1/10/12

Historical Fantasy--a new list up at the top of my blog

I have a new list--all my "historical fantasy" reviews in one handy place.

It was trickier than I thought. As I went through all 1,700 blog posts I've ever written, looking for "historical fantasy," I tried to pull out the books that were "historical fiction set in our world with magical elements." Other things--alternate histories, fantasies that seem like they are set in the past of our world, but not definitively--crept on. I did firmly exclude a number of "medievalish" fantasies that don't specifically take place in real history, which was painful, but necessary. (For instance, although Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series reads like historical fantasy, it isn't because it's not our history).

Additionally, I ran into problems of geography and time periods. My education has a distinct European bias, and so there are several European categories, labeled nicely, there's one category for "historic Japan;" likewise, the one Mongolian book and several set in India are together under "historical India." This makes me feel as though I have fallen into an Orientalist trap. Perhaps as more historical fantasies set in these places come my way, I'll be able to give these places and histories a distinctness comparable to the European side of things.

Additionally, there are books that don't say, in a helpful spirit, "It was 1883, and little Lucy...." but are clearly "historic." Also, some of us seem to have been sloppy at times making it clear when the book we were reviewing was set. So I have had to use the 19th century as a reasonable default for some of these books.

Please let me know if you see problems or mistakes, and please feel free to send me recommendations for more historical fantasy!

Just to clarify--this list doesn't include the time travel books, which have their own page.

13 comments:

  1. Does this include time slip such as Ruth Arthur's Requiem for a Princess and Alison Uttley's Traveler in Time, two of my favorites? What about The Perilous Gard? The Green Bronze Mirror, which you gave me? Nancy Bond?

    Have you read Margaret Irwin? Most of her books are straight historical fiction but Still She Wished for Company is a timeslip, meant for a YA audience, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just clarified that point--the time travel books get to keep their own seperate page!

    ReplyDelete
  3. And Still She Wished for Company is very high on my wishlist!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's an awesome list. What about The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton set in 19th century London?

    ReplyDelete
  5. That one is right up there on my tbr list too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. wow, I'm impressed! I've been working my way through all my posts cleaning up the labels - somehow, I'm not sure how, they got messed up so all the beginning chapter books became graphic novels and...sigh. I'm up to June of 2010!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are are Brilliant. And I was wondering what you were going to do with the time travel books until I got to the very last line!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You're so ambitious! I've been worrying over all my vague and genre-bending reviews, but I think I'll just let them lie for now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It was rather interesting to go deep into the basement of my blog, finding lost treasures...I feel for you in your labeling pain, Jennifer--I don't trust my own labels all that much, which is why I like making lists!

    ReplyDelete
  10. New tab! I love this one! And even more that you grouped it by geographic region. I am twirling around in delight.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My copy of Still She Wished for Company is somewhere in this house; I have to take everything out of the attic so insulation can be installed in Feb so it may turn up.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great list...lots I have read and liked and others I have to add to my TBR list. I am hopping over to your time travel list now as that is my favorite "genre" of all time!

    ReplyDelete

Free Blog Counter

Button styles