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Run out of favourite authors - looking for some new historical fiction. Recommendations please.

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In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2011 21:50:53 BDT
I recommend conn iggulden's conqueror series - based around the life of Genghis Khan. Great reading with very convincing characters, also with a lot of historical detail. Actual events from all the books (4 in total - Wolf of the Plains, Lords of the Bow, Bones of the Hills, Empire of Silver) are explained in-depth in the "Historical Note" at the end.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2011 22:08:59 BDT
Try Mary Stewarts Merlin Triology, even better than Cornwells Warlord series.

Posted on 9 Jun 2011 15:46:10 BDT
I know it's unusual but I would like to try and post a reply to the question posed in this thread without shamelessly pushing some damn book of my own. The leading trio in historical fiction have to be, in no particular order; Mary Renault, I have just finished what is probably my fourth re-reading of her book The Bull From the Sea, Julian Rathbone and the evergreen Antonia Fraser (alright I know that a lot of hers isn't fiction - but it's written as if it were.)

Although it's anything but a bodice ripper, there is a recent book that stopped me in my tracks and is certainly historical. It's called "Rude Awakening" by someone called Ian Okell. I don't know if he's going to write a follow up, but I hope so. Take a look for yourself. Rude Awakening

Posted on 11 Jun 2011 00:06:00 BDT
The Virgin King: A Novel is just is just £1.14!

What if the famous, larger-than-life King Henry VIII didn't die, but was sent into secret exile? What if he escaped back to England, only to be captured by his brilliant daughter Queen Elizabeth, who must decide what to do with her dangerous father, the rightful King?

THE VIRGIN KING begins seventeen years after King Henry VIII's secret exile, just as he is preparing to send his bastard son William off to England. Faced with what appears to be their final moments together on a deserted island off the coast of Spain, Henry tells William the truth about his exploits as King. What follows is a lively and entertaining narrative that will also give the reader a feel for the paradoxical world in which they are about to enter. One that, in addition to its many colorful characters and surreal backdrop, is truly brought to life as it is seen through the eyes of William, a completely unadulterated knave whose entire world view was shaped by the vainglorious and half-mad King.
Set in one of the most dazzling and exciting periods of England's royal history, THE VIRGIN KING is a high-flying tale that will entertain the reader with each page. It is in no way an esoteric work. It is an ambitious novel written about two legendary figures, and although it portrays an intimate and scandalous portrait of Elizabeth, it is one that is consistent with historical data and the spirit of the times.
The Virgin King: A Novel

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2011 11:24:42 BDT
Todd Cutler says:
William Napier's new one. Clash of Empires: The Great Siege, is cracking good and a whole new period, 16th century

Posted on 26 Jun 2011 16:27:19 BDT
Magicweaver says:
Margaret Campbell Barnes has some very good books, the kind you can read several times. Despite his self promotion Eddie Crockett's books are quite satisfying too.

Posted on 26 Jun 2011 17:24:35 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 26 Jun 2011 17:25:11 BDT]

Posted on 26 Jun 2011 17:33:06 BDT
I. L. Okell says:
I have just seen that 'Bookwormbarbara' has recently reccomended a (pre) historical book of mine called "Rude Awakening" - thanks Barbara.
If she doesn't mind me blowing my own trumpet, and if anyone else is interested some of the on line reviews have been:

A seriously good book (W.W.)
Classic storytelling, an exciting plot and a gripping premise (J.K.)
A magical mystery tour. I'm still not sure if I've been reading an adventure, a history, a travelogue or a very moving love story. I'm clearly going to have to read it again (R.B.)

Rude Awakening

Take a look - no one's asked for their money back (yet).
Ian Okell

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2011 11:59:25 BDT
Rassendyll says:
A new author I've discovered is Simon Acland who has written two books set in the First Crusade and just after. He takes his titles from poets - The Waste Land and The Flowers of Evil - and while there is a good fast story with the Holy Grail, Assassins and Templars, there is also some humour and amusing literary references. I'd call it Bernard Cornwell or Ken Follett +.

Posted on 5 Jul 2011 20:03:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jul 2011 20:04:45 BDT
The thread title says new historicals and it looks like almost all existing authors have been recommended here!

So consider two new titles from two different small publishers:

Noah's Wife -- won a Foreword Review first prize historicals (USA), by author TK Thorne; and

Bending the Boyne -- won a Next Generation Award first prize historicals (USA), by author JS Dunn.

These have very different settings from the usual swords and sandals novels, and make one consider other early cultures of importance prior to the Greek and Roman influences.

Posted on 7 Jul 2011 09:55:11 BDT
funkywombat says:
Wow - I never imagined my question would provoke so many replies - brilliant, thank you everyone - my TBR pile is indeed the size of Everest!! Had to take a break from reading after having a baby (boy did I struggle with not having the time/being too tired to pick up a book).

