Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mini Review: Elizabeth, The Princess Bride by Barry Denenberg

Release Date: April 2003
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 151
Received: Library
Stars: 3
Goodreads Page

Ok, so this book is really two books in one. The first book is the actual story part told in diary format. This part is ok, but pretty uneventful.

Basically, she meets a prince and gets married to him. The whole thing was all, "And then they lived happily ever after" *sigh* *release the doves* Which was nice and all, but in a totally bland way. 

And that's it. Seriously.

Sure there's historical tid-bits and little details and considering I knew nothing about this Elizabeth (or, Sisi, as she was more commonly called), I did learn some things. SOME. Meaning, not much, but a little. But, considering the whole book is only about 101 pages long, that's not too surprising. 

So that other book? That's what makes up the other 50 pages of the 151 total pages. THIS is where things get awesome, starting with the opening line that was a total 180 from where the story left off.

Remember the happily ever after vibe of the diary part? Yeah, the epilogue/historical notes was all like, "SIIIIIKKKEEE!!!!" And then awesomeness ensued. Or, horrible stuff. Or, well, it was awesomely horrific in a staring-at-a-train-wreak kind of way. Because HO-LE-COW Sisi's story has it all: madness, unrequited love (times two), murder, suicides, more murder, revolution, war, and evil step-mothers.

Of course, 50 pages only whet my appetite and I spent the next hour or so after finishing the book scouring the internet for more information about this royal family.

Bottom line

The story itself was ok if bland, but given how quick it was to read, I don't regret the time I spent with it. Points to the book for introducing me to a historical figure I might otherwise not have known about. Though more points to Google for actually teaching me about her.



  1. I read this book probably when it first came out despite having no idea who she was. Flash forward to college and studying German/Austria-Hungarian history and realizing that that's who she was! I love that this book planted a little seed that was later nurtured by my further historical studies.

    1. I love those kinds of ah-hah connections! Wonderful!

  2. Maybe the author was overly conscious of the young age of her audience? I'd imagine a lot of princess' lives wouldn't be fit material for such a young crowd. It's not all balls and princes, in real history.

    1. That's probably very true. I want to give a pass for that, but then I wonder, why add the historical note then? Why even write the book about her at all? There are plenty of other historical figures to write about.

  3. You didn't know about Sissi?
    So you never saw Sissi, Sissi: Empress and Sissi: Her Destiny when you were a kid? they are these really long movies that tell her whole story (as if it were a Disney fairy tale, so they keep the evil mother in law but gloss over the rest).

    They are kind of awesome, particularly since now you know some of the most salty stuff about her life (did you get to how she died?)

    You must hunt them down.

    1. haha nope I had no idea! I only heard about those movies after reading this book and looking her up. I can't even find them in my library! I found a small clip of one of the movies on youtube, but the other one was... hm, why didn't I watch the other one? Maybe it wasn't in English? I don't remember now. You're re-inspired me to look for them!

      (yes, I saw how she died when I read the wikipedia article on her!)

  4. I used to love these Royal Diaries books when I was younger! But yeah, I would likely not be nearly so impressed with them now as they definitely seem geared towards a younger age-group. I would prefer the gritty details of the last 50 pages! Still it's a good way to learn about someone you never would have known about otherwise!

  5. The formatting sounds interesting, though it's a shame about those first 50 pages. The rest sounds awesome, though!!


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