The Second Empress by Michelle Moran

The Second Empress

By Michelle Moran

  • Release Date: 2012-08-14
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 71 Ratings
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Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte will stop at nothing to marry the Hapsburg princess he hopes will bear him a royal heir, in this compelling novel from bestselling author Michelle Moran.
After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon’s power is absolute. When eighteen year old Marie-Louise is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon or refuse and plunge her country into war. To save her father's throne, Mary-Louise is determined to be a good wife. But at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her new husband’s affection, including Napoleon’s sister Pauline, who is fiercely jealous, utterly uncontrollable, and the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. When war once again sweeps the Continent and bloodshed threatens Marie-Louise’s family, the second empress is forced to make choices that will determine her place in history—and change the course of her life. 

The Second Empress will transport you back to Napoleon's empire where royals and servants alike live at the whim of one man, and two women vie to change their destinies.


  • Very Entertaining

    By Mimididilili
    I found this shorter than the Egyptian books, but it was very entertaining.
  • Great novel!

    By 2boys2many
    The Second Empress is the story of an ambitious Emperor and the women who surround him during a volatile time in French history. Since I was a teenager, I have had an infatuation with the love affair that was Napoleon and Josephine. I have read many books that contain their love letters and have found them and their story fascinating. I never gave much thought to the other women in his life. This book brought those women to light. Told from various character perspectives, all of which are outstanding, the Second Empress, Marie-Louise, comes to the foreground in this sweeping tale. Pauline, Napoleon's sister, is a constant in his life. Someone he turns to and that is faithful to him to a fault. Josephine, cast aside for want of an heir to the throne, remains his one true love. Marie-Louise, the Second Empress, comes to him, bound by duty to her own family, never to love or even respect the man who seeks to control all of Europe. The author does a tremendous job mixing history and storytelling to weave an intricate tale spanning the last 6 years of Napoleon's reign. The pace is quick which made it a fast read I had a hard time setting aside. Sometimes, with historical novels, too much detail weighs the story down. Not in this case. The author does a wonderful job giving enough detail to make the story come to life and uses enough discretion not to cause an overkill of the senses. The reader gets a sense of who these people are, where they have come from and where they are going and why. If you're a fan of historical fiction, this one is a must read!!!!