Monday, 6 April 2015

The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

Back Cover: The year is 1853 and the Habsburgs are Europe's most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia and 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, Sis finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister's groom. Intrigued by Sisi's guileless charm and energetic spirit, not to mention her unrivalled beauty, Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.

Plucked from obscurity and thrust onto the throne of Europe's most treacherous imperial court, Sisi has no idea what struggles and dangers - and temptations - await her. Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and the world.

With Pataki's rich period detail and cast of complex, compelling characters, The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into the bedrooms and state rooms of one of history's most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Habsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved "Fairy Queen"

My Opinion: My darling husband bought this book for me a few weeks ago when he surprised me with a date to Chapters. He put a Chia tea latte in my hand and told me we could spend as much time in Chapters as I wanted - PLUS, he'd buy me any book I wanted. I truly do have the best husband ever. He knows me so well.

After three hours at the bookstore and endless flipping of pages, I settled on a new author, Allison Pataki. One of my favourite authors, Deanne Gist, had mentioned her on her blog and sited her as a brilliant new author. With that recommendation ringing in my head, plus the beautiful cover, I was hooked.

From page one I absolutely loved this book. It is written so well and is a pleasure to read. The "Accidental Empress" screamed quality and impeccable research. I was drawn into the world of the Habsburgs and into the life of Empress Sisi. Her life is like a  Shakespearean story - tragic and beautiful. The cast of characters are brilliantly portrayed, from Sisi's over-powering, manipulative mother-in-law who truly wins the title of "monster in law", to her wavering, stoic, burdened husband, her shy and diminutive sister, and to her deceptive lady in the waiting.

Truth really is stranger than fiction, and it's crazy to think that the events in this book are historically accurate. What an amazing time era to have captured in a novel.

The Accidental Empress truly was a pleasure to read. I will certainly be reading each and every book Allison Pataki pens. I was very sorry with this book came to an end - if that isn't the mark of a good book, than I don't know what is.

Book provided by my loving husband.

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