Sisi: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki – Book Review

Empress on Her Own

This novel was the second relating to Sisi, Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary.  Pataki takes us into the ritualized world of Austrian Royalty where every move is dictated by rules and regulations (including the rule that if the Emperor doesn’t speak during a family dinner, neither can anyone else).  I did indeed read the first of these two novels, The Accidental Empress, (which I also recommend) but it can also stand on its own.


Sisi was celebrated as the most beautiful woman in the world.

The story of this actual woman, an Empress who feels stifled, suffers depression and tries her hardest to have a life of her own is fascinating.  Sisi traveled as far and wide as she was allowed.  She lived through a time when Monarchies were falling and the world was re-inventing itself all around her.  I really loved how history, letters, speeches and real events were interwoven within this fictional novel.


I highly recommend this novel.  It gives an up-close and personal view of the life of the royals who don’t really have the life you would think that they would.  I loved the historical facts and the family relationships as they were portrayed here.  This is a book that I’ll be thinking of for some time, mostly about the wasted opportunities for good and healing both politically and personally that were left unfulfilled.  Well done, Allison Pataki!


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