Sisi Empress on her own : a novel

Allison Pataki

Book - 2016

"In imperial Vienna, where the court halls buzzed with waltzes and champagne, as well as temptation, rivals, and cutthroat intrigue, the intensely personal tale of Empress Sisi unraveled. Infamously beautiful, a mother of four, and wife of Emperor Franz Joseph - whom she unintentionally stole away from her sister - Sisi's reign was anything but simple. Against the backdrop of a rich, romantic, and volatile time period--marked by pivotal events such as the opening of the Suez Canal, Vie...nna's World Exhibition, and the lead up to WWI--Sisi, the beloved "Fairy Queen," was a woman well ahead of her time during a true Golden Age in European history"--

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Historical fiction
Biographical fiction
New York : Dial Press [2016]
First edition
Physical Description
xiii, 438 pages : map ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (page 438).
Main Author
Allison Pataki (author)
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Pataki's latest follows where her earlier novel, The Accidental Empress, left off, as she chronicles the life of Empress Elisabeth "Sisi" of Austria-Hungary. The narrative picks up in the mid-19th century, with Sisi in her early 30s, no longer the naive girl who married Emperor Franz Joseph at 16. With Sisi's diplomatic assistance, Franz is able to broker a union that forges the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy. Yet Sisi often frequents Godollo Palace in Hungary, disliking the constant scrutiny of the Viennese Court and enjoying companionship with County Andrassy. Pataki's extensive historical research is evident as she deftly explores the complex life of a woman who was both loved and hated by those whom she ruled. Though her life as an empress seemed like one of ease, with opulent dwellings and magnificent wealth, she is portrayed as a lonely person, as well as a true survivor and a woman ahead of her time. She faces the infidelity of her husband, the emotional and physical distance of her older children, and the death of her middle daughter, Sophie, when she is just a toddler. Pataki brings richness and relevance to the story of the woman who worked tirelessly to protect the face of an empire. Agent: Lacy Lynch, Dupree/Miller & Associates. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Pataki continues her account of the life of Empress Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (The -Accidental Empress), exploring the tensions between demands of Habsburg protocol and desire for autonomy. Determined to raise her youngest daughter without the interference of her domineering mother-in-law, Sisi realizes too late that long absences from Vienna have estranged her not only from her older children but also from her subjects. Although her husband, Franz Joseph, adores her, his obsession with maintaining political alliances as Europe disintegrates prior to World War I absorbs his attention. At her estate near Budapest, Sisi's relationship with Hungarian statesman Count Andrassy fuels vicious gossip as do her visits to England and Ireland, where she spends hours riding with Capt. Bay Middleton. Her unrivaled beauty and superb equestrian skills cannot shield her from tragedy. Pataki successfully juggles -numerous political and personal plot lines while maintaining her focus on a fascinating central character. Extensive notes reveal the author's attention to detail and explain where the novel diverges from the historical record. Daisy Goodwin's The Fortune Hunter offers a more romanticized and extended portrayal of the Sisi-Middleton relationship. VERDICT Readers of -Pataki's first book will want to know the rest of Sisi's story, but this novel stands on its own for historical fiction fans.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Mankato © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.