The Accidental Empress   -     By: Allison Pataki
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The Accidental Empress

Howard Books / 2015 / Paperback

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The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

In 1853, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry. Arriving at the Habsburg Court with her betrothed older sister, 15-year-old Elisabeth unintentionally wins the heart of her sister's groom Franz Joseph.  He then backs out of his engagement with her sister.  Sisi has now upset political and familial honor. Will "Sisi" be able to keep her husband's love in the face of such trials?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 512
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 5.50 X 8.38 (inches)
ISBN: 147679474X
ISBN-13: 9781476794747

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Publisher's Description

The Accidental Empress is the fascinating and foundational story of this little-known, yet highly significant empress—a must read for anyone interested in the sequel Sisi.

A New York Times bestseller, The Accidental Empress is the love story of “Sisi” the Austro-Hungarian Empress and wife of Emperor Franz Joseph is “captivating, absorbing, and beautifully told” (Kathleen Grissom).

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 “another absolutely compelling story” (Mary Higgins Clark) with this 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.”

Author Bio

Allison Pataki is the New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Wife and The Accidental Empress. She graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years writing for TV and online news outlets. The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and FoxNews.com, as well as a member of The Historical Novel Society. Allison lives in Chicago with her husband. To learn more and connect with Allison visit AllisonPataki.com or on Twitter @AllisonPataki.

Editorial Reviews

"This novel is captivating, absorbing, and beautifully told--I can't wait for the sequel!"
"A love match alters the course of history...Pataki deserves kudos for choosing her subject matter well—Sisi's life is ideal fictional fodder."
"The Accidental Empress is a tale of royal love we don't know but should, and who better to share it with us than the supremely gifted and entertaining historical novelist, Allison Pataki. A delightful gift for readers...The Accidental Empress is enthralling."
“I felt as if I’d been transported to Austria in this powerful and sweeping novel. A heart wrenching, beautiful story, rich with historical detail and political intrigue. Skillful and utterly captivating.”
"The Accidental Empress is a stunning masterpiece of imagination, enriched with lavish historical detail. Utterly riveting, amazingly insightful. A splendid saga sure to capture the heart."
Pataki’s fully drawn ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS is an indelible portrayal—not only of one of the most complicated and misunderstood Habsburgs, but of a turbulent royal marriage during a tumultuous era.
"Allison Pataki so vividly depicts the world of the Habsburg court, you'll feel the silk of Sisi's gowns under your very fingers as you eagerly turn the pages of THE ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS. As a woman both ahead of her time and wholly situated within it, Sisi makes for a captivating central figure, and rarely has an author so heartbreakingly captured the exquisite tragedy of getting what you want. Sumptuous, surprising, and deeply felt."
"Intricately plotted, Pataki's latest is engrossing and incredibly real."
"Another absolutely compelling story. I loved it."
"This novel is captivating, absorbing, and beautifully told--I can't wait for the sequel!"
"The Accidental Empress is lush, romantic, and enlightening—a truly lovely novel."
"Allison Pataki brings to life one of the most enigmatic, intelligent, and stunningly beautiful women ever to have graced a court in Europe. A remarkable novel about a truly remarkable empress!"
"Once again Pataki stuns by diving deep into the pages of history and bringing up a heroine who is not only a jewel, but a red-blooded, complicated woman, allowing us to see history through a refreshingly new perspective. Smart, interesting, and chock-full of betrayal, intrigue, and love -- The Accidental Empress had me glued to the page."
“With her meticulous attention to historical detail and powerfully entertaining storytelling skills, Allison Pataki is a force in historical fiction. Set amid the grand landscapes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the wilds of the human heart, The Accidental Empress is an epic tale of honor, power, and love. Breathtaking!”
"A glorious novel about a misunderstood empress...With a sumptuous sense of history and evocative attention to detail, Allison Pataki conjures the rebellious, glamorous spirit of Sisi of Austria."

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
4.7 out of 5
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4.8 out Of 5
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4.8 out Of 5
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4.6 out Of 5
(4.6 out of 5)
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  1. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    True historical fiction but do not expect Christian value
    February 26, 2016
    Lynn
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Having noticed it got a 5 star rating was excited to read it. But was soon ready to put it down due to the vulgarity in the beginning of the book. What a shame, getting it from CBD did not expect that! Trudged thru and ended up enjoying the book, especially being of Hungarian decent. If you wait a true historical fiction this is it. Even did some research online for more background on Sisi. Do not, however, expect any Christian value to it.
  2. Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    History, The Habsburgs, Emperor Franz Joseph & "Sisi"
    May 19, 2015
    VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Accidental Empress.
    Allison Pataki in her new book, The Accidental Empress published by Howard Books introduces us to Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, Sisi, Duchess of Bavaria who becomes the Fairy Queen.

