In this dazzling novel from the author of THE MOMENT BEFORE, one courageous girl seeks keys to the past to unlock the future…When city girl Liz is banished to a rural goat farm on the outskirts of Portland, the 15-year-old feels her life spiraling out of control. She can’t connect to her father or his young girlfriend, and past trauma adds to her sense of upheaval. The only person who seems to keep her sane is a troubled boy who is fighting his own demons. But all of this changes in one historical instant.One-hundred fifty years earlier, Elisabeth of Bavaria has troubles of her own. Her childhood is coming to a crashing end, and her destiny is written in the form of a soothsaying locket that has the ability to predict true love. But evil is afoot in the form of a wicked enchantress who connives to wield the power of the locket for her own destructive ends.When Liz finds a time-worn diary, and within it a locket, she discovers the secrets and desires of the young Bavarian princess who will one day grow up to be the legendary Empress of Austria.It is in the pages of the diary that these two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history—including her own...
Readers of books like Rachel Harris’s MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY will love THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES.
I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
This book was not what I expected. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but based on the synopsis and the comparison to My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, I was expecting a more magical read, maybe with time travel. This book felt more like a historical book with contemporary elements.
This book is told from two different perspectives: Liz and Sisi. Liz lives in present day and struggles with OCD. Sisi lives in the 1800's and has her own struggles. We get alternating chapters between the two, but there's hardly any relation between the two. Liz shows and interest in Sisi, who eventually becomes Empress Elisabeth of Austria, but Sisi has no knowledge of Liz. While this did bother me, I did like hearing their stories and I found the way this book was told to be unique. First of all, it's very unique to have a main character with OCD. The way this story was told in two different time periods was also very unique.
I also have to give the author props. She must've done a lot of research in order to create this book and to make the story believable. I had no knowledge at all of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, and while this book is not an entirely accurate account, the author obviously did her research on both the time period and the Empress's life. There was also probably research involved in Liz's OCD.
Now, onto what I didn't like. While I did like hearing the girls' stories, this book was very slow paced and hardly anything happened at all. This usually is not a big problem for me, but when major events actually end up taking place, the book ends abruptly. It's not a cliffhanger, I just felt like I was in the middle of a story and it just ended. When I read the book, though, was upset as I thought this was a standalone, but I now know this is a series so I feel better about it, but I do feel like there should be some kind of ending.
I was also not a fan of the magical elements. I'm usually all for magic in books, but it just felt odd in this book. A majority of the book is very realistic and magical elements are not added until the very end, which made the story a bit awkward and unbelievable.
I did like the uniqueness in the storytelling and I did enjoy hearing the stories of the two girls, but this book was very slow and addition of magic was very odd.
Overall, don't go into this book expecting magic or a historical fiction, but a little bit of both. If you are interested in Empress Elisabeth of Austria or just want to read a book with a OCD main character, you may want to give this book a try.
As far as reading the sequel, maybe. I did find this book interesting and I do want to know more, but the ending was so abrupt and awkward that I just don't feel too inclined to continue.
Meaning: I almost liked it.