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Publisher's Summary

From a bestselling author in Mexico comes her English-language debut - an enthralling historical novel about the tragic reign of Empress Carlota of Mexico.

It’s 1863. Napoleon III has installed a foreign monarch in Mexico to squash the current regime. Maximilian von Habsburg of Austria accepts the emperor’s crown. But it is his wife, the brilliant and ambitious Princess Charlotte, who throws herself passionately into the role. Known to the people as Empress Carlota, she rules deftly from behind the scenes while her husband contents himself with philandering and decorating the palace. 

But Carlota bears a guilty secret. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she’s thrown herself into a reckless affair. Desire has blinded Carlota to its consequences, for it has left her vulnerable to her sole trusted confidante. Carlota’s devious lady-in-waiting has political beliefs of her own - and they are strong enough to cause her to betray the empress and join a plot to depose her from the throne. As Carlota grows increasingly, maddeningly defenseless, both her own fate and that of the empire are at stake. 

A sweeping historical novel of forbidden love, dangerous secrets, courtly intrigue, and treachery, The Empress passionately reimagines the tragic romance and ill-fated reign of the most unforgettable royal couple of nineteenth-century Europe during the last throes of the Second Empire.

©2017 by Laura Martínez-Belli. Translation © 2020 by Simon Bruni. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Empress

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The Empress of Mexico

Though this book was filled with amazing history, it was difficult to follow. When you listen to a book on tape, you rarely have the luxury of listening to the whole book at one time, so when the book jumps back and forth in time and events it makes it much harder to keep everything straight.
If I were to read this book again, I would want a hard copy of the book so I could flip back and forth and make a continuous line. I'm a linear thinker anyway so things make more sense to me if they flow from one event to the next.
Having said all that, I'm glad I read this book and I am grateful for all the time, effort and research it took so that I could learn more abour historical figures and how they effected the world both then and now. If you are a fan of history, as I am, you will learn many interesting facts about european politics, monarchs, mexican history and the desire for freedom balanced against an aristocracy that wanted power and growth across the world.

1 person found this helpful

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Confusing listen

Author moves between characters and years haphazardly. I found it very difficult to keep up with who was who and the time period taking place. There was not a lot of descriptions or details given either making it harder for me to keep up with the story.
The character names were also kept in the Spanish language so it was difficult for me to remember who was who except for the two main characters.
Overall I felt the story was long with the author not really telling much of a story.

1 person found this helpful

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Listening to The Empress

Overall it was a good story. I listened it on audible, instead of reading it and found the change in time with each chapter actually annoying and slightly challenging at times. I wish it was more in chronological order.

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Nice fiction-reality story

Author greatly manages historic events to create a fiction story that grabs you immediately and keeps you from start to end wondering what’s next.