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Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite
The Perpetual Traveler is the latest novel in A Country Girl Empress series by A. Piper Burgi. This historical fiction novel continues the story of Sisi, Empress of Austria/Hungary. It is some years after the birth of her youngest child, Marie-Valerie, and many things are on the Empress’s mind. We see a woman who is worried about growing older as her two eldest children grow to maturity and marry into the other royal houses of Europe. Beauty being important to Sisi, she fears growing older. Along with that, we see her concern about her mental health as she watches family members around her go mad. She focuses on her cousins Ludwig and Otto. Ludwig, being the King of Bavaria, is of great concern because while not openly diagnosed insane, his actions are worrisome to Sisi. This is not just because they are erratic and unnatural but they remind her of herself in some aspects. We also see her interaction with her son Rudi and his growing beliefs that mirror her own, but only receive disapproval and disappointment from his father. Mainly though, we witness an Empress who never feels comfortable in the country she married into. A constant wanderer, Sisi and her younger daughter travel throughout Europe as if in search of cures and comfort as well as peace of mind.
This is the second A Country Girl Empress novel that I have read and it doesn’t disappoint. Burgi shows the Austrian Empress in such a beautiful and new light which I have never experienced before. I love in her books how we experience the thoughts of this enigmatic and often misunderstood woman in history. The Perpetual Traveler certainly doesn’t shy away from that. I also loved Sisi's relationship with her son in this book because I’ve often read that Rudolf was a black sheep and a disappointment to both of his parents. It’s nice to see how Sisi can identify with her son in this novel. I have seen that another book is due in 2020 and I cannot wait to read it!