First off, I really thought that Malcolm Hillgartner was a phenomenal narrator for this nonfiction book. Secondly, if you love history, especially European history, then this book is a must read. It not only deals with the life of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his romance and eventual marriage to Countess Sophie Chotek (and their eventual assassination), but also the lives of their children, other European royalty, the start of World War I, and more.
I really learned a lot of history that I never knew before about this time period and about Franz Ferdinand and his family... I was truly impressed with the amount of research the authors incorporated in their book and how they presented this information to readers.
The only minor draw back I have with the audio version of The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolmans is that there are a lot of people of historical importance presented in the book and it is difficult to initially remember who all of them are. At the start of The Assassination of the Archduke, the authors give a list of the relevant players, but in an audiobook you can't easily retrieve this information like you can with a physical book... With a physical book, I'd be able to easily turn to the section and look up who the person was if I forgot their significance. This is only a minor complaint though with the audio version.
I would say that as of this moment, The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolmans is my favorite read for 2016 so far.
The following is the publisher's summary for The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolmans from Audible:
Drawing on unpublished letters and rare primary sources, King and Woolmans tell the true story behind the tragic romance and brutal assassination that sparked World War I.
In the summer of 1914, three great empires dominated Europe: Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary. Four years later all had vanished in the chaos of World War I. One event precipitated the conflict, and at its heart was a tragic love story.
When Austrian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand married for love against the wishes of the emperor, he and his wife, Sophie, were humiliated and shunned. Yet they remained devoted to each other and to their children. The two bullets fired in Sarajevo not only ended their love story but also led to war and a century of conflict.
Set against a backdrop of glittering privilege, The Assassination of the Archduke combines royal history, touching romance, and political murder in a moving portrait of the end of an era. One hundred years after the event, it offers the startling truth behind the Sarajevo assassinations, including Serbian complicity, and examines rumors of conspiracy and official negligence.
Events in Sarajevo also doomed the couple's children to lives of loss, exile, and the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, their plight echoing the horrors unleashed by their parents' deaths. Challenging a century of myth, The Assassination of the Archduke resonates as a very human story of love destroyed by murder, revolution, and war.I am giving The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolmans a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.
Until my next post, happy reading!