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I received a copy of Sisi Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki through NetGalley Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing, and to Allison Pataki for the opportunity.Draw back the lush velvet draperies of the Habsburg Dynasty and you will stare into the soleful eyes of a young woman ill prepared for the royal life unveiled to her Sisi is but sixteen years old when she becomes the bride of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria Hungary She has taken residence at Godollo, a palatial country estate outside of Budapest in 1868.Allison Pataki takes special care in her depiction of Sisi She has absolutely armed herself with indepth research for the time period and for the historical facts surrounding the Habsburg Dynasty Her writing is rich with details and her portrayal of Sisi is quite an undertaking Ms Pataki adheres to an abundance of background information and historical logistics that, at times, can bog down the storyline much to the chagrin of the reader.Sisi is hardly a linear character She is a complicated, multi faceted, reactionary to her previous upbringing and to her royal set of circumstances Sisi finds herself a What I m enjoying about this second book about the Empress Elizabeth is the deliberate placement in history her story takes King Ludwig, Prince Frederick and Princess Victoria, Esterhazy, Lord Spencer, Tsar Alexander are all in the storyline, and Jack the Ripper as well as Sigmund Freud were mentioned.Sisi was married to Franz Joseph during the golden age of the Austrian Hungary empire In book two Sisi continues her personal practical exile from court this time visiting the fox hunting manors of the English countryside and where she meets one of the loves of her life, Bay Middleton Throughout the book, we read vignettes from a peasant with a death wish named Luigi His importance to the life of Empress Elisabeth was completely unknown to me Part of me wishes I had been kept in the dark til the end The two tragedies she faces are the deposition of her cousin, the Mad King Ludwig, and the c Find this and other reviews at NOTE This review contains spoilers Please take heed and proceed at your own risk I love the Hapsburgs Their history fascinates me and I was understandably intrigued when I learned that Allison Pataki had chosen to feature Empress Elisabeth as a fictional heroine I was overjoyed to get an ARC of The Accidental Empress, but the reality of the novel didn t live up to my expectations That said, my two year experience with the first book proved I was too addicted to the subject matter to walk away from the series and challenged me to approach the sequel, Sisi Empress on Her Own, with a open mind Resolved to give the author the benefit of the doubt, I jumped straight into the latter and did my best to remain objective Did the effort pay off Sort of The novel incorporated a number of references and I enjoyed the game I made of picking out historically relevant cameos, but I fell into old habits and quickly found myself wrestling to rectify the fiction against my own inner dialogue and understanding of the royal family Fair warning folks, what follows is a soapbox series of complaints by an exceedingly nitpicky reader I m bias and make no apologies for it, but please keep in mind my enthusiasm relates to 4.5 starsAs we learned in The Accidental Empress which one must really read in order to understand Sisi s motivations and emotional handicaps, and not ignorantly write her off simply as a spoiled horse lover , Elisabeth was not born to the position of Empress Her childhood was unbelievably free and unstructured her parents allowed her and her siblings to run wild, literally, through the Bavarian countryside She never had to deal with convoluted and constricting rules of etiquette, procedures which dictated her every move from the moment she woke to the moment she went to sleep So when she married Franz Joseph and became Empress, and found herself trapped by this system of stultifying rules, some of which were so ridiculous as to be unbelievable there was a top secret Imperial Fold of the napkin, people, that was a guarded state secret passed down orally to only a few living people at a time that s the kind of detail oriented, anal retentive system we re talking about , her response was to run away So that s what she did, through most of her career as Empress And when she couldn t run away, she learned to control those few things which hadn t been stripped away from her her toilette For Readers Of Philippa Gregory, Paula McLain, And Daisy Goodwin Comes A Sweeping And Powerful Novel By New York Times Bestselling Author Allison Pataki Sisi Tells The Little Known Story Of Empress Elisabeth Of Austria Hungary, The Princess Diana Of Her Time, In An Enthralling Work Of Historical Fiction That Is Also A Gripping Page Turner.Married To Emperor Franz Joseph, Elisabeth Fondly Known As Sisi Captures The Hearts Of Her People As Their Fairy Queen, But Beneath That Dazzling Persona Lives A Far Complex Figure In Mid Nineteenth Century Vienna, The Halls Of The Hofburg Palace Buzz Not Only With Imperial Waltzes And Champagne But With Temptations, Rivals, And Cutthroat Intrigue Feeling Stifled By Strict Protocols And A Turbulent Marriage, Sisi Grows Restless A Free Spirited Wanderer, She Finds Solace At Her Estate Outside Budapest There She Rides Her Beloved Horses And Enjoys Visits From The Hungarian Statesman Count Andr Ssy, The Man With Whom She S Unwittingly Fallen In Love But Tragic News Brings Sisi Out Of Her Fragile Seclusion, Forcing Her To Return To Her Capital And A World Of Gossip, Envy, And Sorrow Where A Dangerous Fate Lurks In The Shadows Through Love Affairs And Loss, Dedication And Defiance, Sisi Struggles Against Conflicting Desires To Keep Her Family Together, Or To Flee Amid The Collapse Of Her Suffocating Marriage And The Gathering Tumult Of The First World War In An Age Of Crumbling Monarchies, Sisi Fights To Assert Her Right To The Throne Beside Her Husband, To Win The Love Of Her People And The World, And To Save An Empire But In The End, Can She Save Herself Featuring Larger Than Life Historic Figures Such As Bavaria S Mad King Ludwig And