Historical Fantasy

Here's a list of all the historical fantasies and alternate histories I've reviewed (although some of these "reviews" were written ages ago, and were not as detailed/thoughtful etc. as those I write nowadays). I'm not including the time travel books, because they have their own page.

I found, as I pulled this list together, that "historical fantasy" is blurrier than I had thought.  I've tried to keep this list confined to "historical fiction set in our world with magical elements,"  but other things--alternate histories, fantasies that seem like they are set in the past of our world, but not definitivly--crept on. However, I did exclude a number of "medivalish" fantasies that don't specifically take place in real history, which was painful, but necessary. I had to use the 19th century as a reasonable default for some books that don't clearly say when they are, which I couldn't help.  Please let me know if you see problems or mistakes, and please feel free to send me recommendations for more!

I've put loose age recommendations in -- mg = middle grade, ages 9-12, ya = young adult, ages 12 and up, and adult is what it is.

Ancient Greece

Dark of the Moon, by Tracy Barrett ya -- Ariadne and Theseus

King of Ithaca, by Tracy Barrett mg/ya --Telemachus

The King Must Die, by Mary Renault, adult (1958) --Theseus

The Pig Scrolls, and The Pig Who Saved the World, by Paul Shipton mg

The Oracle Betrayed, by Catherine Fisher mg/ya 


Dark Ages/Early Medieval, Europe and Africa

Between the Forest and the Hills, by Ann Lawrence (early Christian Britain)  mg/ya/adult

Bloodline Rising, by Katy Moran (primarily Anglo-Saxon England) ya

Chronicles of the Red King: The Secret Kingdom, by Jenny Nimmo mg

The Coming of the Dragon, by Rebecca Barnhouse (Beowulf) mg/ya

The Empty Kingdom, by Elizabeth Wein (arguable not fantasy, just alternte history) mg/ya

The Hawk of May, by Ann Lawrence ya

The Humming of Numbers, by Joni Sensel (early Medieval Ireland) ya

Icefall, by Matthew Kirby (Vikings) mg

The Ring of Solomon, by Jonathan Stroud mg/ya

Twighlight of Avalon, by Anna Elliott (Authurian) adult


Mesoamerica, pre-contact

Sea of the Dead, by Julia Durango (another that's more alternate history than fantasy) mg


The European Middle Ages (generously defined)


By These Ten Bones, by Clare Dunkle ya

The Crowfield Curse, and The Crowfield Demon, by Pat Walsh mg

The Good Little Devil, by Ann Lawrence mg

No Such Thing as Dragons, by Philip Reeve mg

The Princess Curse, by Merrie Haskell mg/ya

The Shadow Hunt, by Katherine Langrish mg

Tom Ass, by Ann Lawrence mg

Troll Fell, by Katherine  Langrish mg



Historic Japan


Little Sister, and The Heavenward Path, by Kara Delkey ya

Moonshadow: Rise of the Ninja, by Simon Higgins mg



Historic South and Central Asia

The Conch Bearer, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni mg

I Rode A Horse of Milk White Jade, by Diane Lee Wilson mg


The Silver Anklet, by Mahtab Narsimhan mg

 Tiger Moon, by Antonia Michaelis ya

Toads and Diamonds, by Heather Tomlinson ya



Renaissance Europe

The Celesital Globe, and The Jewel of the Kalderash, by Marie Rutkoski (I've yet to review the first book, The Cabinet of Wonders) mg (Elizabethan alchemy)

Hammer of Witches, by Shana Mlawski mg/ya (Inquisition-era Spain, Columbus)

The Queen Elizabeth Story, by Rosemary Sutcliff mg


Late 18th century/Regency England

The Bewitching Season, by Marissa Doyle ya

 Magic Below Stairs, by Caroline Stevermer mg

 Renegade Magic, and Stolen Magic, by Stephanie Burgis mg

Still She Wished For Company, by Margaret Irwin ya/adult


Other 19th Century Europe (to the best of my reckoning)

The Cheshire Cheese Cat, by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright mg

The Grey Horse, by R.A.  MacAvoy ya

The House of Dead Maids, by Clare Dunkle ya

How To Catch a Bogle, by Catherine Jinks, MG (2013)

The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore, by Kate Maddison, MG (2013)

The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge mg

Ludo and the Star Horse, by Mary Stewart mg

Magic Under Glass, by Jaclyn Dolamore ya

The Museum of Mary Child, by Cassandra Golds mg

The Old Country, by Mordicai Gerstein mg

Plain Kate, by Erin Bow ya

Secrets at Sea, by Richard Peck mg

Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schiltz mg

The Toymaker, by Jeremy de Quidt mg

The Valley of Song, by Elizabeth Goudge mg

The Wicked Enchantment, by Margot Benary-Isbert mg


19th Century America, or alternate Americas

The Broken Lands, by Kate Milford ya

In Search of Goliathus Hercules, by Jennifer Angus mg (I put in American, but the action also progresses across Europe and into South East Asia)

The Inquisitor's Apprentice, and its sequel, The Watcher in the Shadows, by Chris Moriarty mg/ya

The Thirteenth Child, by Patricia Wrede ya


First half of the 20th century

The Atomic Weight of Secrets, by Eden Unger Bowditch mg

The Aviary, by Kathleen O'Dell mg

The Children of the King, by Sonya Hartnett mg

The Diviners, by Libba Bray, ya

Dreamhunter, by Elizabeth Knox ya

Dust Girl, by Sarah Zettel mg/ya

The Explosionist, and Invisible Things, by Jenny Davidson ya

The Giant-Slayer, by Iain Lawrence mg

In the Shadow of Blackbirds, by Cat Winters ya

Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld mg/ya

The Scarlet Stockings, by Charlotte Kandel mg

The 1950s on

The Apprentices, by Maile Meloy mg/ya




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