    From the back cover: New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki follows up on her critically acclaimed debut novel, The Traitors 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 Europes 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 sisters groom. Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.

    Thrust onto the throne of Europes 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 Patakis rich period detail and cast of complex, bewitching characters, The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into one of historys most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Hapsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved Fairy Queen.

    Let me start off by saying that The Accidental Empress is history at its finest. Allison Pataki has done huge amounts of research to bring us an excellent view of a royal court in the 19th century. Sisi is a wonderful character who grows from a fifteen year old girl into a woman who is ruling an empire. Emperor Franz Joseph and his reign was barely taught in History class so I remember very little. However Ms. Pataki has done a memorable job in bringing all the players in this true historical drama to life. The Accidental Empress is full of details that make you feel you are there and witnessing these events as they happened. The characters are marvelous and they live and breathe on these pages. If you want to know about a time in History that will never happen again then this is the book for you.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Accidental Empress
    March 27, 2015
    Laura Shuck
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Accidental Empress.
    Is a read you won't soon forget!
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Review from Rambles of a SAHM
    March 11, 2015
    Fitzysmom
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Accidental Empress.
    From the outside most aristocratic lives seem like fairy tales. Large beautiful homes. Stunning clothing and jewelry. Lavish social engagements. Servants to meet your every need. What could possibly be the downside to any of that?

    In The Accidental Empress Allison Pataki introduces us to fifteen-year-old Elisabeth as she sets out on a journey that takes her from being the down-to-earth duchess of Bavaria to the very sought after Empress of the Austrian empire. On the surface it seems as if Elisabeth or rather 'Sisi' is the perfect match for Emperor Franz Joseph. From the beginning Franz is smitten with Sisi and against all advice chooses her over her older sister Helene. The two marry in a spectacular ceremony and then they are supposed to spend the rest of their lives living happily ever after like all good fairy tales are written.

    Unfortunately this is real life and not the stuff of fantasy. Before long Sisi realizes that the life she thought she would lead is a far cry from what actually transpires. The funny thing is that when you strip away all the glitter her life isn't much different from those of a lower class. She has a meddling mother-in-law. Her husband has a wandering eye. And she is held up to such scrutiny to meet standards and traditions that are next to impossible to achieve.

    I enjoyed this fascinating supposition of this very powerful woman. I cheered for her as she finally hit her stride and realized her power and learned to use it to benefit herself and many others. While I couldn't agree with some of her moral choices I did admire how she rallied under difficult circumstances. In the end it was ironic that it wasn't Sisi who I felt sorry for but rather Franz and his mother. They had within their grasp the ability to lead a very happy and successful life that would benefit others. Instead they made choices that wound up alienating them from the very people they were supposed to care for.

    Allison Pataki has once again done a fabulous job of bringing the story of an obscure historical figure to life. I enjoyed her debut novel The Traitor's Wife but I think that this book is even better. Her skill as a storyteller is compelling. She has a special way of making the reader feel as if they have stepped into the tale and are watching the events unfold. I tend to want to skim over drawn out sections of tedious details about style of dress or scenery and settings. But with this story I just seemed to eat it up. I look forward to reading many more books penned by this author.

    I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    She proved herself, in my opinion
    February 21, 2015
    Booklover10
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Accidental Empress.
    t first, I wasn't certain I would even like this book. I had liked The Traitor's Wife, but usually this type of fiction isn't one that I gravitate to. I finally decided I'd go ahead and give it a try because sometimes it's good to branch out of my normal genre. And guess what?! Probably one of my top books that I've read so far this year.

    I enjoyed all of the historical facts that were throughout the pages. It flowed perfectly within the story and never felt like a bunch of historical facts. I was surprised at myself when I at first liked the emperor and then I couldn't stand the man by the end. However, I will admit, I still have a soft spot for him, hoping things turn around.

    And forget about the emperor's mom. I can't stand the woman. I'm not certain how the real Empress Elisabeth was able to stand her. I kept wanting Sisi (a.k.a. Elisabeth) to fire out some comments to her or stand up for herself more than she did.

    I appreciated the interview at the end of the book that really helped give me more of a perspective on what drove Pataki to write this book, as well as more of a background. Normally I read that part first, but I waited this time because it made more sense to read it at the end, after all of the characters in the story had been solidified for me.

    My only caution about this book is the fact that there were a few times that certain words were used that I thought could have been left out. I understood some of the behaviors because that was the time period and that was the culture. However, the story would have been just as beautiful without the added colorful words in the story.

    Pataki has hinted that Sisi has more to her story. I sure hope so! Now I want to know more about this Empress who is so fascinating.

    ________________

    I received this book free from Howard Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
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