Books to Read if you Like Historical Fiction

13 Aug 2015

History holds many stories of romance, intrigue and war. Searching through years of characters and conflicts for a particular read can be a daunting task. Try a story from this list.

If you love women’s fiction and stories from the 1930’s and 1940’s, also check out our book list of new Historical Fiction books to read for Women’s Fiction fans.

Word War II Era


One of the more famous tragedies of our past, World War II is a common setting for old stories. All the Light We Cannot See, a novel by Anthony Doerr, is an original tale that presses two unlikely characters, a French girl without sight and a Hitler Youth without family, together in battle torn France.

Women in the war effort have received some spotlight in recent years, but female fighters helped beyond filling in for factory work. Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale explores the lives of two sisters in France trying to survive in different ways as war tears through everything around them. If you’re looking for a story that captures matters of the heart and resilience of the soul, this is great choice.

Early America


There are many compelling stories of America before its independence. Flight of the Sparrow,  by Amy Belding Brown, follows the life of a woman torn from her home and sold into the service of a native tribe. Based on the true account of Mary Rowlandson, this story of captivity, cruelty and unexpected kindness is sure to keep you reading.

Ever wonder how a historical figure acted during climactic events? The Midwife’s Revolt, by Jodi Daynard, explores the life of a recently widowed midwife who befriends Abigail Adams during the beginnings of the Revolutionary War. But along with the possibility of finding new love, the protagonist happens upon a conspiracy that will have your turning page after page in excitement.

1600 Century Europe


The French Renaissance was known as a period of cultural rebirth, but there was a great deal of betrayal and intrigue as well. The Rival Queens, by Nancy Goldstone, offers a view into the relationship between Catherine de’ Medici, interim ruler of France thirty years, and Marguerite, her youngest daughter and the person she had the least control over. Looking for a read about love, betrayal, assassinations and old age espionage? Try this one. 

There are plenty of retellings of the relationship between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. But that was only the second of his many wives. What about his last wife? The Taming of the Queen (Pub; Touchstone: August 25th), by Philippa Gregory, explores the life of Kateryn Parr, an independent woman forced into a marriage that proved deadly for four others before her. Where can you find this riveting historical fiction piece of love, power and intrigue?



Avid readers of historical fiction cannot let this phenomenal read pass them by. Tudor England? Been there done that: Hild takes the reader all the way back to the early Middle Ages, to the time when a multitude of individual small kingdoms were fighting, intermarrying, and caught up in dizzying knots of honor and intrigue after the withdrawal of the Romans from the British Isles.

Also set in post Romance Britain, Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant is a sweeping narrative is guaranteed to enchant. He brings the same literary mind that crafted the award wining Never Let Me Go into the genre of magical realism, using familiar tropes to synthesize a poignant commentary on love, death, and duty.

Read our review of The Buried Giant here.

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