Top 30 Best Historical Fiction Books Of All Time: Top Pick

Best Historical Fiction Books Of All Time

Ancient fiction presents a narrative set before, frequently during a substantial time. In ancient fiction, the time frame is a significant part of the narrative’s setting and frequency. Suppose you feel overwhelmed with the amount of the best historical fiction books ever published. In that case, it is possible to even choose our 1-minute quiz below to narrow it down fast and receive a personalized dream show recommendation as well as living through the chaos of World War II.

Best Historical Fiction Novels of All Time


Period and Placing: 192os, Russia

Description: In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is recognized as an unrepentant aristocrat with a Bolshevik tribunal and can be sentenced to house arrest at the Metropol, a grand hotel throughout the road Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and humor, hasn’t worked a day in his entire life and has to currently reside in a loft room while a few of their most tumultuous decades in history have been unfolding away from the hotel’s doors. Suddenly, his reduced conditions provide him entry into a much bigger universe of psychological discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, plus a superbly rendered scene after another, this magnificent book throws a charm because it relates to the count’s job to obtain a deeper comprehension of what it means to become a man of intent.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition


Period and Placing: 1800s, Canada

Description: It is 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Currently serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of their murders.

An up-and-coming specialist in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she can’t recall. What will he find in trying to unlock her memories? Captivating and upsetting, Alias Grace showcases bestselling Booker Prize-winning writer Margaret Atwood at the peak of her abilities.


Time and Placing: 1600s, England

Description: In the seventeenth century, the English Revolution is underway. The country, seething with political and religious discontent, has escalated into violence and terror: Jacob Cullen and his fellow soldier’s dream of rebuilding their own lives once the fighting is finished. However, the shattering events of warfare will overtake them.

A darkly erotic tale of obsession and passion, As Meat, Loves Salt is a gripping portrait of England beset by war. It’s also a moving portrait of a person on the edge of insanity. Hailed as a masterpiece, this is a book by a most original new voice in fiction.



Time and Placing: 1900s, India

Description: Calcutta, 1919. Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a newcomer to Calcutta. Desperately looking for a new start after his adventures during the Great War, Wyndham was recruited to head a new place at the police force.

He’s instantly overwhelmed by the heady vibrancy of this tropical town. However, with hardly a minute to take care of the ghosts that still bother him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that threatens to destabilize a town teetering on the edge of political insurgency.

A senior officer’s entire body was discovered in a foul sewer, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India or else. Under enormous pressure to resolve the situation until it erupts into improved violence on the roads, Wyndham and his two coworkers, arrogant Inspector Digby and Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited to the new CID, embark on an investigation that will take them out of the extravagant mansions of wealthy British dealers into the seedy opium dens of town.


Time and Placing: Late 1700s, Jamaica

Description: A genuine victory of storytelling and voice, The Book of Night Women rings with profound authenticity along with distinctly modern energy. It’s the story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. At her arrival, the servant girls around her realize a dark power that they will come to equally revere and fear.

The Night Women, as they call themselves, have been plotting a slave revolt. As Lilith comes old, they view her as the secret to their aims. However, if she begins to know her own emotions, wants, and individuality, Lilith begins to push the borders of what is imaginable for a servant woman’s life span and risks getting the conspiracy’s weak connection.

But the actual revelation of this book-the secret into the heavenly vision and persistent prose-is Marlon James himself, a young author at breathtakingly daring and entirely accountable for his craft.


Time and Placing: Late 1800s, U.S.

Description: Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen decades later, she’s still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the gorgeous farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died namelessly and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bad poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering success.

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  • Vintage


Time and Placing: 1930s, Germany

Description: It’s 1939. Nazi Germany. The nation is holding its breath. Death hasn’t been busier and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a nurturing woman living outside Munich who scrapes out a meager existence for himself by stealing if she experiences something that she can not resist in novels. With the support of her accordion-playing boost dad, she learns to see and shares her stolen novels with her neighbors through bombing raids in addition to with the Jewish guy hidden inside her basement.


