Thursday, February 26, 2015

BLOG TOUR, GUEST POST, REVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

 What I hope you, the reader, will take away from reading The Accidental Empress...

I want readers to finish The Accidental Empress feeling like they’ve taken an exquisite journey to another time and place—that they have been immersed into the world of Habsburg Vienna and Budapest. I want readers to be inspired to learn more about Sisi—whether that means traveling to her locales, reading more about her, or studying the history of the time period.

I also want readers to see that, even though Sisi was an Empress who lived in a glittering kingdom with an Emperor for a husband, that this is not your typical fairy tale. Sisi’s struggles and emotions and joys and defeats were incredibly relatable. No, we don’t all live in grand palaces, but we are all human, and Sisi was not afraid to show her humanness—even though more-than-humanness was expected of her. People thought Sisi ruled by “divine right,” that she was “God’s chosen vessel,” and yet, we know from her story that she was just a young woman involved in a tumultuous marriage with personal struggles of her own. She is a leading lady we can all root for and empathize with.

Sisi was a fascinating, complex, modern, beautiful, and tragic leading lady in her own time. And yet, somehow, she has become a footnote in modern history. It is so interesting to me how many women—women who accomplished huge things—have slipped through the cracks of history with their stories going largely untold.

I want people to read the story of Sisi so that they can empathize with the great things she did and tried to do. So that they can be transported to the beautiful and romantic world of the imperial Habsburg Court, filled with Walt Disney-esque castles and grand ballrooms and violin waltzes. So that they can empathize with the incredibly difficult and human difficulties Sisi weathered. So that they can be inspired in their own lives to learn more about history in a fun, entertaining and accessible way.

Sisi is a woman people should know. She presided over the golden era of the Habsburg Court, an age that gave us advances in culture and the arts and architecture, as well as advances in science and politics. Her family gave us the castle that we all know of as “The Walt Disney Castle.” Her family gave us the waltz and Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Klimt’s paintings. Sisi ruled at the time that a young Doctor named Sigmund Freud was just down the street in Vienna inventing psychoanalysis. And this reign of Sisi and Franz Joseph takes us right up to the doorstep of World War I. Her heir was the man who was assassinated (Archduke Franz Ferdinand), setting off World War I, the greatest armed conflict the world had known to that point.

We’ve read all about Anne Boleyn and the Tudors. We’ve read about Marie Antoinette. We’ve read about the Medici in Italy and the Tsarinas in Russia, and yet, Sisi’s story is more compelling and complex than all of those, I believe. I hope people will really enjoy diving into the world of Sisi and the Habsburg Court.

My Review:

The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki was wonderfully written and very well researched. The characters were very thoughtfully developed, as were the dialogues throughout the novel. This book was definitely a page turner from beginning until end, which above everything, is what I look for in a book. I have not read many books (if any) that were set during this historical era, and due to the excellent research that the author put into writing this novel, I really felt like I walked away from this book with a lot of new found knowledge relating to the people and the cultures of the time. Sisi’s life is incredible, and she definitely makes her mark on history when she and Emperor Franz Joseph of the Holy Roman Empire meet and fall in love and end up marrying, even though she had originally gone as a companion to her sister, who was the one who was really supposed to marry the Emperor, and become the Empress. However, as fate would have it, he became captivated by the younger sister, and the rest is history, fascinating history that the author captures perfectly!

I would definitely recommend this book to all fans of historical fiction, it is definitely worth the money! I give The Accidental Empress a FIVE out of FIVE stars!

Tour Schedule The Accidental Empress 

Monday, February 9th - 
Reader Girls - Guest Post 

Tuesday, February 10th - 
Sassy Book Lovers - Excerpt 

Wednesday, February 11th - 
Fine Lines - Author Interview 

Thursday, February 12th - 
Reading Reality - Guest Post 

Friday, February 13th - 
Fiktshun - Author Interview - 

Monday, February 16th - 
The Maiden's Court - Guest Post 

Tuesday, February 17th - 
Bewitched Bookworms - Author Interview 

Wednesday, February 18th - 
Fire and Ice - Guest Post 

Thursday, February 19th - 
Bookish - Author Interview 

Friday, February 20th - 
Curling Up With A Good Book - Author Interview 

Monday, February 23rd - 
Books and Things - Guest Post 

Tuesday, February 24th - 
Books Glorious Books - Excerpt 

Wednesday, February 25th - 
Sara In Bookland - Author Interview 

Thursday, February 26th - 
Historical Fiction Obsession - Guest Post 

Friday, February 27th - 
Library of a Book Witch - Author Interview 

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 was inspired to write her second novel, The Accidental Empress, by her family’s deep roots in the former Habsburg empire of Austria-Hungary. Allison is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization, ReConnect Hungary. Allison is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and, as well as a member of The Historical Novel Society. Allison lives in Chicago with her husband. To learn more and connect with Allison visit or on Twitter.

  • Add the book to your shelf on GoodReads
  • Get a Copy: Allison's Website | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million
  • February 17th 2015 by Howard Books

  • Find Allison Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

    Thanks to Allison Pataki and Simon & Schuster, one lucky winner will receive a $120 gift card to the ebook retailer of their choice (Amazon/B&N/iTunes)! 

    Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. 

    Giveaway is open internationally.


    1. After reading this review, I'm very anxious to read the book!

    2. I would love to read this. Sisi sounds like a character I could identify with. Great review!

    3. this looks and sounds awesome! thanks for the great spotlight and giveaway!

    4. What a wonderful review, I can't wait to read it.

    5. I have only read one other book about Sisi and would love to learn more about her...thank you!

    6. i have yet to read any of Allison's books, so this book would be a good one for me to start!!!

    7. This looks like a nice alternative to Western European historical fiction. Sisi sounds like a character who was made for narrative.