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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East Wind: West Wind

The classic coming-of-age novel about a young Chinese woman torn between Eastern and Western cultures by the Nobel Prize–winning author of The Good Earth.  Kwei-lan is a traditional Chinese girl—taught by her mother to submit in all things, “as a flower submits to sun...

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The Novels of Alexander the Great

A New York Times–bestselling trilogy about the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and its leader from an author hailed by Hilary Mantel as “a shining light.” Fire from Heaven is a gripping account of the formative years of Alexander’s life. The story tells of his...

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The Gamekeeper’s Wife

A gripping tale of love, duty, sacrifice and determination in the aftermath of the First World War. Martha Walters is the widow of an abusive man. Martha has nothing and is about to lose her home. Christopher Shipley is the reluctant heir to a substantial family...

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Blockade Billy

"I love old-school baseball,and I also love the way people who've spent a lifetime in the game talk about the game. I tried to combine those things in a story of suspense. People have asked me for years when I was going to write a baseball story. Ask no more; this is...

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The Robe

A Roman soldier, Marcellus, wins Christ's robe as a gambling prize. He then sets forth on a quest to find the truth about the Nazarene's robe-a quest that reaches to the very roots and heart of Christianity and is set against the vividly limned background of ancient...

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Waxing Moon

Waxing Moon is an epic story set in feudal 19th century Korea, in the household of wealthy landowner Mr. O. Outside, there is political unrest as Western missionaries attempt to make inroads into the country. While the servants and wives within the O household compete...

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The Lives of Stella Bain

'Atonement with just the tiniest dash of Downton Abbey' Red magazine'Gripping and moving' Sunday TimesHauled in a cart to a field hospital in northern France in March 1916, an American woman wakes from unconsciousness to the smell of gas gangrene, the sounds of men in...

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Centennial

Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A. Michener’s magnificent saga of the West is an enthralling celebration of the frontier. Brimming with the glory of America’s past, the story of Colorado—the Centennial State—is manifested through its people:...

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Gilead

The 2004 Pulitzer Prize winning novelA New York Times Top-Ten Book of 2004Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for FictionNearly 25 years after Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations, from the Civil War to the...

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City of Thieves

From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over and co-creator of the HBO series Game of Thrones, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime. During the Nazis’ brutal...

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The Lotus Eaters

A New York Times Best Seller! A New York Times Notable Book!A unique and sweeping debut novel of an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War, as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men. On a stifling day in...

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Deep Fire Rise

2019 Spur Award Finalist for Best Western Contemporary Novel"The greatest geological event of our times finally has the novel it deserves."--Robert Michael Pyle, 2x Washington State Book Award winner and author of Wintergreen and Where Bigfoot WalksIt is 1980 and...

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The Thin Red Line

With “shattering prose,” the New York Times–bestselling author of From Here to Eternity captures the intense combat in the battle of Guadalcanal (San Francisco Chronicle).  In August of 1942 the first American marines charged Guadalcanal, igniting a six-month battle...

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The Painted Bird

The classic novel of a boy’s struggle for survival in WWII Poland, from the National Book Award–winning author of Steps and Being There.   “In 1939, a six-year-old boy is sent by his anti-Nazi parents to a remote village in Poland where they believe he will be safe....

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A Column of Fire

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“Absorbing . . . impossible to resist.” —The Washington PostAs Europe erupts, can one young spy protect his queen? #1 New York Times bestselling author Ken Follett takes us deep into the treacherous world of powerful monarchs, intrigue,...

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The Postmistress

Experience World War 2 through the eyes of two very different women in this captivating New York Times bestseller by the author of The Guest Book.“A beautifully written, thought-provoking novel.”—Kathryn Stockett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Help In...

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A Hundred Summers

As the 1938 hurricane approaches Rhode Island, another storm brews in this New York Times bestselling beach read from the author of Her Last Flight and The Golden Hour. Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations....

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Hope of Ages Past

**Named by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best Indie books of 2018**AD 1618 — Post-Reformation Central Europe is on the verge of a cataclysmic new religious conflict—the Thirty Years War—that will ultimately lead to the deaths of eight million and the dramatic...