Time and Placing: 1900s, U.S.

Description: If Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a gorgeous stranger, it is to discover he has been robbed. The only thing stolen is a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The burglar, a mysterious girl, called Paris, asserts that the jar is rightfully hers.

After all, the tag itself states it is property of their Maddox family who owned and managed Red Thread Bourbon distillery because the final times of the Civil War before the company went out of business for reasons nobody understands… nobody except Paris.

In the wee hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery which turned into an empire. However, the family tree is rooted in tainted soil, and it has borne fruit. Theirs is a legacy of power and wealth and lies, secrets, and sins of omission.

The Maddoxes have bourbon in their bloodstream and bloodstream within their bourbon. Why Paris desires the jar of Red Thread stays a secret before the fact of her identity is revealed, and also the century-old vengeance Tamara pledged contrary to her family can finally be finished.



Time and Placing: Late 1800s, U.S.

Description: Produced into the lifetime of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier trusting that the dry air and sun of the West will restore him to health. Shortly, with few job prospects, Doc Holliday is gaming professionally with his spouse, Mária Katarina Harmony, a high-strung, classically educated Hungarian whore.

In search of high-stakes poker, the few strikes of Dodge City. And that’s the point where the improbable friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman called Wyatt Earp begins until the gunfight in the O.K. Corral joins their titles forever in American frontier mythology if neither guy wanted fame or deserved notoriety.


Time and Placing: 1980s, South Korea

Description: In the middle of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy called Dong-ho is shockingly murdered.

The story of the tragic episode culminated in a sequence of interrelated chapters because the victims and the bereaved encounter jealousy, jealousy, and the echoing anguish of this massacre.

By Dong-ho’s best buddy who members own fateful ending; into an editor fighting against censorship; into a captive and a mill worker, every suffering from traumatic memories; and also to Dong-ho’s very own grief-stricken mommy; and via their collective heartbreak and acts of trust is the narrative of a brutalized individuals seeking a voice.

An award-winning, controversial best works of historical fiction, Individual Acts is a classic, pointillist portrait of an early occasion with reverberations still being felt now, by turns tracing the unpleasant fact of oppression and the contested, outstanding poetry of humankind.

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Time and Placing: Ancient Israel

Description: Almost two thousand decades back, nine hundred Jews were held out for months against Romans’ armies on Masada, a hill in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two girls and five children lived.

According to this dreadful and iconic event, Hoffman’s book is a spellbinding narrative of four incredibly daring, resourceful, and sensual ladies. Each of them has come to Masada with a different course. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, a professional assassin, never forgave her for that departure.

Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she attracts to Masada her young grandsons, left mute by what they’ve seen.

Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boyfriend, a daring rider, and an expert marksman that finds passion using a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a girl with uncanny insight and strength.

The lives of those four complicated and fiercely independent girls lie in the days of the siege. All are doorkeepers and keep secrets about who they are, where they come out, who fathered them, and whom they adore.

The Dovekeepers: A Novel
  • Scribner Book Company


Time and Placing: 1800s, England

Description: Produced at a brothel, Ruth does not anticipate much for herself outside misuse. While her sister’s beauty affords a certain level of relaxation, Ruth’s unpleasant looks place her on a course of struggle. This is until she meets pugilist patron George Dryer and discovers her true calling, battling bare-knuckles from Bristol’s decoration bands.

Manor-born Charlotte has a different cross to endure. She was scarred by smallpox, stifled with her social and amorous alternatives, and trapped in twisted power games with her wastrel brother. She’s desperate for a getaway.

Following a devastating, life-changing fight sidelines Ruth, the two women meet, and it changes the views of both of these. When Charlotte gives Ruth an outstanding proposition, Ruth pushes yummy Charlotte to put in the ring and find her power.


Time and Placing: Early 1900s, U.S.

Description: A stunning novel by the celebrated author of When the Emperor Was Divine tells the story of many young girls brought from Japan to San Francisco as”picture brides” almost a century past.

