Top Ten Historical Fiction Books

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There's nothing more enjoyable than immersing yourself in a story from a bygone era. Losing yourself in Ancient Rome, Gothic England, the Irish Civil War, or a raft in Africa is a great way to spend an evening. These are the best examples of historical fiction. Why not tell us about your favourites?


The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

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The Game Of Kings is - try not to wince - the first in an historical saga dealing with Scotland in the sixteenth century. It's not usually this reviewer's kind of thing, at all at all at all. However, it's romantic fiction with a very classy edge. It's dense, it's complex, it's historically accurate. It's a rather large cut above the rest. It comes recommended for fans of the genre in need of a challenge or for serious readers looking to step outside their usual box. Full review...

Kings of Albion by Julian Rathbone

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Three suave, sophisticted oriental travellers in search of a missing kinsman find themselves slap-bang in the middle of earthy (well, muddy), basic England. Kings of Albion has its tongue firmly in its cheek from page 1. Bookbag laughed until its sides hurt. If you like laughing at conspiracy theories, you will love this book. It's not without fault and would benefit from some strict editing, but y'know? Who cares? It's funny. Very funny. Full review...

The Case Book of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd

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Peter Ackroyd creates his own monster in this fine work of the imagination. He suggests that Victor Frankenstein was not fictional, but a friend of Percy and Mary Shelley. Creepy, imaginative and an essential read for the lovers of Gothic novels. Full review...

Counting the Stars by Helen Dunmore

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A rich and sensuous love story echoing with passion, jealousy and treachery. Ancient Rome seethes in the background, while words spin the webs of connection between people, places and poems. Lovely. Full review...

Lovers' Hollow by Orna Ross

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An epic story of two families on the opposite side of the political divide in the Irish Civil War of the nineteen-twenties takes you right through to the nineteen-nineties and will have you glued to the page. It's highly recommended here at Bookbag Towers. Full review...

The Raft by Arabella Edge

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The combined story of a tiny community of stranded people on a raft off the African coast, and the painter inspired by their tale to create his masterpiece, makes for a gripping historical read that is highly recommended. Full review...

Touching Distance by Rebecca Abrams

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A compulsive fictional account of the discoveries of pioneering doctor, Alexander Gordon, set in the late 18th century. Written with style by an accomplished writer, this page-turner is not for the squeamish. Full review...

Mutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne

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A great historical feast as a fictional cabin boy leads us into the company of Captain William Bligh and the troubled commands he led in the 1780s. An excellent and thoroughly vivid and enjoyable read that gets the fullest recommendation. Full review...

The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen

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A town struggling to keep itself protected from the global 1918 influenza epidemic finds more human visitors just as problematic in this gripping and well worthwhile read. Full review...

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by Shona Maclean

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A thrilling murder mystery set to a backdrop of witch hunts, religious unrest, and the chill of Seventeenth Century Scotland. It will have you captivated from start to finish. Full review...

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