I've now managed to start reading again and have just polished off Conn Iggulden's Emperor and Conqueror series. For me, he's almost a historical fiction verion of David Gemmell although I still prefer the latter. I liked the books but got seriously annoyed at his playing fast and loose with historical fact in the Emperor series, which made me mistrust the detail in Conqueror. Part of me wishes he'd just done a David Gemmell and written these as pure fiction... Oh well. I will probably still read Empire of Silver when it comes out in paperback.

I finally got into Diana Gabaldon too and have to say she's notched up another fan...

Just started Jack Whyte's Templar trilogy. Only a couple of chapters in so far but it seems promising...anyone else read these?

Oh and by the way, one of the questions in my original post was about Wolf Hall. I tried. I really did. But the minutiae of Cromwell's daily life ended up being just too dull for me I'm afraid so it went back to the library. Now it might just have been "mummy brain" at work but I don't think so...

Posted on 7 Jul 2011 18:49:12 BDT
J. Turner says:
I have to say, I loved 'wolf hall' - but it was very intense and a long read. How about Karen Maitland's medival books : the owl killers and company of liars? Also Robert Neill, an older author (now deceased I think) mist over pendle - about the witch persecutions?

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2011 21:36:02 BDT
Martin Lake says:
I am currently reading The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane which is really good. I also recommend Simon Scarrow. Best of all, however, are the Flashman novels by George McDonald Fraser.

Oh, and there are my books, of course.

Martin Lake

Posted on 9 Jul 2011 14:15:19 BDT
little lady says:
if you are looking for a fantastic series within this genre, please try Michael Jecks books based in the 14th century, revolving around an ex-templar knight and a baliff, based in Devon but eventually moving on to London, They are exceptionally well written and are addictive, you will want to continue reading the series with the exception of all others.

Posted on 7 Aug 2011 13:53:43 BDT
Reador says:
Brand New to Kindle books - Sons of Africa by Jeffrey Whittam. Sample first chapters for free. Well written and entertaining. 1890's Colonial Africa through to modern day. To be followed by sequel, early next year.Sons of Africa

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2011 16:16:10 BDT
Try my novel Karoo Plainsong... Historical fiction set in South Africa. And 8 5 star reviews! Enjoy!

Posted on 8 Aug 2011 16:18:59 BDT
Why not try my new novel, Karoo Plainsong? It's historical fiction set in South Africa, and it has 8 five star reviews! rgds Barbara Mutch

Posted on 8 Aug 2011 19:51:29 BDT
Clare says:
Recently released Victorian Detective novel The Darkest Walk by Malcolm Archibald. Set in Manchester during the Chartist movement. Also as an ebook The Darkest Walk of Crime

Posted on 8 Aug 2011 22:14:07 BDT
I recently published on kindle an exciting nautical fiction trilogy about an American naval officer during the American Revolution, all based upon actual, yet little known, events. The first book is entitled, "Independent Action," and takes Jonathan Kinkaid and his ship of heroes to the North Atlantic in search of a mighty British convoy. The second book is called "Uprising," and follows Kinkaid to the West Indies, where he not only has to contend with British naval forces, but pirates and Carib Indians. The third book will be "Tidings of Victory," (in progress) which takes our hero to Europe as he delivers the news of our victory at Saratoga to Ben Franklin in Paris. My latest and most ambitious book to date is the epic adventure, "Sunset of the Cayuga," about a tribe of Cayuga Iroquois Indians and their attempt to prevent the invasion of their country by Washington's army in 1779, also a true story never told. Hope you enjoy.

Posted on 18 Aug 2011 21:11:28 BDT
Mary Bale says:
Cosy Eleventh century crime novel Threads of Treason (Anglo-Norman mysteries) by me might be worth a try if you like that sort of thing.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Aug 2011 20:20:22 BDT
CharlyB says:
The Apothecary's Daughter Hello funkywombat! I know it will seem a bit pushy but I genuinely think you might like my newly published novel, The Apothecary's Daughter. It's not a bodice ripper and I like to think readers of Tracy Chevalier and early Philippa Gregory (my favourite authors)would like it. I spent a great deal of time on the research. It's set in an old apothecary's shop in London in 1665, the year of the plague leading up to the Great Fire. My website is
I loved Georgette Heyer as a child but, as you say, I've moved on. Have you tried Sarah Waters? I loved Fingersmith.

Posted on 20 Aug 2011 11:29:25 BDT
T. Vicary says:
Hi Folks,

I have written two romantic historical thrillers. The first, The Blood Upon the Rose, is set in Ireland in 1920. In a tragic Romeo and Juliet story, a rich young heiress, Catherine O'Connell-Gort, falls in love with a young IRA terroristwho tries to murder the Viceroy of Ireland. At the same time, Catherine's father recruits an assassin to kill the IRA leader, Michael Collins.