In eight unforgettable segments, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of those girls, by their arduous journeys by ship, to their arrival at San Francisco and their tremulous early nights as fresh wives; by their adventures raising children who’d later deny their culture and tradition, into the deracinating coming of warfare.

Yet more, Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel about identity and devotion and precisely what it means to become an American at uncertain times.


Time and Placing: 1800s, England

Description: Sue Trinder is an orphan, abandoned as a baby in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a “baby farmer,” who raised her with unusual tenderness as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves’ finger smith for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.

One afternoon, the most beloved thief of all arrives Gentleman, an elegant con man, that carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: When she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and assists Gentleman in her seduction, then they’ll all share in Maud’s enormous inheritance.

When the inheritance is secured, Maud will be disposed of as human-made, forced to stand outside the remainder of her days in a lunatic asylum.

With dreams of repaying the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to this program. Once in, however, Sue begins to shame her helpless mark and care for Maud Lilly in surprising ways…But nobody and nothing is as it sounds in this Dickensian novel of excitement and reversals.

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Time and Placing: 1500s, Scotland

Description: In this first book in the legendary Lymond Chronicles, Francis Crawford of Lymond, traitor, murderer, nobleman, returns to Scotland to redeem his reputation and rescue his property.

It’s 1547, and Scotland has been humiliated by an English invasion which can be jeopardized by machinations elsewhere outside its boundaries, but it’s still free. Ironically, her liberty may rely upon a guy who stands accused of treason.

He’s Francis Crawford of Lymond, a scapegrace leman of jagged felicities and murderous abilities, prepossessed scholar’s erudition, and a tongue as bad as a dagger. At The Sport of Kings, this extraordinary antihero contributes to the nation, which has petitioned him to redeem his reputation in the danger of his own life.

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Time Period and Setting: 1960s, India

Description: contrasted favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s contemporary classic is equal portions intense family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political play. The seven-year-old twins and Rahel find their world shaken irrevocably from the birth of the lovely young cousin, Sophie.

It’s an occasion that will cause an illegal liaison and tragedies deliberate and accidental, exposing”large things [which ] lurk unsaid” at a nation drifting dangerously toward unrest.

Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that began because of its writer and prestigious career of fiction and political opinion that proceeds unabated.




Time and Placing: Early 1900s, Argentina

Description: Produced in Buenos Aires in 1913, with just a bag and her dad’s cherished violin into her title, seventeen-year-old Leda is shocked to see that the husband she’s traveled across a sea to achieve is dead. Not able to come home alone and on the edge of poverty, she finds herself mesmerized by the tango, the dance that underscores every life element in her new town.

Knowing she can never perform in public as a girl, Leda disguises herself as a young man to join a troupe of musicians. From the illegal, scandalous world of brothels and cabarets, the line between Leda and her disguise begins to blur, and prohibited longings she has kept suppressed are recognized for the very first time.

Powerfully lusty, Tango’s Gods is an erotically charged story of songs, enthusiasm, and the quest for a real-life against the odds.


Time and Placing: Early 1900s, U.S.

Description: Chava is a golem, a creature made from clay, brought to life with a disgraced rabbi that dabbles in shadowy Kabbalistic magic and expires in the sea on Poland’s voyage. Chava has been unmoored and adrift since the boat arrived in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of passion born from the early Civil War, trapped in a classic aluminum flask, and published in NYC, although still not completely free.

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates using a mysterious connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weave and of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction, and magical fable to some wondrously creative and unforgettable narrative.


Time and Placing: 1980s, Colombia

Description: Seven-year-old Chula, along with her older sister Cassandra love carefree lives thanks to their gated neighborhood in Bogotá, however the danger of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just beyond the local walls, in which the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude police and catch the interest of the country.

If their mom hires Petrona, a live-in-maid in the town’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to comprehend Petronas cryptic ways. However, Petronas unusual behavior totaled over shyness. She’s a young lady crumbling under a load of providing for her household because the riptide of early love attracts her on the contrary direction.

