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Customer Discussions > Historical Fiction forum

New Historical Fiction to read

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Showing 1-25 of 336 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 2, 2009 10:31:34 AM PST
I mainly have read/like to read historical fiction about the ancient greeks, egyptians, and about the revolutionary period in Russia. I'd like to read some historical fiction on some different topics - does anyone have any recommendations?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2009 11:15:40 AM PST
Angelfish37 says:
Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" is currently my favorite book and is set (for the most part) in the 1740's in Scotland- right before the tragic slaughter of the Highland Clans at Culloden. You truly feel like you have time-travelled to this time period when you read this book.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2009 11:32:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2009 11:45:39 AM PST
C. J. Gillis says:
Have you thought about the Romans? Lindsey Davis has written a cross-genre historical mystery/history/comedy series of 20 books about a Roman detective in the time of Valerian (70 A.D.(?)).

The hero is Marco Didius Falco, a man who loves a Senator's daughter. In this series which apparently ended last year, you get a far-ranging look at the Roman street scene, prisons, senators, cops, class relations, jokes, politics, religion, provinces, and the people who lived at what once was the center of the world.

It is a heady, funny, romantic, and very, dangerous life for a man who knows too much about too many powerful people, and wisecracks about the things that he finds strange about his world, especially about the people in it, real or fictional.

The first in the series is "The Silver Pigs", a story about an investigation into swindling. You will learn a tremendous amount about how mining "fiddles" were accomplished in old Rome's provinces.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2009 11:42:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2009 11:47:20 AM PST
This definately sounds intriguing (referring to the book "Outlander")...I just looked up the book online and it sounds like a great book that I would enjoy reading! Plus, I see that this is a series. Thanks for the book recommendation, I appreciate it!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2009 11:46:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2009 11:47:51 AM PST
I've never even heard of this, C.J. Gillis! I have read some Roman historical fictions before, but I definately never came across this! It sounds interesting, and different than most of the books I have read (which is awesome!). I'll definately have to put this on my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation! I just saw this book is at my local library, so I'll check it out soon!

Are there any other Roman historical fictions that you have come across and have enjoyed?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2009 11:51:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2009 12:06:43 PM PST
C. J. Gillis says:
Check out the discussions at the bottom of's "Echos in the Bone" page. "Outlander" is just the first book by Diana Gabaldon in a series of seven published 800-900 page books. All of her fans hope that DG will go for 9-12 more years at a rate of one book every three or four years.

If science fiction or time travel romances are too much for you, most people who said that before they read "Outlander" have changed their minds. It's addicting to get history, surgery, botany, and love stories all mixed together with actual battle scenes from the past.

Dr. Gabaldon is a collector of facts which she has magically woven into a world that is only partly fictional.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2009 12:02:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2009 12:05:45 PM PST
C. J. Gillis says:
There is a series about "Gordianus the Finder", (I think that this is the man who does some detective work for Cicero). And there is numbered series "SPQR" (I, II, III, IV, etc.), about the Roman legion and centurions. One of these series is by Stephen Saylor; but I can't remember which.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2009 2:27:37 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 1, 2010 2:57:47 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 7:57:34 PM PST
Sharon Price says:
I just finished 1939 - Into The Dark. The last year of the depression and the first year of World War II. I felt like I was getting to live vicariously through the characters and getting a better understanding of why so much great art was produced in that one year. Considered the gold year of movies and theater.

Posted on Nov 5, 2009 1:37:34 AM PST
you could try colleen mccollugh - she has 6 books about the roman empire - called Masters of Rome and starts with The First Man in rome.

another author I enjoy, although his books are hard to find is Bryce courtenay - if you know anyone in Australia, or you may be able to order online - he has a trilogy called the australia Trilogy - starts with the Potato Factory; Tommo and Hawk and then Solomon song about the founding of australia; also the Persimmon Tree followed by Fishing for Stars about the second world war and the pacific or the power of one followed by Tandia about the Apatheid in south africa.

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 6:42:07 PM PST
Ghost Dance by Gale and Kandis Pamanteer was chosen as one of the best novels by local authors in 2009 by Spokane/Coeur d'Alene living magazine. It is a fiction/historical story about the mysterious Sematuse Indians and leads up to the hypothertical origin of the Ghost Dance that led to the massacre at Wounded Knee. Check out the reviews on or go to for more information.

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 6:43:46 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 1, 2010 2:58:23 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 7, 2009 8:34:19 AM PST
A Reader says:
I'd recommend either of Justin Allen's books, _Slaves of the Shinar_ or _Year of the Horse_. The first is a historical fiction/fantasy set in the ancient middle east, the second in the old west. I should note that, especially in the second, the historical is a vehical for the fantastic, but not in a way that fans of historical fiction will object to, if they don't mind some fantasy. I thought the second was even better than the first, but liked both of them very much.

