading about this royal family.

This book also has a sequel called Sisi On Her Own. The sequel follows the later life of Sisi starting with her fourth pregnancy and probably ending with her assassination. I am looking forward to returning to Sisi’s story when I have the chance and any other books I come across. ( )
  lavenderagate | Jun 19, 2019 |
This book was difficult to read. Not because of the writing (it's excellent). This story was so descriptive as to be like stepping into a time machine to travel back into Sisi's life. The author so fully enmeshes us into her heartache and griefs, that we feel like we're experiencing it all with her. The loss of her children, the stifling protocol of Austrian court life, the desperation she feels for freedom. An epic account and definitely a worthy read for anyone who loves historical fiction! ( )
  ErinMa | Feb 22, 2019 |
I enjoyed this telling of the life of Empress Elizabeth and the struggles she lived through. The fictional embellishments were well immersed into the actual historical events. I'm looking forward to the second book and how the story continues 4⭐️. ( )
  karenvg3 | Mar 19, 2018 |
At just fifteen years old, Elisabeth "Sisi" of Bavaria travels to Austria to meet Franz Joseph, the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who is to marry her sister. Instead, the emperor falls in love with Sisi and makes her his empress. However, Sisi is ill-prepared for the rigors of court life and for dealing with her domineering mother-in-law Sophie. Sophie accompanies Sisi and Franz on their honeymoon and takes Sisi's children away from her. As a result, she becomes deeply depressed and regrets her decision to marry Franz. Sisi's personal drama occurs in the midst of the breakdown of the empire and the Hungarian Compromise of 1867. As Sisi works toward helping Hungary gain greater political autonomy, she soon finds herself falling in love again. Sisi has been largely remembered as a great beauty and for the lengths she went to in order to maintain that beauty. I found it refreshing that the author focused on other aspects of Sisi's personality--her love of horses for example--rather than just her beauty. I also enjoyed the descriptions of Hungarian clothing and cuisine as well as the details about court protocol in the imperial palaces.

Anna C. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
I can tell I love this book because I never paid attention to the page numbers. It would always surprise me how far into the book I had come, enjoying it so much as I did. -This part is my change of feeling after reading the second book- I feel that I really did enjoy this first book, and I felt for Sisi in her trials and errors of living in the rigid court of Vienna, dealing with her mother-in-law's commandeering actions. I had hoped that she would eventually come home to Vienna, and her family. In this hope, I was very excited for the second book. Now that I have read both though, I think that Sisi's communication skills were greatly lacking, especially with her mother-in-law. I feel that she would have had a much better life if she had really tried to make her feelings known to her mother-in-law and husband. ( )
  MaeCee18 | Sep 5, 2017 |
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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."
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