The other book, Cat and Mouse, is set in 1914, in a historical setting similar to that of the TV series Downton Abbey. Two sisters, one a militant suffragette, combine to face two different threats to their families: first, the scandal of child prostitution, and second, a German plot to foment civil war in Ireland.

I have also written three crime/courtroom dramas, with a female lead character and strong element of family and romance in them.

The first is A Game of Proof (The trials of Sarah Newby) The heroine, Sarah Newby, is a tough criminal barrister who began life as a teenage single mum on an inner city estate. At first she defends criminals cynically, seeing her work as a game - 'a game of proof' - but life becomes serious when her own son is charged with murder, and no one else will defend him.

A Fatal Verdict (The Trials of Sarah Newby) is the second in this series. When a young man is acquitted of murder, the victim's family lose faith in the legal system, and decide to seek justice - or revenge - in their own way. Sarah defends the victim's mother, but who is really guilty?

In the third book, Bold Counsel (The Trials of Sarah Newby), Sarah, whose marriage is collapsing, has an affair with a man who appears, at first, to be her perfect lover. But what exactly does he know about a client whom she frees at the Court of Criminal Appeal, and why is he so nervous about a body that is found buried under the motorway?

I have tried to make all these books compulsive page-turners, with strong well-defined characters, good plots, and exciting twists towards the end. Try one, and see what you think!

You can read more on my website,

Tim Vicary

Posted on 21 Aug 2011 13:02:18 BDT
Angelcynn says:
Finally, a novel on the early English kings. brilliant.

Set deep in the mysterious forests of North Germania, amid the warring tribes of the late 4th century, comes the true story of an Anglo-Saxon king...

Offa: Rise of the Englisc Warrior is the story of a young boy, a girl named Ælfwynn, a wolf cub from hell and the most famous duel in English history.

Before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxon long-ships on British shores, an English prince, age seven, witnesses the death of his friend and a murder committed by two of his brothers, an act which brought shame upon the young English kingdom. Overtime, Offa becomes withdrawn and reclusive. Afraid and alone, he spends his time in the untamed forests of Ængla lande, with his only companion, a wild wolf cub named Fenris. But Fenris is no ordinary cub... Sent by the Gods, Fenris teaches Offa the way of the forest, to be a wolf, to unleash the beast within.

At the age-of-thirteen, Offa had remained a mute for the last six years, until the day the Saxons entered his father's hall, demanding the aged and blind king's unconditional surrender, and for Ængla lande to lay down their weapons in submission. True to the old Englisc code of honour, the young Offa is forced to break his self-imposed silence, challenging not one, but two of the enemy's greatest warriors to mortal combat. These are the first words Offa has spoken in many winters; it is widely believed they may very well be his last!
At this point, the ancient tale of the mighty sword 'Stedefæst' is related, its history recounted and its virtues extolled. With the fate of Ængla lande hanging in the balance, the young hero takes up his sword and is ferried to Monster-Gate, a small island near the borderlands, where Offa's father awaits by a bridge over the river Eider, ready to hurl himself into the deep waters if his son is killed and Ængla lande falls.

Standing on the island, before hundreds of enemy warriors, surrounded by an otherworldly mist, clad in wolf skin clothing, his flesh painted black, like the heroes of old, and his heart beating to the sound of enemy drums, Offa stood firm, Stedefæst in hand, refusing to show fear or intimidation. He wasn't fighting for fame, for the Gods, or for personal honour. He was fighting for his father, a waning kingdom and to restore the honour and grace of the noble Englisc folk.
Offa: Rise of the Englisc Warrior (The Anglo-Saxon Sagas: The Heroic Legends of the English Folk)

Posted on 24 Aug 2011 11:06:53 BDT
Angelcynn says:
Offa: Rise of the Englisc Warrior (The Anglo-Saxon Sagas: The Heroic Legends of the English Folk)

A great saga, telling the true story of one of england's earlies, and greatest heroes.

Posted on 25 Aug 2011 14:49:55 BDT
SIRIUS says:
From a new small press for historical fiction, and first place winner, Next Generation Indie Awards ( USA) 2011: Bending The Boyne.

Why were the great Boyne passage mounds abandoned at around 2200 BCE? Who were the first "Celts" in fact? -- This novel depicts an era of great changes reaching the Isles. It is the first fiction version of the work of Oxford scholar Barry Cunliffe, Wm O'Brien at UC-Cork, and others, regarding the early metallurgy and trade between the Isles and nw Europe.

If you enjoy Rutherfurd, or Jean Auel, or Mary Renault, try this fresh look at ancient Ireland : Bending the Boyne Quality paperback 350 pp and via Kindle, Nook apps.
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Initial post:  9 Apr 2010
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