• The Accidental Empress

  • By: Allison Pataki
  • Narrated by: Madeleine Maby
  • Series: Sisi, Book 1
  • Length: 18 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 17-02-15
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (11 ratings)


New York Times best-selling 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."
©2015 Allison Pataki. All rights reserved (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Ang on 26-10-17


I was looking forward to this story, however.... found the narration terribly annoying! The pronunciation of names and places is just awful! I managed to listen for about 2hours but then simply could no longer tolerate that annoying American twang...

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5 out of 5 stars
By Trudi on 18-04-16

Could not stop listening

I could not stop listening to this book! Wonderfully written, exciting and highly emotional. I adored this book and you might just adore it too. After visiting the Schönbrunn palace in Vienna I fell in love with Empress Sisi and longed to know more. This book was absolutely perfect! I know when I next visit Vienna I will want to go back to the palace and it will be even more special.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Susan on 18-03-15

learn your pronounciation

it was quite frustrating listening to the first half of this book because the reader completely mangled the foreign words. I don't expect perfect pronounciation but if you don't even know how to pronounce the name of the river Danube, you have no business narrating this book. doesn't anyone check the recordings?? for me, this was quite a distraction.

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24 of 26 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Pita on 26-07-15

Not the best type of historical fiction

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This type of historical fiction is not for me. The story was unnecessarily romanticized (this seems to happen frequently to anything about Elizabeth of Austria)...her life was not at all romantic; her marriage was not necessarily loveless but it was not a happy one, her mother in law ran the roost and she developed what would be considered anorexia today in order to cope, her male child died a horrible death and she was murdered!). There was too much dialogue, too much unnecessary detail and too many obviously fictional scenes. Somehow I did not get a good sense of the period and was never able to fully immerse myself in the story.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I have no objections to the narrator or her narration.

Could you see The Accidental Empress being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I think a decent script could be derived from this overly long novel...scripting it may manage to remove some of what I consider obvious fluff; this could turn it into a fairly entertaining chick flick for some cable channel. I would watch it!

Any additional comments?

I read a review written by an Audible listener I follow and I should have paid attention to it and not gone for this book. I was just craving my historical fiction fix, which this did not necessarily satisfy... it almost had the feel of teen fiction to me. Readers who are into historical romances may like it better than I did...I like my historical fiction lighter in the "romance" aspect.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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