Author: Allison Pataki
Published: 17th February 2015
Publisher: Howard Books
Number of pages: 512
Source: Received from Publisher
Purchase: Amazon, TBD
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.”
I actually haven't been reading good historical romances for a long time and I am so happy I decided to purchase this one, since it was an amazing discovery ! I may say that I am kind of obsessed with the genre but I usually didn't get much excited about historical characters other than the Borgias and the Tudors.. but WOW! Sisi is one hell of a heroine ! I will definitely keep an eye on her for the future !
Speaking of her, she definitely had such a fascinating life : she married at only fifteen, stealing her sister's groom, with who she had inadvertently fallen in love. Maybe back then she didn't quite realize how her life was going to change, how difficult it would have been for her to learn how to become a good Empress, something her beloved Franz has been trained to do all his life, but especially, she didn't know that living at the Austrian court wouldn't be as easy as living in the lovely, cozy Castle of Possenhofen.
In this hell of a background not only she succeeds in surviving, she also managed to stand out. After all the humiliations and the sufferings she has been put through, Sisi learned how to be brave, how to be respected and how to get what she wanted in a life where everyone's opinion counted, except for her own.
I obviously loved Sisi's relationship with Franz Joseph at the beginning, and the fact that they kind of broke the rules to follow their hearts, considering that Franz was not supposed to marry Elisabeth but Helene. I firmly believed in their love story, and I still do for some aspects. I really liked how the author focused on their bond, without really making it the main object of the book; sometimes I easily got frustrated because I felt I needed more Franz and Sisi's scenes, but then I realized that, to build a complete portrait of the character, the love story was just a minor topic to focus on.
I LOVED the emotional complications this book had, and I have to admit that naively, I couldn't see them coming. I thought that the author's choice to insert some small previews of what was coming was brilliant, because it created an electric suspense that completely thrilled me, even if I didn't exactly know what was happening.
I really appreciated how loyal the author has been toward historical information. After finishing the book, I immediately made my researches on the topic and I found out that 90% of the book actually contained real information, that have been then romanced by the incredible Allison. I think that one of her greatest ability here, has been the capacity of making the reader grow fond of her heroine, and I think this is what every historical romances author tries to do, and Allison Pataki certainly made it.
I am now just anxious to know if there will be sequels (as she has said at the end of the book, Sisi's life still has a lot of amazing events to occurr!), but in the meantime, The Traitor's Wife goes straight to my to-read pile!
If you love historical romances, and you have a passion for complex heroines, this book certainly won't disappoint you!
Rated 5.0 !
" A deity does not quake simply because the crowd yells. An empress stands fixed, immutable: the calm that continues on, even as the world rages."
"Don't you see, my darling?" He lifted her hand, resting it on his chest so that he could feel his heartbeat, its pace rapid like horse hooves against his breastbone. "Don't you see? Oh, but you know this well enough already. That there is nothing that requires more strength than to allow yourself to be weak for another."