Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite
A Life in the Shadow of the Crown: A Country Girl Empress Novel is a fictional account of Empress Elisabeth of Austria and the early years of her marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph. The story begins on the honeymoon of Sisi and Franz. Young and naive, being only sixteen, Elisabeth becomes Empress of Austria. She loves her husband but isn’t quite sure of the grand life that she will now be living. Being an unimportant princess from Bavaria, she is surrounded by unfamiliar faces and protocol that she doesn’t understand. Dealing with a sweet but busy husband and a cruelly strict mother-in-law, Elisabeth tries to find her place in the royal family without losing herself.
I have always been a sucker for royal themed novels and A. Piper Burgi definitely did not disappoint! I found her story of Empress Elisabeth very impressive and unique. She places you in Sisi’s shoes, someone I hadn’t read as of yet. I have studied the Hapsburg family and know about the tragic deaths of the crown prince and the Empress. It’s nice to get away from all of that but I also liked how it focused on Elisabeth’s feelings and her experiences. I also found myself reading bits with Rudolf as a young, sensitive and nervous boy and I thought about his untimely end. I have seen that there are other books in this series and I’m excited to read them all. It’s nice to have a break from fiction about the British royal family for a change. A Life in the Shadow of the Crown is an excellent read which I will be recommending to all my royal history buff friends.