As both women’s families scramble to keep equilibrium amidst the quickly escalating battle, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them to select between betrayal and sacrifice.


Time and Placing: Mid-1700s, Ghana

Description: Ghana, eighteenth century: 2 half-sisters have been born into different villages, each unaware of the other. An individual will marry an Englishman and lead a lifetime of relaxation in the Cape Coast castle’s palatial areas. Another will be recorded in a raid on her village, imprisoned at the same castle, and sold to captivity.

Homegoing follows the sisters and their descendants’ parallel routes throughout eight generations: from the Gold Coast into the plantations of Mississippi, by the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem.

Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates captivity’s troubled heritage both for people who had been shot and people who remained and revealed how the memory of captivity was inscribed on the spirit of the country.


Time and Placing: 1900s, Chile

Description: The House of the Spirits, the memorable first novel that created Isabel Allende among the planet’s most gifted storytellers, brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of 3 generations of the Trueba family.

The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud person whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his passion for his delicate wife Clara, a female using a mysterious connection to the spirit world. Suppose their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden romance in defiance of her implacable dad. In that case, the outcome is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his loved granddaughter Alba, a gorgeous and strong-willed kid who’ll lead her loved ones and her nation to a revolutionary future.

Among the most important books of the twentieth century, The House of the Spirits is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lifestyles, weaving the private and the political right into a universal story of romance, magical, and destiny.



Time and Placing: Ancient Greece

Description: During this ambitious, inventive story, celebrated ancient novelist Mary Renault takes legendary hero Theseus and twists his fantasy into a fast-paced and fascinating narrative.

Renault begins with Theseus’s early decades, revealing how the puzzle of his father’s individuality and diminutive stature strain the insecurities that spur his young hijinx. Since he moves to Eleusis, Athens, and Crete, his playfulness and fondness for pranks evolve to the guts to try singular epic feats, the gallantry and direction he had been famous for on the battle, along with the bold-hearted creativity he reveals at navigating the labyrinth and slaying the Minotaur.

In what is possibly the most ingenious of her books of Ancient Greece, Renault casts Theseus as an astonishingly original present; she churns the faulty human from this bronze hero pulls the plausible from this fantastic.


Time and Placing: Ancient Italy

Description: From The Aeneid, Vergil’s hero struggles to assert the king’s daughter, Lavinia, with whom he’s destined to found an empire. Lavinia, her sheer, speaks a note. Ursula K. Le Guin provides Lavinia a voice in a book that takes us into the half-wild universe of early Italy when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.

Lavinia grows up knowing only peace and liberty until suitors come. Her mom wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. However, omens and prophecies spoken with the sacred springs state she has to marry a foreigner, which she will be the source of bitter warfare, and that her husband won’t live long.

After a fleet of Trojan ships booted up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her fate into her own hands. And so she informs us precisely what Vergil didn’t: the story of her own life, and also of the love of her life.


Period and Placing: 1900s, Australia

Description: Following four catastrophic years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne yields to Australia and takes employment as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Stone, almost half a day’s trip from the shore. For this remote island, where the supply boat comes after a year, Tom attracts a young, daring, and adoring wife, Isabel.

Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel finds a baby’s cries at the end. A ship has washed up onshore carrying out a dead person and a living infant.

Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a dreadful war, needs to report the guy and baby instantly. However, Isabel insists that the baby is a “gift from God,” Contrary to Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy.

When she’s just two, Tom and Isabel come back to the mainland and are reminded that there are different members of the world. Their decision has devastated these.


Time and Placing: 1950s, Korea

Description: A emotionally riveting debut novel about war, loved ones, and forbidden love, the unforgettable saga of 2 ill-fated fans in Korea, along with the terrible choices they are made to create in the decades surrounding the civil war, which still haunts us now.

