Review: The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

February 11, 2015

Title: The Accidental Empress
Author: Allison Pataki
Publisher: Howard Books
Pages: 512
ISBN: 978-1-4767-2022-0
Publication Date: February 17th, 2015

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.”
Books that bring attention to a historical period I don't know much about are gems to me. The Accidental Empress met this criteria from the very beginning and had me hooked. Not only did it have me hooked, it also have me doing my own research on these people and it showed me how much research and work Allison Pataki put into this story. The details were fabulous.

Allison's writing style had a wonderful depth and flow to it. She was able to capture the feelings of Sisi and put you amongst the story, so you started to feel what Sisi did during the story, and my goodness, anger and hurt were ones I felt during certain just made you want to help Sisi through it and help her battle against everything that was thrown at her. Allison's writing style is similar to another author I enjoy, Michelle Moran. The emotional aspect mixed with the historical is so flawlessly woven together, it was hard to find a fault.

Elisabeth, or Sisi to those around her, lived what many would call an ideal life. She was loved by her parents, she received an education that expanded her ideas, and she got to do what she loved with her parents support. However, when she fell in love with the Emperor, her ideal life was altered. She thought love was important, but when your husband rules a land in turmoil and your mother-in-law, likes to make sure things are done her way in everything, life becomes more like a prison. Sisi's struggles were heart breaking and the way she handled things, there was no other way. She was against a rock and a hard place.

The way she poured her love in to Hungry was amazing, and I can see why she was so loved by the people. She was opposite of all of those who had ruled before her. It was an interesting look into a line of royals, I didn't know much about before this.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Allison Pataki is the author of the New York Times bestselling historical novel, The Traitor’s Wife. 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 The Huffington Post and Allison lives in Chicago with her husband.

To learn more and connect with Allison visit

Thank you to Howard Books, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thanks for the review. I pre-ordered this one, and I can't wait to read it.

  2. Jill, I hope you enjoy it! It was very good. :-) Thanks for stopping by!


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