Colleen McCullough’s sumptuous historical fiction novel The October Horse: A Novel of Caesar and Cleopatra is the sixth book in her Masters of Rome series, but unlike authors such as Margaret George or Karen Essex, the story is told from Julius Caesar’s point of view. The October Horse allows you to peek inside the head of the world’s most enigmatic dictator, and McCullough’s meticulous dialogue brings the world of the Roman Republic to life in vibrant colors.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, April 29th, 2015||No Comments »|
Instead of the usual historical fiction novel that delves into the usual Western history topics such as the Tudors or Victorian London, in The Rebel Queen, Michelle Moran takes her readers to India to meet an extraordinary ruler who is ready to defend her kingdom at all costs. Told from the point of view of Sita, who is one of the guards in Queen Lakshmi’s army, and the story she weaves is absolutely spellbinding.
When the British army sets out to conquer India in the 1850s, they expect Queen Lakshmi to hand over the Kingdom of Jhansi. She raises two armies in retaliation, one comprised of men and the other women. Even though the Queen is outmatched, she still fights ferociously to defend her country from the invaders who think they can get away with stealing her birthright.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|
If you weren’t aware, today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Earlier this year on January 27, Holocaust survivors gathered to commemorate 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and last November, the world reflected upon the century that passed since the end of WWII.
There are many stories of the Holocaust that deserve to be heard, but at least one which everyone should try and listen to in their lifetime. There’s a reason why Spielberg’s Schindler’s List is one of the most evocative and powerful films of all time. It’s because the source material, Thomas Keneally’s original was a masterpiece.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Wednesday, April 15th, 2015||No Comments »|
Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies offers a new side to Thomas Cromwell, who is often made out to be the villain in previous Tudor dramas. Most Tudors fans, especially if they are on Team Anne Boleyn, absolutely loathe Thomas Cromwell, mainly because he helped King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour’s faction to legally murder the king’s second wife. However, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies gives a new look at King Henry VIII’s infamous councilor and offers another take on the ambitious politician.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, April 6th, 2015||No Comments »|
Alix Hawley’s historical fiction novel All True Not a Lie in It recounts Daniel Boone’s life, but instead of presenting the pioneer as a macho “manly man,” her Boone is complex, sensitive, and adventurous. She recounts his life, starting from growing up in a Quaker colony, to being captured by a Native American tribe. There’s a tender love story between Boone and his wife Rebecca and a devastating plot twist that involves Boone’s children.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, April 3rd, 2015||No Comments »|
Allison Pataki’s novel The Accidental Empress isn’t your usual sappy romance novel about a girl who happens to fall in love with a king, even though they are worlds apart. Instead, it’s a fascinating tale about two star-crossed lovers who defy politics and struggle to keep their throne amidst a sea of treachery and against all the naysayers who gossip behind their back.
Set in 1853 when the Habsburg Empire was at its zenith, 15-year-old Elisabeth, known as “Sisi,” is the Duchess of Bavaria who is traveling with her sister so they can meet the latter’s future husband, Emperor Franz Joseph himself. Needless to say, that plan is dashed when the Emperor falls in love with Sisi and rejects her sister. Now, the young Duchess is an Empress and has to smooth the waters that have been churned with her very sudden marriage to Franz.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, March 23rd, 2015||No Comments »|
Hazel Gaynor’s historical fiction novel A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers revolves around a young woman named Tilly who becomes the assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. While there, she discovers the journal of a girl named Florrie, who died from a broken heart after being separated from her sister Rosie. Touched by the girl’s story, Tilly embarks on a journey to figure out what happened to Rosie. Gaynor makes sure to alternate the chapters from Tilly and Florrie’s perspective, so that readers can share in the latter’s pain and misfortune once she’s separated from her sister. It also allows you to become engrossed in Florrie’s story alongside the main character as well.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, March 16th, 2015||No Comments »|