Historical Fiction Books – Free & Bargain Priced!

Whilst history books are often dry, and don’t attract a wide readership, novels with fictional storylines based within significant historical periods, and events, are widely read and educate as well as entertain their readership. Historical Fiction books are often a person’s first experience learning about a particular period in history, and an author of such a book will put in as much historical research as a historian working in the period. There are some history novels which are recommended by college and university departments for their educational value, and to assist the history student to better understand the people of the period – by empathising with characters in the novel and their struggles and experience, as imagined by the author.

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There are many classics in this broad fiction genre: the first that comes to mind are Mary Renault’s series of novels based in ancient Greece. These are a great read, by the way! The study of ancient Greece can be, at times, a rather dry and especially academic exercise, but Mary Renault puts humanity at its core and tells a great yarn, at the same time – absorbing and utilizing many historical and mythological elements into her story, including making the ancient hero Theseus the main protagonist of one of her stories. Naturally, there is a great deal of invention in her novels, there has to be because the detail is missing from history, but Renault is a highly capable historian, as well as an excellent imaginative story teller, and her imagining of ancient Greece is entirely credible – and recommended by respected classics professors as a way in to their topic.

But Mary Renault has some great company in this genre. A more contemporary author that comes to mind is Steven Pressfield, who also broke into the bestseller list for his novels on ancient Greece, but has gone on to create numerous, equally popular, books on a variety of other historic periods with a focus on conflict and war – right up to the modern day Afghan war. Other popular authors include: Patrick O’Brian and his ‘Master And Commander series; Robert Graves’ ‘I, Claudius; Umberto Eco’s The Name Of The Rose; Leo Tolstoy’s War And Peace; and the 2012 Booker Prize Winner Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel.

In fact, when you look down any bestseller list of great historical fiction novels, you’ll find very many books you thought of first as thrillers, mysteries, romances, or action adventure stories – but set years in the past.

The imagination required to create a work of fiction is something that can be applied in many directions. Imagining a contemporary environment is no different, in the research required, to imagining an historic period. But historical fiction books can bring history alive for the reader, and educate as well as entertain – and as such, they perform a particular type of service to us all. Long live the history novel!

Historical Fiction Books - The King Must Die by Mary Renault

Classic Historical Fiction Book – The King Must Die by Mary Renault

Historical Fiction Books - Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

Bestselling Historical Fiction Book – Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

Historical Fiction Books - Master and Commander by Patrick OBrian

Bestselling Historical Fiction Books – Master and Commander by Patrick OBrian

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The Boat Girls

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Tread Softly on my Dreams

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The Kitchen Mistress

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1876

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Tender Victory

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The Golden Prince

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The Royal Governess

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The Architect's Apprentice

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Katheryn Howard

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Sharpe's Siege

Sharpe's mission has seemed simple: capture a small unguarded French coastal fort, cripple Napoleon's supply lines, and retreat across the sea. But behind the lines, Sharpe's old enemy, Pierre Ducos, awaits Sharpe's arrival with a battalion of French soldiers and a...

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The Key to Rebecca

Ken Follett's The Key to Rebecca took readers and critics by storm when first published forty years ago. Today, it remains one of the best espionage novels ever written. A brilliant and ruthless Nazi master agent is on the loose in Cairo. His mission is to send...

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Labyrinth

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The Confessions of Young Nero

The New York Times bestselling and legendary author of Helen of Troy and Elizabeth I now turns her gaze on Emperor Nero, one of the most notorious and misunderstood figures in history. Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar’s...

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The Orphan’s Daughter

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Davenport House

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The House

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Daughter of the Reich

“[B]eautifully written and emotional wrenching…its dynamic characters present a timely truth we should all grasp and embrace: We must stand up against those who preach hate.” —Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author...

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The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank

"An appealing and inventive novel…original and cathartic." —Dana Kennedy, New York Times On February 16, 1944, Anne Frank recorded in her diary that Peter, whom she at first disliked and eventually came to love, had confided to her that if he...

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The Lieutenant’s Nurse

A USA TODAY BESTSELLER “An emotional and heartfelt tale of love and courage.” —Chanel Cleeton, bestselling author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana November, 1941. She’s never even seen the ocean before, but Eva...

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Cashelmara

The New York Times–bestselling saga: In nineteenth-century Ireland, a titled English family keeps an estate in an era of famine and violent conflict.  When Edward de Salis travels to America after the death of his first wife, he is astonished to find...

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A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom

From the bestselling author of A Ladder to the Sky -- "a darkly funny novel that races like a beating heart" (People) -- comes a new novel that plays out across all of human history: a story as precise as it is unlimited. This story starts with a family. For now, it...

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Spindle City

On June 23, 1911—a summer day so magnificent it seems as if God himself has smiled on the town—Fall River, Massachusetts, is reveling in its success. The Cotton Centennial is in full swing as Joseph Bartlett takes his place among the local elite in the...

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The Girl from Venice

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City of Thieves

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Still Life with Murder

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Valentine

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The Schoolteacher of Saint-Michel

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Find Me in Havana

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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

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Not Without My Sister

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Bull Mountain

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East Wind

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The Devil’s Novice

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