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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Children of Earth and Sky

The bestselling author of The Fionavar Tapestry weaves a world inspired by the conflicts and dramas of Renaissance Europe. Against this tumultuous backdrop the lives of men and women unfold on the borderlands—where empires and faiths collide.From the small coastal...

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Orphan Moon

An epic saga of adventure and grit on the edge of the western frontier, Orphan Moon demonstrates the power of a courageous human spirit in the face of tragedy, loss, and the struggle to survive.1860 - Palo Pinto, Texas. Under the spectacular glow of a Comanche moon, a...

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Poland

“A Michener epic is far more than a bedtime reader, it’s an experience. Poland is a monumental effort, a magnificent guide to a better understanding of the country’s tribulations.”—Chicago TribuneIn this sweeping novel, James A. Michener chronicles eight tumultuous...

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Snobbery With Violence

When a marriage proposal appears imminent for the beautiful -- if rebellious -- Lady Rose Summer, her father wants to know if her suitor's intentions are honorable. He calls on Captain Harry Cathcart, the impoverished younger son of a baron, to do some intelligence...

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The Freedom Star

COMPELLING HISTORICAL FICTION-The Freedom Star is a riveting, character-driven saga of two families, one owned by the other, at the outbreak of America’s Civil War. One reader calls it, “Powerful and evocative.” Another describes it as, “Just one of those special...

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All the Past We Leave Behind

Inspired by the true story of an Irish immigrant, a violent past, a lost love, and the American Dream . . . This poignant and poetic novel retells the journey of a young man, John “Whitey” O’Brien, who is forced to flee his homeland of Ireland after his involvement in...

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House of Shadows

The wooded hills of Oxfordshire conceal the remains of the aptly named Ashdown House—a wasted pile of cinders and regret. Once home to the daughter of a king, Ashdown and its secrets will unite three women across four centuries in a tangle of intrigue, deceit and...

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The Prisoner in the Castle

A series of baffling murders among a group of imprisoned agents threatens the outcome of World War II in this chilling mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. World War II is raging, and former spy Maggie Hope knows too...

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Royal Flush

Lady Georgiana must outwit two clever hunters who are after the Prince of Wales in the third novel in the New York Times bestselling Royal Spyness Mystery series.Scotland, 1932. Back home until a little London scandal blows over, minor royal Lady Georgiana Rannoch has...

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Rose of Sarajevo

From the internationally bestselling author of Last Train to Istanbul.Ever since Nimeta was a child, she’d done exactly what was expected of her. She married a responsible man she met in college, had two children, and established a busy journalism career—and there was...

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A Heartless Design

An enigmatic woman, a determined spy, and a design that could shake all of Europe..."Heartless" Cordelia Bering refuses every marriage offer she receives. Yet men still try to win her, drawn by her sharp wit and intoxicating green eyes. But Cordelia knows a marriage...

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The Island

The Petrakis family lives in the small Greek seaside village of Plaka. Just off the coast is the tiny island of Spinalonga, where the nation's leper colony once was located—a place that has haunted four generations of Petrakis women. There's Eleni, ripped from her...

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Lady of the Court

Can she keep her world from falling apart?Cousins to the King of Navarre, the Cleves sisters witness the glamor and danger of the French royal court firsthand. Middle sister, Henriette, sits at the apex of the royal court, wife to one of King Henri III's most trusted...

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The Garden of Earthly Delights

"A gripping and absorbing read" HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY reviewIt is 1490. Northern Europe is in the grip of sweeping plagues and religious inquisitions, and in daily terror of the Day of Judgement. In the town of Den Bosch, the artist Jerome (Hieronymus Bosch) paints...

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Trouble the Water

Abigail Milton was born into the British middle class, but her family has landed in unthinkable debt. To ease their burdens, Abby’s parents send her to America to live off the charity of their old friend, Douglas Elling. When she arrives in Charleston at the age of...

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Shogun

“Only by living at the edge of death can you understand the indescribable joy of life.”After Englishman John Blackthorne is lost at sea, he awakens in a place few Europeans know of and even fewer have seen—Nippon. Thrust into the closed society that is late...

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The Girl You Left Behind

From the author of Me Before You, Still Me, and The Peacock Emporium, a sweeping bestseller of love and loss, deftly weaving two journeys from World War I France to present day London. Paris, World War I. Sophie Lefèvre must keep her family safe while her adored...

