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The Empress Chronicles

(The Empress Chronicles #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  43 reviews

In this FIRST EMPRESS CHRONICLES book, 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 h
Paperback, 254 pages
Published September 4th 2014 by Diversion Books (first published September 1st 2014)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  79 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Caz (littlebookowl)
Oct 19, 2014 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars!
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Original review from Little Book Owl

The Short
The Empress Chronicles is a fun and promising start to a new series. This first book really builds up towards the end. I am certainly intrigued, however I feel like the ending was cut short a little too abruptly. I would have loved to have been introduced to some of that excitement a little earlier.
The two main characters, Liz and Sisi, have very distinct voices, which wo
Robin (Bridge Four)
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars

From what I can tell this is supposed to be a stand-alone novel but….the way it ended makes me think that there is a possibility that the author is contemplating writing a sequel. It isn’t as closed as I would like it to be for a stand-alone.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read the synopsis and it included something about a magic diary. Anytime I think about a magic diary I always envision the one used by Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But the ‘magic’ part of
Suzy Vitello
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
Is it cheesy to rate your own book? I just wanted to get the party started.

Cannot wait to share this book with you all.

Cover reveal on August 4th!
Megan  (YABookers)
I received this from the publishers via NetGalley

Liz has OCD and it has lead to issues with food and germs. When she is forced to move to a farm on the outskirts of Portland with her Dad, she fears the worst, and she worries she won't be able to handle it. She finds comfort in the diary of Elisabeth of Bavaria, who became the Empress of Austria. She realises she may have the power to change history, and to change herself.

I'm still not sure what I think of this. I think it is probably just an av
Original rating: 3.5

“People think that what kills the soul is failed love. It is not. The real tragedy to one's soul is regret. Regret...leaves its stain for generations.”

This is the hardest review I've ever written to date. I've been staring at my computer's screen for the past couple of hours trying to think how I'd go about reviewing The Empress Chronicles. It's not helping that the more I think about this book, the more bewildered I get.

The charm of this novel is in its narrative executi
I would like to thank NetGalley & Diversion Books for granting me a copy of this e-ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review.

Goodreads Blurb:
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 conne
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars


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 perspec
books are love
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
enjoyed this. I love the parallels between the elisabeth of today and the elisabeth of long ago-it the empress of Austria. both had the same problems of OCD, eating issues etc.

the thoughts of elisabeth in this book were interesting. You get to see what drove her and what bothered her. You feel for the elisabeth of now because she is thrust from where she feels safe into a new environment that is strange and full of dirt and unknowns. She starts out a little snooty because of her way of living bu
Caryn Jack
Aug 11, 2014 rated it liked it
(I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

This book gets three stars.

I was a bit disappointed. This book was a bit uninteresting at the beginning and really slow moving in certain places. The fox portion made me feel a little sick too. It felt like it was dragged out until about half way and suddenly things started happening. I understand you need to set the stage and everything but it was still a bit off-putting.

That said, I really enjoyed this book at times. Sometimes
Alisha Tarran
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
When her illness becomes too much for her mum to cope with, Liz is sent to live with her Dad and his hippy girlfriend Willow, it's only when she arrives she's told Willow's brother Cory will also be staying there. Surrounded by dirt, not very helpful to her OCD, with a father who she can't connect with, and who applauds her when she eats, she feels herself spiraling out of control.

150 years in the past, Elisabeth of Bavaria is finding the transition from childhood harder than she thought it wou
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
I liked this, but felt like it took too long for the stories to connect.
Athena Angelica
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it! I just love how Suzy divided the chapters from the present to the past! It's a very interesting story; just by mixing history with a little magic things, everything turns out great!
Thank you to Netgalley and Diversion Books for providing an eARC. This in no way affects my views on this book.

The Empress Chronicles by Suzy Vitello is an interesting piece of historical fiction, with alternating points of view between Liz in the present and Sisi in 1850s Austria. Liz is a city girl who while her mother is away on business is sent to live with her father on a goat farm. Not only is this cruel, but unbearable to Liz who is OCD and just got out of a psychiatric hospital. Sisi, be
Rachel Barnard
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Two young women are separated by time. They are both at the height of their adolescence, growing and learning. What is expected of each is different because they are separated by 150 years, but both women want what they can’t have. Liz wants to be normal, but is surrounded by an unstable environment and troubled with an obsessive-compulsive disorder with secondary anorexic symptoms. Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sisi) wants a man who is not in her future and will go to great lengths to try to change thi ...more
Jul 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I received a review copy of The Empress Chronicles in exchange for an honest review.

The Empress Chronicles begins very slowly. When a book is marketed as being an interwoven story, you kind of want to get to that. Instead there’s lots of backstory for both Liz and Sisi which makes their characters richer but also slows the story down. I can’t quite explain how or why more well-developed characters is a bad thing, but in this book it just doesn’t work particularly well. There’s a point when you j
Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛


Well, let's get started, shall we?

When I first started reading this book, I didn't like it. Like at all. I couldn't relate to any of the main characters, and since this book is told in two separate narratives, I'll judge them both separately. The contemporary narrator I found myself annoyed by how much I wasn't able to relate to her. We both have mental disorders, oddly enough centered around rituals, and that's basical
Gail Jeidy
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a young adult book (the first in a series) that has the depth, breadth and richness to appeal to all ages. The test of a book for me is: did it make me feel? “The Empress Chronicles” had me crying by page 40. I empathized with 15-year-old Liz, a smart, sensitive Portland, Ore., teen whose OCD and associated food issues make life tortuous for her and her family. And then there's the equally compelling parallel story of Sisi, a free-spirited dreamer-duchess from mid-1800 Bavaria, who grapp ...more
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This review was originally posted on my blog, Hiver et Cafe

I was provided with an e-ARC from Diversion Books via Netgalley. This fact does not affect my opinion in any shape or form. This review is my honest opinion and I was not compensated in any way for this review.

THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES is told in dual perspective that switches between the points of view of 15 year old Elisabeth, the future Empress of Austria, and Elizabeth, a 15 year old with a repulsion disorder living in modern society.
Vidette Mcdowall
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For me, the stand out feature of The Empress Chronicles, is the same thing that grabbed me upon reading Vitello's first book, The Moment Before. The characters and settings are so beautifully flawed and so beautifully written that I couldn't help but be drawn in within the first few chapters.

This book is listed as Young Adult, but Vitello writes with the confidence that her audience will understand literature that reads with power and intent. Within the first chapter I realized there were some v
Kayla D
A free digital copy of this book was sent by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve always had a fascination with Elisabeth of Bavaria, nicknamed Sissi. She was the quintessential princess with her long, flowing hair and ethereal looks. It was only later that I discovered the dark side to this fairytale story.

The Empress Chronicles is told in dual perspective. It alternates between Liz, a girl with personal demons and OCD in present time, and Elisabeth, a young, freedo
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tour-books
This is a YA/Fantasy and I can clearly see that a young girl would love this story. I even as an adult loved the storyline, maybe I am still a young girl at heart. My genre of preference is anything paranormal and mystery suspense but this book captured my attention right from the beginning all the way through to the end. I love how the author wrote about the past and the present with the POV of two teenage girls and their lives. Suzy Viltello captured the place in time perfectly describing the ...more
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
The Empress Chronicles seems unusual because it ties together a contemporary protagonist with one who lived her life many, many years ago. This isn’t a Dear America or Royal Diaries installment—this is a very interesting blend of “now” and history. I picked it up (not just because I am a fan of German history) but because the story of Sisi is an engrossing and tragic tale in its own right, and I was curious to see what sort of role Sisi would have in Liz’s life.

As for Liz herself, I found her en
Kathy Wideman
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Liz is a girl with some issues. I think she is obsessed about cleaning and what she eats because she feels that is all she really has control over. She is sent to live with her father and his girlfriend on a goat farm. She has been talking about this with her therapist for awhile now. Her therapist is a descendant of a Bavarian princess and shows her the princesses diary. She also tells her that the princess had some of the same problems as Liz. Liz becomes quite interested in this diary. Her th ...more
Verity W
Aug 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Copy provided by NetGalley in return for an honest review

I'm really conflicted about this book. I liked the idea, but it seemed to take a long time to get going and I'm not always great with "magical elements" to books if you know what I mean - I really like Philippa Gregory's Tudor monarch books - but I got fed up with the magic elements of the Wars of the Roses books by the end of The White Queen. I think basically I have a limited tolerance for the supernatural and the magical elements of thi
Amy C
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

I enjoyed most aspects of this novel. I was not expecting the duel narrative but Vitello did a great job making both sides of the story interesting enough that I never felt like I was just getting through one chapter just to get back to the other story. Over all I thought the story was good with a few complaints.

(rest contains minor spoilers.)
The first is it took too long to get to the "wormhole" aspect of the story. It seemed as if this was a big part of the story but it took almost
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Only a few days short of the 116th anniversary of The Empress Elisabeth's death, I was excited to get my hands on this creatively crafted novel!

Although I’m an avid Historical Fiction fan, I’m very open-minded with the avenues an author can take. It’s hard not to become immersed completely when a story steps out of the norm and leads you into the unknown. I love the fact that Vitello paired the famous beauty “Sisi”, known for her eccentricities, with a young woman from present day who suffers as
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it
I think what really attracted me to this book was whole concept surrounding modern vs historical point of views. Separated by more than a century, the main characters both have a certain connection, a bridge: a diary.

I felt it wasn't a well-thought out connection between our main protagonists. Besides the diary and the illnesses they share. Our modern character has OCD; Elizabeth of Bavaria, a real historical figure, was known to have had issues as well. But that's it? there wasn't really much
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Suzy Vitello's "The Empress Chronicles (The Empress Chronicles #1)" is definitely unique and creative. I greatly enjoyed Ms. Vitello's descriptive writing style. She used a lot of description, but was not over the top. There was even some humour, such as when Mummi introduced Sisi to the archduchess (at least I thought it was funny, but I do have a strange sense of humour; I found the description of the archduchess to be amusing). I really enjoy it when authors incorporate some humour into thei ...more
Roxanne Kade
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
It wasn’t difficult to fall in love with this book. A wonderful coming of age novel that took me on a journey into the lives of two girls from very different eras, it was filled with romance and heartache.

I enjoyed getting to know both Liz and Elisabeth. They were quite different but yet so similar. Although Liz started off as more of a reclusive type with her many problems, she developed and grew into a much stronger character, whilst Elisabeth was quite feisty and rebellious in her youth she t
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is such a sweet and realistic yet imaginative story... does that make sense??
We are told the story of two teenage girls, each using their own narrative. You really feel like you are looking into their worlds as you read each characters portion.
We are introduced to Liz in Oregon and Elisabeth who is back in time trying to find her own way.
Liz & Elisabeth become connected in a way that will change history!!
The story mo
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Suzy Vitello is a proud founding member of a critique group recently dubbed The Hottest Writing Group in Portland, and her short stories have won fellowships and prizes (including the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Award, and an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship).

Suzy's young adult novels, THE MOMENT BEFORE and THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES are available wherever books and ebooks are sold.

An e-chapbook o

Other books in the series

The Empress Chronicles (2 books)
  • The Keepsake (The Empress Chronicles #2)