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Helen of Troy

Acclaimed author Margaret George tells the story of the legendary Greek woman whose face "launched a thousand ships" in this New York Times bestseller.The Trojan War, fought nearly twelve hundred years before the birth of Christ, and recounted in Homer's Iliad,...

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The Paris Package

On the eve of WWII, a honeymoon turns treacherous.For Stella Bled Lawrence being wealthy and stylish in 1938 is exactly what it’s cracked up to be. She’s blissfully unaware of the rising tensions in Europe even as she travels to Vienna on the eve of the Kristallnacht,...

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The Widow Makers

Mead's novel The Widow Makers is inspiring reading; a classic tale, full of all the ingredients which make for the finest novels. Based in the mid-19th century, it tells the story of the young Standish family, who move from the coalfields of Lancashire to the slate...

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Lost Horizon

In this “engagingly written” international bestseller, survivors of a plane crash discover a peaceful paradise hidden in the Himalayas called Shangri-La (The New York Times). Hugh Conway saw humanity at its worst while fighting in the trenches of the First World War....

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Face the Winter Naked

For fans of Steinbeck’s THE GRAPES OF WRATHDaniel Tomelin, a battle-worn veteran with PTSD—haunted by the carnage of World War 1—deserts his wife and children in the Great Depression and becomes a hobo seeking work and relief from his nightmares.This page-turning tale...

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The Glassblower

In the village of Lauscha in Germany, things have been done the same way for centuries. The men blow the glass, and the women decorate and pack it. But when Joost Steinmann passes away unexpectedly one September night, his three daughters must learn to fend for...

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Smoke Over Tokyo

Tokyo, May 1932Japan is still plagued by economic depression, scandals, and assassinations. A prominent politician mysteriously commits suicide while dining with Chizuru Okamura, the daughter of a yakuza crime family. Leading the investigation, Police Inspector Aizawa...

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The Good Earth

Pearl S. Buck’s timeless masterpiece, the Pulitzer Prize–winning story of a farmer’s journey through China in the 1920sThe Good Earth is Buck’s classic story of Wang Lung, a Chinese peasant farmer, and his wife, O-lan, a former slave. With luck and hard work, the...

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The Secret of the Chateau

Everything is about to change…1789. Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, have fled the palace of Versailles for their château, deep in the French Alps. But as revolution spreads through the country, even hidden away the Auberts will not be...

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Mercenary

New Orleans, 1891: Lee Christmas gets drunk and falls asleep at the throttle of his locomotive, plowing straight into an oncoming train. Blacklisted from the railroad and his marriage in tatters, he flees New Orleans on a steamer bound for the tropics. In Honduras, he...

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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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Girl with a Pearl Earring

The New York Times bestselling novel by the author of Remarkable Creatures and The Last Runaway Translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film, starring Scarlett Johanson and Colin FirthTracy Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time...

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The Glassblower

In the village of Lauscha in Germany, things have been done the same way for centuries. The men blow the glass, and the women decorate and pack it. But when Joost Steinmann passes away unexpectedly one September night, his three daughters must learn to fend for...

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In the Land of the Long White Cloud

Helen Davenport, governess for a wealthy London household, longs for a family of her own—but nearing her late twenties, she knows her prospects are dim. Then she spots an advertisement seeking young women to marry New Zealand’s honorable bachelors and begins an...

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The Victory Garden

A Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Charts bestseller.From the bestselling author of The Tuscan Child comes a beautiful and heart-rending novel of a woman’s love and sacrifice during the First World War.As the Great War continues to take its toll, headstrong...

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Call Your Daughter Home

Featured on Oprah’s Summer Reading ListFor readers of Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing and Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, this extraordinary historical debut novel follows three fierce Southern women in an unforgettable story of motherhood and...

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Blackberry and Wild Rose

Set in eighteenth-century Spitalfields, London, Blackberry and Wild Rose is the rich and atmospheric tale of a household of Huguenot silk weavers as the pursuit of the perfect silk design leads them all into ambition, love, and betrayal.When Esther Thorel, wife of a...

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Trouble at Every Turn

BOOK THREE IN THE CAPTIVATING, NON-STOP ACTION SERIES OF THE OLD WEST! United States Marshal Bull Morrison and his deputy, Slim Calhoun, are sent to investigate and stop a threat to the new United States Mint in Carson City, Nevada. The alleged threat includes blowing...

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