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The Secret Orphan

This is a stunning and memorable page-turner of love, loss and resilience for fans of The Tattooist of AuschwitzThe USA Today bestsellerKeep her secret Keep her safeOn the 14th November 1940, Hitler’s bombs rain down on Coventry. From the rubble of a bombed-out family...

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The Art of Breathing

From author Janie DeVos comes a poignant and richly detailed novel set in 1950s North Carolina, where one young woman struggles to save her own life—and finds the strength to truly live it.   When Kathryn Cavanaugh steps over the threshold of the Pelham Sanatorium in...

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The Cater Street Hangman

In the debut of the New York Times–bestselling Victorian crime series, Inspector Thomas Pitt seeks an elusive strangler among upper-class British society.Panic and fear strike the Ellison household when one of their own falls prey to the Cater Street murderer. While...

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No Game for a Dame

A .38, a nip of gin and sensational legs get Depression-era private investigator Maggie Sullivan out of most scrapes – until a stranger threatens to bust her nose, she’s hauled in on suspicion of his murder and she finds herself in the cross-hairs of a crime boss with...

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1964

Be sure to check out my other series entitled the War Years today!Richard Warren, aged ten, is growing up in the North Yorkshire village of Ledder Bridge. Through verdant fields and meandering brooks, life is simple and easy, far from the turmoil of the Cold War...

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The Bonfires of Beltane

It’s what the clan has always done. Since before anyone can remember, Taran’s celtic island people have sacrificed children to Crom Cruach, the dread sun god. Yet in his heart he knows it’s wrong. An escaped slave told him that in distant Britain they worship the One...

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The Orchid House

Note to readers: In the UK, this book is published under the title Hothouse Flower. From beloved New York Times bestselling author Lucinda Riley, a “sweeping, poignant saga that will enthrall fans of The House at Riverton, Rebecca, and Downton Abbey” (Shelf...

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Edge of Eternity

Ken Follett's extraordinary historical epic, the Century Trilogy, reaches its sweeping, passionate conclusion.In Fall of Giants and Winter of the World, Ken Follett followed the fortunes of five international families—American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh—as...

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Always a Cold Deck

In July 1900, hapless insurance investigator Harry Reese travels to Buffalo to look into a suspicious fire. But when Harry uncovers a smuggling ring, the case morphs into something more sinister, and he’s faced with a new set of questions. What’s become of the...

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The Imp of Eye

London, 1440A youth and a Duchess are caught up in a web of royal intrigue the heady days before the Wars of the Roses.Barnabas, an orphan who lives by his wits, finds he must do the bidding of the vain and ambitious Duchess of Gloucester who seeks out his mistress,...

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We Shall See The Sky Sparkling

Set in London and Russia at the turn of the century, Susana Aikin’s debut introduces a vibrant young woman determined to defy convention and shape an extraordinary future. Like other well-bred young women in Edwardian England, Lily Throop is expected to think of...

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Sea of Memories

When Kendra first visits her ailing grandmother, Ella has only one request: that Kendra write her story down, before she forgets…In 1937, seventeen-year-old Ella’s life changes forever when she is sent to spend the summer on the beautiful Île de Ré and meets the...

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Secret Sisters

From the author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society comes this unforgettable historical novel based on the founding of the country's first sororities.Illinois, 1881: Whitsitt College sophomore Beth Carrington has two goals to fulfill by the time she graduates: obtain...

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The Alienist

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A TNT ORIGINAL SERIES • “A first-rate tale of crime and punishment that will keep readers guessing until the final pages.”—Entertainment Weekly “Caleb Carr’s rich period thriller takes us back to the moment in history when the modern...

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Jerusalem Maiden

“Talia Carner is a skillful and heartfelt storyteller who takes the reader on journey of the senses, into a world long forgotten.”—Jennifer Lauck, author of Blackbird“Exquisitely told, with details so vivid you can almost taste the food and hear the voices….A moving...

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Year of Wonders

An unforgettable tale of a brave young woman during the plague in 17th century England from the author The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.  When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named...

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The Hood Game: Rise of the Greenwood King

“The arrow swift to wound is already drawn from the quiver ; soon will the blow be struck ...” Robin of Locksley joins the annual village games, signifying the ancient battle between the ‘Lord of the Hood,’ and The Dark. A night of good cheer turns to terror as...

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The Baker’s Daughter

In this New York Times bestseller, two women in different eras face similar life-altering decisions, the politics of exclusion, the terrible choices we face in wartime, and the redemptive power of love.In 1945, Elsie Schmidt is a naive teenager, as eager for her first...

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