Category Archives: Historical Fiction

The Ringed Castle

The last scene of Pawn in Frankincense left us standing, bereft, as Francis Crawford of Lymond and Sevigny left his friends, his opium habit, his country, his son, and his virgin wife. He left unexpectedly, for parts unknown, in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

The Blind Assassin (reread)

This novel by Margaret Atwood begins with the aftermath–with 25-year-old Laura Chase driving off a bridge, possibly on purpose. Iris Chase Griffin, Laura’s sister and our narrator, then discovers Laura’s notebooks. A few pages later, we learn that Laura wrote … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 18 Comments

Wolf Hall

I put off reading Wolf Hall for four years. I had good reasons. First, everyone was reading it, and it was so hyped it couldn’t possibly be any good. (Right? You get that, right? Massively hyped contemporary literature can turn … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 43 Comments

Affinity

I’ve been reading Sarah Waters’s books in something close to reverse publication order (although I read Fingersmith before The Night Watch). So now I’ve reached her second book, Affinity, which feels rather like a warm-up for the brilliant Fingersmith. To explain … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 14 Comments

Ship of the Line (abandoned)

I think it may have been on my third read through Patrick O’Brian’s marvelous, masterful Aubrey-Maturin series of shipgoing adventures that I decided I would try another series as well: C.S. Forester’s series about Horatio Hornblower. The earliest of these … Continue reading

Posted in Abandoned, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 5 Comments

Boxers and Saints

This two-volume graphic novel set by Gene Luen Yang looks at the Boxer Rebellion, the Chinese uprising in 1898 to 1901 against foreigners who had gained power in their country, from two perspectives. The first volume, Boxers, tells of a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels / Comics, Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 12 Comments

The Sonnets

Warwick Collins has set himself a difficult task in this novel. He not only attempts to provide a convincing fictional backdrop for the writing of William Shakespeare’s sonnets, he also attempts to have the Bard himself tell that story. You … Continue reading

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Pawn in Frankincense

In the final chapters of The Disorderly Knights, Francis Crawford of Lymond learned that his former lover Oonagh O’Dwyer had given birth to a son, and that child, most likely Lymond’s son, was in the hands of his greatest enemy. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 14 Comments

The Bones of Paris

Many of you know that I’m a tremendous fan of Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but I’ve also loved many of her other books, including Touchstone, a historical mystery and thriller set in 1920s England. When that … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | 19 Comments

The Unknown Ajax

After my enormous success with my reading group this summer, having recommended Georgette Heyer’s The Talisman Ring, I decided to go ahead and take on one of Lisa’s other suggestions for people who don’t have much Heyer experience: The Unknown … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 15 Comments