The Tragic Crown Prince Rudolf, And Set Against Many Of Europe S Grandest Sites From Germany S Storied Neuschwanstein Castle To England S Lush Shires Sisi Brings To Life An Extraordinary Woman And The Romantic, Volatile Era Over Which She Presided. During the time period this novel covers, Empress Elisabeth of Austria may have been fascinating, but she did not evoke sympathy During the time period the first novel The Accidental Empress covered, Sisi was a young, naive girl who had spent a carefree, unstructured, unrestrained childhood and then was put in a difficult situation, not of her choosing She was not the first or the last to marry into a difficult or challenging royal situation The way a person meets their challenges shows their true character Sisi chose to literally run away from her challenges involving the royal court, her marriage, and her two elder children Sisi fled from her husband and children, as well as her duties at court, by frequent traveling Because of the nature of the historical Sisi, she does not make a sympathetic character in this novel at all Instead, she is selfish and self centered, and that is the major problem with this novel I simply can t find anything to like about her.The first half of the novel was OK, but somewhere near the middle it started to really drag I ve been to all the Habsburg sites in Vienna, but I would have appreciated description as Sharon Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick do in their medieval works Those authors make readers feels as if they are there with the characters There was too muc This is a wonderful story Allison does a great job of bringing these historical figures to life I found it so interesting that I started Googling the different people to see what they looked like and to read about them I felt sorry for Sisi because she thought she had true love with Franz but like history, the Emperor can have a mistress but the The Accidental Empress was a book that really captivated me Partly because of the author s writing style, but mostly because, while I knew a smidgen about Empress Elisabeth of the Hapsburgs, I didn t know much so I was eager to get her story.Sisi Empress on Her Own takes up where The Accidental Empress left off and follows the middle and later years of Sisi s life which also happens to coincide with the latter years of the Austrian Empire of the Hapsburgs I appreciate how the author paid attention to historical detail even while she didn t bury the story in minutiae There is so much here that I feel to do what she did in a duology was to pick and choose what to include that would further her story of Sisi along I say it that way on purpose because I m pretty sure that as it is with any historical figure written about in a fiction story its a take on that person and not a biography.In the first book, I had a great sympathy for Sisi and was rooting for her to come into her own This book struck me rather differently While this is the story of the Empress who broke away from the court and was allowed to live her own life, I was constantly struck by a person who was extremely self absorbed The Sisi of this story lived her own life on her own terms and refused to give attention to her duty at least not for very long as Empress and wife and mother She kept falling for men three of th Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced reading copy of this novel.This was a wonderfully written novel that I enjoyed immensely After reading The Accidental Empress I was pleasantly surprised to discover there was a sequel, as I was eager to learn about Empress Sisi of Austria Hungary.This novel begins where the last novel left us and therefore I strongly recommend reading them in order I enjoyed this novel even than I did the first one as I found it to be educational about who Sisi was as a person and how she dealt with the issues in her life.Sisi is a much stronger, independent woman in this novel and I was intrigued to learn how she was able to cope with the rigid structure of being a Hapsburg and all that it entailed She struck me as a true free spirit a Fairy Queen as she was named by her people and therefore she ran away from the Hapsburg court as often as she could.I do not use the term ran away lightly There were many things that I felt Sisi was running away from, to name a few the slander about her in the press, the tension between h Here you go boys and girls.To go the same route as I did with the first volume of this.ahem.thing, would be to give it a lot credit than it deserves.Suffice to say, regardless of quoting all the proper correct sources and extoling on how lucky she was to have traveled on Sissi s footsteps I confess myself very jealous there , I am forced to conclude that the one book which stayed in the author s mind was the one she doesn t quote Countess Marie Larisch s memoir of her Aunt Empress Elizabeth which I read and reviewed here so I won t waste time repeating how absolutely disgusting that one is.There s some historic facts here that are correct but mostly I cant shake off the feeling I m reading simply gossipthe bad, non verified, written for sales gossip one would expect to grace the pages of such newspapers as.I won t even mention them.This isn t worth the time of anyone who enjoys History and whoever decides to go ahead and read this please keep in mind THIS IS VERY BAD FICTION.Want the real Sissi Brigitte Hamman s The Reluctant Empress is your best, most accurate and factual option in the English language.I don t doubt Sissi, with her unique approach on life, would have found some of this drivel amusing, but I have also read and studied enough of her, her life and tim Sisi: Empress on Her Own

About the Author: Allison Pataki

ALLISON PATAKI is the NYTimes Bestselling author of THE TRAITOR S WIFE, THE ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS, SISI EMPRESS ON HER OWN, WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS, and the memoir, BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES Her work has been translated into than a dozen languages, has been featured on The TODAY Show, The NY Times, The Huffington Post, USA Today, FOX News, Morning Joe, and .Visit to connec

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