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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Last Bus to Wisdom

Named a Best Book of the Year by the Seattle Times and Kirkus ReviewThe final novel from a great American storyteller.Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan Doig’s beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana...

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Gods and Kings

Gods and Kings is the story of King Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah's mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In...

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The American Heiress

A New York Times–bestselling author brings World War I–era England to vibrant life in this romantic saga in which destiny turns a lady’s maid into a lady. It is spring of 1915. Spoiled twenty-one-year-old Clemency Jervis and her Fifth Avenue entourage board the...

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Dark Star

Paris, Moscow, Berlin, and Prague, 1937. In the back alleys of nighttime Europe, war is already under way. André Szara, survivor of the Polish pogroms and the Russian civil wars and a foreign correspondent for Pravda, is co-opted by the NKVD, the Soviet secret...

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There’ll Be Blue Skies

THE FIRST CLIFFEHAVEN NOVEL BY SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR ELLIE DEANWhen sixteen-year-old Sally is evacuated to the English south coast, she is terrified by what lies ahead of her. All she knows are the sights and sounds of London's East End - but Sally swallows...

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The Pieces We Keep

"Gripped me from the first page and didn't let go."      --Alyson Richman, bestselling author of The Lost WifeIn this richly emotional novel inspired by extraordinary true accounts, New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris evokes the depth of a mother's...

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Zipporah, Wife of Moses

From the internationally bestselling author of Sarah comes the riveting story of the remarkable woman who walked beside Moses. Although she is a Cushite by birth—one of the people of the lands to the south—Zipporah grew up as the beloved daughter of Jethro, high...

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A Million Nightingales

From National Book Award finalist Susan Straight comes a haunting historical novel about a Louisiana slave girl's perilous journey to freedom.Daughter of an African mother and a white father she never knew, Moinette is a house maid on a plantation south of New...

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Gettysburg, 1913

From the author of The First Christmas of the War and its sequels:July 1-3, 1863: The famed Battle of Gettysburg turns the tide of the Civil War, but not before approximately 50,000 soldiers from both sides become casualties during those three terrible days of...

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The Road to Newgate

What price justice?London 1678. Titus Oates, an unknown preacher, creates panic with wild stories of a Catholic uprising against Charles II. The murder of a prominent Protestant magistrate appears to confirm that the Popish Plot is real.Only Nathaniel Thompson, writer...

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In the Company of the Courtesan

My lady, Fiammetta Bianchini, was plucking her eyebrows and biting color into her lips when the unthinkable happened and the Holy Roman Emperor’s army blew a hole in the wall of God’s eternal city, letting in a flood of half-starved, half-crazed troops bent on pillage...

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North and South

The first volume of John Jakes’s acclaimed and sweeping saga about a friendship threatened by the divisions of the Civil WarIn the years leading up to the Civil War, one enduring friendship embodies the tensions of a nation. Orry Main from South Carolina and George...

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Dragon Seed

A New York Times–bestselling historical novel about the Japanese invasion of Nanking from the author of The Good Earth. Farmer Liang Tan knows only a quiet, traditional life in his remote Chinese farming community. When news filters in that Japanese forces are...

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The City of Shadows

Longlisted for the CWA John Creasy New Blood Dagger Award 2013 and shortlisted for CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger Award 2014‘She looked up at the terraced house, with the closed shutters and the big room at the end of the long unlit corridor where the man who smiled...

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A Murder in Auschwitz

An SS officer is found standing over the body of a comrade, a smoking pistol still in his hand, a murder in a place of murders. His pleas of innocence force a court martial and he knows that there is only one man in the camp capable of defending him; a Jewish prisoner...

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The Searchers

The “epic” novel of violence and vengeance in the American West—and the basis for John Ford’s classic film starring John Wayne (Kirkus Reviews).   Film director John Ford’s The Searchers defined the spirit of America, influenced a generation of filmmakers, and was...

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Abandon

On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman, and child in a remote gold-mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins—and not a single bone was ever found.One hundred sixteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a...

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Call to Juno

“An elegant, impeccably researched exploration of early Rome...Elisabeth Storrs weaves a wonderful tale!” —Kate Quinn, author of The Empress of Rome sagaFour unforgettable characters are tested during a war between Rome and Etruscan Veii.Caecilia has long been torn...

