9 Best Historical Fiction Reads

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Have you ever wanted to jump through time and live in a different era? Or have you ever wanted to live in a different time period for just a day? Or perhaps you’re looking for a book full of intrigue, drama, and a bit of history? If you said yes to any of these, then you’re probably like me and a huge Historical Fiction fan. If so, continue on reading! Below is a list of 9 Historical Fiction books I couldn’t put down.


1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

My absolute favourite! I absolutely love Scotland and this book is the perfect read for other lovers of Scotland! It is a series and follows Claire Randall, an army nurse, goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank after the Second World War only to go through time to 1743. Caught amidst danger, she must put her faith in the scot James Alexander Malcom Fraser. And the rest is history…


2. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

I love the Tudor and Plantanaget periods and Philippa Gregory would have to be my favourite Historical Fiction Author. I hear a lot of people complaining about her books, but that’s because they don’t see the fiction side of it. I absolutely love The White Queen. This particular book focuses on Elizabeth Woodville, who marries Edward IV, and it is entrancing from the start!


3. Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Now for something slightly different – most books on this list are medieval or modern historical fiction, except this one. This story focuses on Briseis and her experiences in the Trojan War, with the majority of the book focusing on her relationships with Achilles and other women prisoners of the Greeks. If you like a bit of romance and female of empowerment, then this is the book for you!


4. The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

Another series, The Last Kingdom focuses on Uhtred of Bebbanburg, an anglo-saxon raised by vikings who eventually becomes a soldier for King Alfred the Great. Torn between the Vikings who raised him, who don’t see him as a proper viking, and his people the Anglo-Saxons, who see him as a pagan viking, Uhtred must find his way back home to Bebbanburg. The books are beautifully written and I was properly hooked from the start. This book is also made into a Netflix series.


5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Also written by Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl might be one of the most popular or famous historical fiction novels – and for the right reason, this book is incredible. Tudor lovers will love this book! As you may have guessed, this book is about Anne Boleyn, but not just her, the story follows Anne’s big sister, Mary Boleyn, and the story is told through her eyes – hence ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’. It starts with Henrys first interest in the Boleyns, and ends with Anne’s downfall. The History is well executed (excuse the pun), although, much like other historical fiction novels, there is a lot of creative licence. This is one of my favourites mainly because of how wonderful Gregory can spin a story, and she did it well with this one.


6. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Originally published in the early 2000s, this series has become a big hit in the last year. Thanks to Netflix, this series has become a massive hit. The series focuses on the Bridgerton siblings, with each sibling having their own book to star in, and is set in the Regency period. The first book follows Daphne Bridgerton, the fourth sibling and eldest daughter, as she embarks on her first social season. There she meets the charming, yet mysterious and troubled, Duke of Hastings. They strike a deal to ensure she gets more suitors in the social season and he gets left alone by all the pestering mothers. Will their relationship grow into something else?


7. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

I would apologise for having so many Philippa Gregory books on this list, however, I am not that sorry. The Lady of the Rivers is another amazing book, this time, Gregory writes a story following Jacquetta of Luxembourg, mother to Elizabeth Woodville (the White Queen). Jacquetta wasn’t just amazing because of her daughter, she was incredible in her own right and Gregory writes her story well. With a mix of romance, magic, drama and intrique, this story should be on everyones Historical Fiction to-read list!


8. The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

Based during World War 1, this book follows Emily Bryce as she tries to break away from her comfortable life with her aristocratic parents by becoming a land girl for the war effort. After falling in love with a soldier, and finding a secret garden, Emily finds her place in the world. This book is a beautiful read and it is one of my favourites because it has a perfect mix of drama and romance, all within a historical setting.


9. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent is a very unique story that I absolutely loved. Filled with myth, love and friendship, this is such a powerful story. This book, set in the 1890s, follows Cora Seaborne and her family as she moves to Essex. On her arrival she discovers the myths of the ‘Essex Serpent’. With her scientific intuition, she must find the truth. This epic journey will hook you from the start.

Did you like this list? I hope you found your next Historical Fiction read. I know they are mostly Euro-Focused but I definitely loved them all! If you’ve read them comment below your thoughts! Do you have any historical fiction recommendations?

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