Posted on Nov 7, 2009 4:38:23 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 5, 2009 12:09:41 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 6:24:38 AM PST
Joe Hohmann says:
Crack me up!!! This book was reviewed by 4 people (all 5 stars). ALL 4 had only 1 other review history...a book by the same author! That being said, if my library has it, I'll give "1939-Into The Dark" a shot.

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 7:48:59 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 1, 2010 2:59:27 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 8:48:02 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 1, 2010 2:59:36 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 12:35:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2009 12:43:16 PM PST
I really enjoyed the Marco Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis--I'll second this recommendation.

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 12:41:11 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 1, 2010 2:59:50 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 2:17:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2009 5:25:30 AM PST
I'd recommend all of the following for a variety of reasons:

Robert Graves' Hercules, My Shipmate, a fictional account of the voyage of the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece with a delighful slant on the era and the characters involved. Ancient Greece was never more interesting.

Hercules, My Shipmate

Graves' I, Claudius, a fascinating rendering of one of the least remembered but perhaps most interesting emperors of Rome.

I, Claudius From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius Born 10 B.C. Murdered and Deified A.D. 54 (Vintage International)

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, a remarkably intelligent medieval "mystery" that more or less created the medieval mystery genre.

The Name of the Rose

Arturo Perez-Reverte's dark and penetrating portrayal of a Spanish fencing master confronted by political upheaval and intrigue in his declining years as his native Spain declines even faster around him.

The Fencing Master

Jeff Janoda's powerful rendering of a portion of the Eyrbyggja Saga, one of the great Icelandic sagas as proud and greedy men and women maneuver for land and wealth in medieval Iceland in the shadow of the old faith and superstitions.

Saga: A Novel of Medieval Iceland

Brian Moore's Black Robe which tells the tale of a French Jesuit in colonial North America (today's Canada) as he seeks to fullfil his mission to bring light and faith to the heathen Indians and discovers a world far beyond any he had ever imagined or thought he could endure.

Black Robe: A Novel

These are all among my favorites.*



There's also The Golden Warrior by Hope Muntz, my all time favorite work of historical fiction which tells the tale of the tug of war for the throne of England between Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, and Duke William the Bastard of Normandy that culminated in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. This tale, written in a voice that recalls the old sagas in which such great stories were once told in the late medieval era, has been out of print for years but used copies can still be had, even here on Amazon. I felt a little guilty on re-reading what I had written in the way of recommendations for having left Muntz' novel out. I initially did so because I have recommended it so often on these lists and so many have seen me do it that I feared I was beating a dead horse. But, as I re-read the above this morning, the list just seemed woefully incomplete without mention of this, the greatest historical novel in my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2009 9:32:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2009 9:39:26 AM PST
C. J. Gillis says:
To Catherine Fagnano Alvey: Colleen McCullough wrote a giant fiction series focusing on the last decades of the Roman Republic, one of the most turbulent times in Roman history. McCullough's scholarship is tremendous here, as are her powers of relating the private, family, and political lives of Julius Caeser to those of the most politically powerful families of Rome.

Titles in this fine series are, in order: "The First Man in Rome", "The Grass Crown", "Fortune's Favorites", "Caeser's Women", "Caesar: Let the Dice Fly", "Caesar", and "The October Horse". As books in this series progress through the years, you see JC growing up as a child in the Suburan slums of Rome, as a handsome young man, as a military officer and then General, as a Senator, provincial governor and Emperor, and finally, the political actions that stirred forces which brought on his death.

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 10:44:00 PM PST
Loren Dale says:
I found James Michener's The Covenant and some of Wilbur Smith's novels a great way to get into the history of South Africa before going on safari last year. Smith's fiction set in ancient Egypt bring that period to life, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2009 10:24:24 AM PST
Thanks! ...unfortunately, I haven't been able to get through any of her books. I bought one - I believe it's "Caesar's Women" - and every time I try to read it I get distracted! I'm not sure if it's the writing style or not, but for whatever reason I haven't read it through yet! lol

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 10:26:55 AM PST
Thanks everyone! looks like I have a new reading list :)

I'm about halfway through "Outlander" - this was a great recommendation! I'm going to see if any more of the books mentioned here are in my library :) A lot sound intriguing!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2009 10:27:52 AM PST
:) Actually, I haven't read this and I love reading about this time period. I will have to check this one out on here lol
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Discussion in:  Historical Fiction forum
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Initial post:  Nov 2, 2009
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