The Country Girl Empress - A Habsburg Novel




*Nominated for the 2018 IAN Book of the Year Award
{Historical Fiction}
*Nominated for the 2018 Author Academy Awards
{Historical Fiction}

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It was THE romance of 19th century Europe! The young and dashingly handsome Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria needed an Empress by his side according to his mother, Archduchess Sophie. The House of Habsburg was the most powerful ruling family in Europe, and the line of succession had to be maintained. For centuries, marriages had been arranged based on dynastic considerations as well as serve the expansion of the Empire’s power and it was not going to be any different this time.

Princess Elisabeth was born on the 24th of December 1837 at the Wittelsbach Palais in Munich. As a daughter of Duke Max in Bavaria and his wife Ludovika, Elisabeth called “Sisi”, grew up with her many siblings far away from all protocol in the small castle of Possenhofen on the shore of Lake Starnberg. More of a tomboy than a Princess, she spent much of her childhood there.

Sisi and her cousin Franz Joseph first met when she was 11 years old, and the girl promptly fell in love with the Emperor’s younger brother Karl Ludwig. Franz Joseph, on the other hand, fell head over heels for Sisi’s cousin Anna, niece of the King of Prussia. The handsome young Emperor had no shortage of female admirers, all hoping to one day become his wife. A few years later, Franz Joseph traveled to Bad Ischl to meet Sisi’s older sister Helene who was predestined to be his wife. Little did he know that fate had other plans!

The years of Sisi’s youth took place in the background of an unsettled Europe. Revolts, revolutions, and political intrigue were part of daily life. However, when Duchess Ludovika, along with her daughters Nene and Sisi receive an invitation to join the imperial family in Bad Ischl for the Emperor’s birthday festivities, an elaborate game of love and royal marriage politics ensues and finds an entirely unforeseen end in the idyllic resort town.


Praise for THE COUNTRY GIRL EMPRESS


"A. Piper Burgi has intertwined an engrossing fictional account of the everyday activities of Sisi of Bavaria with the very real and turbulent political and social events of the time in The Country Girl Empress. This is a must-read for historical fiction fans who can appreciate the imperial intrigues as well as the personal yearnings of a unique figure who is thrust onto the world stage rather suddenly at a very young age."
-Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite






"I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Country Girl Empress by A. Piper Burgi. The characters flew off the page and I connected with Sisi; she was such a delight, albeit a little spoilt. The author skillfully transports the reader to mid-Europe almost 200 years ago and the quality of research shines through. I hope there will be another book about Sisi's later life as I shall certainly read it as soon as it is published."
-Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' 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 royalty and be under the scrutiny of a kingdom or, perhaps, the world? The Country Girl Empress by A. Piper Burgi explores this choice in a very heartfelt manner. I could not have picked up a better book to take me back in time."
-Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite

"Warm, endearing, turbulent, sensitive and captivating are a mere handful of adjectives I would use if I were to describe, briefly, this novel: The Country Girl Empress. Add to those, genuine, exhaustively researched and historically accurate and you’d have my general assessment of this heartening tale that kept my interest from the opening chapter to the final page."
-T.E. Mark

"Such a well researched novel, and I found myself unable to put it down at times. Loved Sisi and found myself wanting to know what happened next at the conclusion of the book. A sequel in the making perhaps?"
-Susan Hager

"Readers who revel in lively historical fiction will love A. Piper Burgi’s The Country Girl Empress, one of a series. I can recommend this book and others in the series as an escape into a world depicting the machinations of maintaining a dynasty, but with sumptuous apparel and fancy feasts."
-Author Marian Beaman