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Rare Objects

In Depression-era Boston, a city divided by privilege and poverty, two unlikely friends are bound by a dangerous secret in this mesmerizing work of historical fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of The Perfume Collector.Maeve Fanning is a first...

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White Truffles in Winter

"You’ll eat up every word of this spicy historical novel." —Real SimpleAuguste Escoffier (1846–1935) was the renowned French chef and restaurateur who gave birth to the way we eat today. The heart of Escoffier’s story, however, lies in his love for two very different...

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The Secret Scripture

An epic story of family, love, and unavoidable tragedy from the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist. Now a major motion picture starring Rooney Mara. Sebastian Barry's latest novel, Days Without End, is now available.  Sebastian Barry's novels have been hugely admired...

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The Great Passage

An award-winning story of love, friendship, and the power of human connection. Kohei Araki believes that a dictionary is a boat to carry us across the sea of words. But after thirty-seven years of creating dictionaries, it’s time for him to retire and find his...

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The Eight

The “fascinating” #1 international bestseller of a quest across centuries by two intrepid women to reunite the pieces of a powerful, ancient chess set (Los Angeles Times Book Review).  A fabulous, bejeweled chess set that belonged to Charlemagne has been buried in a...

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The Red Notebook

Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street and feels impelled to return it to its owner. The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person...

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The Second Mrs. Hockaday

When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband’s three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or...

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Callander Square

Someone on posh Callander Square will kill to keep a secret in this “superior” mystery from the New York Times–bestselling author of Twenty-One Days (The San Diego Union-Tribune).  When two dead infants are dug up in the Callander Square gardens, the upper-class...

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For Such a Time

Powerful Retelling of the Story of EstherIn 1944, blond and blue-eyed Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit...

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I Am Livia

Her life would be marked by scandal and suspicion, worship and adoration…At the tender age of fourteen, Livia Drusilla overhears her father and fellow aristocrats plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar. Proving herself an astute confidante, she becomes her...

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A Fatal Mistake

A brand new Ryder & Loveday mystery from global bestseller Faith MartinSummer 1960, Oxford In the glorious sunshine of Oxford, on a day when everyone should be celebrating, tragedy strikes when a university student is found floating in the river, dead.Probationary WPC...

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Jackpot Blood

Professional genealogist Nick Herald must rescue a Louisiana Indian tribe's future from a deadly past! Big trouble plagues rural central Louisiana when the small tribe of nearly assimilated Katogoula Indians unexpectedly receives federal recognition. In a cruel irony,...

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The Wheel of Fortune

An “emotion-packed” New York Times–bestselling saga by the author of Cashelmara, set on a Welsh family estate in the early twentieth century (San Francisco Chronicle). Tucked in the hills of South Wales is Oxmoon, the ancestral estate of the Godwin family. In the...

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Dolly Biters!

Four saucy tales from the legendary vampire girls of Victorian London, bound up in one alluring volume. These stories quicken the pulse, thrill the mind and excite parts of the body that other, lesser books fail to reach.Novellas and short stories featured in this...

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The Churchill Memorandum

"Begins with the shooting of Alan Greenspan. Ends in an exploding country house. Alternate history fiction where Ian Fleming meets Evelyn Waugh!"Imagine: Hitler dies in a car crash in March 1939. No World War II. No US-Soviet duopoly of the world. No slide into the...

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Storykeeper

“A stunning novel and a joy to read” Helen Hollick, Managing Editor - Historical Novel Society (Editor’s Choice) “Smith writes fluidly, and the society he depicts is intriguingly complex.” - Kirkus Reviews“Steeped in immediacy and vivid detail.” D. Donovan, Senior...

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The Confession of Brother Haluin

A monk’s journey of amends leads to murder in this “thoroughly entertaining medieval mystery” in the Silver Dagger Award–winning series (Publishers Weekly). Winter arrived early in 1142, bringing with it a heavy snowfall. The safety of the guest-hall roof at the...

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Madam, Will You Talk?

The original queen of the page-turner Mary Stewart leads her readers on a thrilling journey through a dangerous and deadly Provence in this tale perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym. 'Mary Stewart is magic' New York Times'One of the great British...

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