It´s Wednesday and even when I am on vacation I did not want to miss our weekly appointment. So here I am willing to talk about books as every week. Today is the turn of The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki.
I have say this previously but in case you weren’t around I will say it again. I am fascinated with the story of Sissi and when I saw that this book was about her life I could not contain myself and I have to buy it. And I am so happy I did it. I had read man books about the life of the empress but none of them were more than a 3 stars rating, so when I read this book and love it, I was so surprised.
Before I go on talking about this book let me tell you that as this book is very historically accurate I don’t think I am doing any spoiler cause most of it should ring a bell. And know without further ado let´s jump in the review.
In this book, we follow Sissi as she first met her husband and the first years of her reign until they are crowned king and queen of Hungry.
First things first, this book is work of fiction but as I have said earlier, is incredibly accurate to what really happened. I mean, of course there are some things that are sweeten but most of it is written respecting what actually happened. The most incredibly thing of all, in my opinion, is how the author manages to tell the facts in such an entertaining way. I am passionate about history but I am well aware that it can be quite tedious. Nevertheless, this book is really fun to read.
It´s settled in of my favourite time periods. Politically speaking it was complicated. We are in the years before the First Wold War, and many of the facts that are told in the books are often mentioned to be possible reasons for the war. If you have studied history in school you will be able to find these little pearls while you read and, if you did not know about them you can learn about them in a very entertaining way.
This book is big but, it´s a fast read. I think that this is due the style of the author. Is fast and easy to read. And most of all is a style that help you to understand Sissi but in such a way that you still able to say: “OMG; she is making the wrong call”. Allison Pataki is not trying to sell us a perfect protagonist but, a human one.
I guess that many of you will know by now, if you don’t I am about to break the myth, that Sissi is not the perfect little princess that we have been told in all the movie versions of her. At least in the most popular ones like the animated series of 1998; or the movies featured by Romy Schneider. She was a girl when she married: she had just turned 16. At 19 she had to deal with the death of one of her daughters. All those events, I think, played an important role in how her marriage developed, with the constant infidelities on the Emperor´s side that led her to the obsession to stay forever young and beautiful. She was a girl that was considered to be the most beautiful women in the entire world.
Many of you may be wondering by know, why am I talking so long about the life of the emperess, mostly in the last paragraph. Well it´s because the author includes all this and much more in the book and those scenes are so well written that you felt what Sissi must have been feeling in all those moments. In my case I knew most of the facts that are told in this book, but for instance I cried so hard when in the book we discovered that Sofia (the eldest daughter of Sissi) died. I also knew about the infidelities and about how mistreated Sissi was by her mother in law and uncle, but the author has done such a great work that I felt everything as it was the first time that I heard of it.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars because I love it and because I think it´s very well written. If you like historical novel you are going to love this one; it has all the ingredients of the perfect cake: romance, political intrigue, history, drama… I highly recommend this book.
I am very much loking forward to read the next book in the series Empress on Her Own, and of course, I want to read the other novel that the author has published.
That´s all for today. See you all next Wednesday.