Reviewed by me for Reader’s Favorite.
A royal life with its luxury, privileges, and comfort may seem enchanting from the outside but if you value your freedom more, can all the riches fascinate you enough to be a part of the royalty and be under the scrutiny of a kingdom or, perhaps, the world? The Country Empress by A. Piper Burgi explores this choice in a very heartfelt manner. Princess Elisabeth, fondly known as Sisi, was born to Duke Max and his wife Ludovika. While Ludovika had high hopes for her older daughter, Helene, she had less than any significant hopes for her tomboy daughter, Sisi. With all of Ludovika’s attention on making an empress out of Helene, Sisi got plenty of time to enjoy her childhood and cultivate her personality. She enjoyed being outdoors rather than indoors. Horse riding appealed to her more than dressing up. Ludovika had no hopes for her chubby little Sisi, but Duke Max loved her freedom-loving daughter more than any other of her children. However, when love enters in Sisi’s young heart, she must choose between the familiar freedom and the love of her life.
The Country Empress is a remarkable read that is written in no rush. Various aspects of royal lives, with all of their privileges and losses, are highlighted in so much depth that I, as a reader, found myself in the middle of it all. Not many people consider the trails that a royal family goes through every day in exchange for the privileges of being a royalty; however, the author has ensured that everyone understands the price that they pay to be in that position. The characters are developed throughout the plot. There is not an insignificant character; rather they are all defined and bound together intricately by the author. By reading the brief summary of the book. I thought that the only important character would be Sisi, but the author ensured that each character gets the due justice that it deserves and has a story to tell. The story developed slowly and remained filled with several twists and turns. The rise and fall of the empire, the wisdom of ladies in maintaining the dignity of the royal families, romance, many sacrifices for the kingdom, and many other elements tie together to make a magnificent read. The pace of the read seemed a little slower than normal towards the end and at certain times Sisi appeared to quit one romance for another way too quickly; these two factors slightly distracted me from the story. Other than these two factors, I could not have picked up a better book to go back in time.