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The Empress: A Novel Kindle Edition
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“Sumptuous . . . Nothing in this story disappoints.” —Publishers Weekly
As seen on Netflix, The Empress is a captivating, vivid, and remarkably modern tale about falling in love and finding one’s voice.
The year is 1853, and Princess Elisabeth “Sisi” of Bavaria has been very clear: She will wait for the head-over-heels love the poets speak of, or she will have no love at all. Just because her older sister, Helene, is eagerly heeding their mother’s advice and preparing to marry Emperor Franz of Austria does not mean Sisi must also subject herself to such a dutiful existence. Sisi knows there is more to life than luncheons and corsets—if only someone would let her experience it all firsthand.
Meanwhile, in Austria, the emperor is recovering from an assassination attempt that left him wounded and scared. In a bid to keep the peace, Franz has recommitted himself to his imperial duties—and promised to romance the pliant Helene of Bavaria at his upcoming birthday celebration. How better to unite the empire than with the announcement of a new empress?
But when Sisi and Franz meet unexpectedly in the palace gardens, away from the prying eyes and relentless critique of the court, their connection cannot be denied. And as their illicit conversations turn into something more, they must soon choose between the expectations of their families and standing up for what they truly believe in . . .
About the Author
“Sumptuous . . . Griffis lends her leads admirable strengths and forgivable flaws and colors them in with plenty of lush period detail. She also brings dramatic flair to the political intrigue before satisfyingly tying up the plot’s burning questions. Nothing in this story disappoints.” —Publishers Weekly
“A fresh, fast-paced take on a legendary woman and one of Europe's most notorious royal love stories—guaranteed to win Sisi new fans.” —Evie Dunmore, USA Today bestselling author of Bringing Down the Duke
“I absolutely loved Gigi Griffis's The Empress—history combined with fiction with a real sense of people, time, and place. Fascinating!” —Heather Graham,New York Times bestselling author
“In an era where marriages were rarely about love and largely about country, The Empress brings us the irresistible beginning to an unexpected romance, that begs the question: what would you do for love? Fans of Daisy Goodwin's Victoria, The Crown, and Reign will delight in the coupling of Sisi and Franz." —Jenni L. Walsh, author of Becoming Bonnie and The Call of the Wrens
“A gem of a novel with a compelling feminist bent, The Empress blends political machinations and high-stakes family drama to craft a treat both for the head and the heart.” —Vaishnavi Patel, New York Times bestselling author of Kaikeyi
“Quite simply delightful. In The Empress, Gigi Griffis has given us two sisters so spunky and unconventional that we want to crawl into the pages to join them, and palace intrigue enough to keep us turning pages late into the night.” —Meg Waite Clayton, international bestselling author of The Postmistress of Paris
“In The Empress, Gigi Griffis, with her elegant prose, has woven a mesmerizing tapestry of romance and court intrigue. From start to finish, I was held enthralled.” —Lorraine Heath, New York Times bestselling author
“Prepare to be dazzled by this glittering gem of a book. The Empress rings with rich historical detail, riveting court intrigue, and a passionate love story that leaps off the page and into our hearts. Unforgettable!” —Lenora Bell, USA Today bestselling author
- ASIN : B09YC1SJ5L
- Publisher : Zando (September 15, 2022)
- Publication date : September 15, 2022
- Language : English
- File size : 1608 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 310 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1800752520
- Best Sellers Rank: #130,964 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #168 in Biographical Fiction (Kindle Store)
- #525 in Romance Literary Fiction
- #528 in Biographical Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2022
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This is a reimagining of the courtship between Princess Elisabeth (Sisi) of Bavaria and Emperor Franz of Austria. Elisabeth has promised that she will have a great love, or no man at all, despite expectations of the time that she eventually marry someone of her family’s choosing. Emperor Franz is initially promised to Sisi’s older sister, Helene, but falls in love with Sisi instead. Drama ensues.
I enjoyed this. I liked Elisabeth’s character and how she had standards. I also felt for Helene when she felt that Sisi betrayed her. Maxi was an interesting character and I found him more enjoyable to read about than Franz. And having had a complicated relationship with my mother growing up, I related to Elisabeth’s relationship with her own mother. I also liked the writing style and overall prose.
Ironically, I didn’t love the love story. I didn’t feel the passion and longing between Sisi and Franz, nor did I feel their chemistry. They felt like good friends to me, than lovers. There is insta-love here, but perhaps that was how it happened in real life?
The ending was quite abrupt. And there were some things thrown in that felt like unnecessary drama - Maxi flirting with Elisabeth, Franz’s PTSD that seemed to be completely forgotten about as the book progressed, Elisabeth’s initiation into court life felt like it was very rushed - I imagine someone of her character would have difficulty adjusting to court life (as I understand, historically she did have trouble adjusting).
The story is told in third person from Helene, Sisi and Franz’s POV.
I will still be watching the show and would read future works by this author. Recommended if you enjoy historical romances, and Sisi’s story in particular.
This story is also not telling the full story and all details, but I found it well enough for fictionalized huge a well-known love story, with rather plain writing, that was nice, but there is a place for improvement, and I hope will be done in the future. If you want to start your journey (or read it rarely - like me), then I think this book can be well suited for you - as it's very easy to follow and reads quickly lie one day or two, and it's not heavy on history theme.
The Empress is told from the perspective of a few characters and in the third person - those characters are Elizabeth, Helene (her sister), and Franz - each different, as each has different ideas for their life. The older sister was, to say the least, groomed and schooled to be the best choice for the future empress, she was like a doll that was to be played with, Elizabeth, on the other hand, a younger one had a wild part in herself that allowed her to mesmerize the Emperor. Helene - well I have a problem with her, but when I understand her feeling I don't get the actions that just made us readers hate her (and I can suspect it was like that in reality). There is also one plot part that I'm not fond of - and I find it added for shocking purposes only.
I'm wondering what will be my impression of the Netflix show and I hope it will be a really nice experience of my own that will bring memories from the Princess Sisi cartoon.