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."
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by Allison Pataki
by Allison Pataki, Owen Pataki
by Jennifer Probst
by Megan Hart
by Linda Lael Miller
by Sharon Sala
by Bridget Boland
"In 1853, Emperor Franz Joseph shuns his mother's plan and chooses the 15-year-old Elisabeth, duchess of Bavaria, to become his Empress of Austria. Narrator Madeleine Maby's careful pacing aids listeners in keeping track of the many characters and time shifts in this detailed novel loosely based on historical events. As a simple period romance, it's entertaining, but the historical facts are manipulated to fit the story's arc, and conversations sound too casual to be an accurate reflection of the Habsburg court. Listeners will come away with no real sense of the people and forces at work in this pre-WWI arena. N.E.M. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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