After the communist-backed army in the northwest of her house, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, together with her mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp across the shore. For a couple of hours every night, she escapes her family’s makeshift residence and tragic situation with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan.

Determined by completing school, Kyunghwan does not recognize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the lovely and lively Haemi and is determined to wed her before joining the struggle.

However, since Haemi becomes a spouse, then a mother, her choice to forsake the boy she adored for the safety of her family sets off a stunning saga that will have profound consequences for generations to come.


Time and Placing: 1900s, Hawai’i

Description: This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai’i over a century past, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known period and place along with a profoundly moving testament to the resiliency of the human soul.

Rachel Kalama, a lively seven-year-old Hawaiian woman, dreams of seeing far-off lands such as her father, a merchant seaman.

Then one afternoon, a rose-colored mark looks on her skin, and these dreams are stolen out of her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel has been delivered to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka’i. Here her lifestyle is supposed to finish, but rather, she discovers it’s only just beginning.

Having a lively cast of vividly realized characters, Moloka’i is your true-to-life chronicle of a people who embraced life in the face of death.

3,679 Reviews
  • St Martin s Griffin

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Period and Placing: 1500s, Americas

Description: In these pages, Laila Lalami brings us the imagined memoirs of this initial black explorer of America: Mustafa al-Zamori, known as Estebanico. The servant of a Spanish conquistador, Estebanico, sails to the Americas, and his master, Dorantes, also as a member of a danger-laden trip to Florida. Within a calendar year, Estebanico is among just four team members to live.

As he travels across America and his Spanish companions, the Old World functions of servant and master fall off, and Estebanico remakes himself as an equivalent, a healer, and a remarkable storyteller. His narrative illuminates how our narratives could transmigrate into the background and how storytelling may provide a chance at salvation and survival.


Period and Placing: 1300s, Italy

Description: The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. After seven bizarre deaths suddenly overshadow his delicate mission, Brother William turns soldier.

His instruments are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the philosophical insights of Roger Bacon sharpened to a glistening border by wry comedy and a fierce fascination. He collects evidence, deciphers key symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of this abbey, where “the fascinating things occur at night.”



Time Phase and Setting: Ancient Egypt

Description: Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a strong family that has provided girlfriends into Egypt’s rulers for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and lovely, Nefertiti is destined to wed Amunhotep, an unstable young pharPharaoh

It’s estimated that her powerful character will temper the youthful ruler’s heretical urge to forsake Egypt’s early gods.

By the moment of her birth in Thebes, Nefertiti is treasured by the people but neglects to observe powerful priests are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only man brave enough to frighten the queen would be her younger sister, Mutnodjmet.

Observant and contemplative, Mutnodjmet hasn’t shared her sister’s appetite for power. She yearns for a silent presence away from family obligation and the intrigues of the court. But staying faithful to Nefertiti will induce Mutnodjmet to a dangerous political game, one which may cost her everything she holds dear.

Teeming with betrayal, love, political unrest, plague, and spiritual battle, Nefertiti brings ancient Egypt to life in rich detail.


Period and Placing: 1950s, Italy

Description: Beginning in the 1950s in a week but lively neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Ferrante’s four-volume narrative spans nearly forty decades because its protagonists, the fiery and memorable Lila, along with the bookish narrator, Elena, become girls, wives, moms, along with leaders, all of them while keeping up a complicated and occasionally conflictual friendship.

Book one in the show follows Lila and Elena in their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds during their college years and adolescence.

Throughout both of these girls’ lives, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a town, and a nation because it is changed in a sense that, subsequently, also changes the association between her protagonists.



Maybe it is because we develop kings and castles’ tales, but historical fiction will be exciting when it features Tudor England. This work will take us through the very scandalous years of this dynasty, the reign of Henry VIII, the English king that broke away from the Catholic Church to marry a new wife (the earliest one of many.

Thomas Cromwell was the guy who left this unorthodox movement potential, and that rose to power for this. This story follows his ascension to the top.


As Nobel laureates in literature proceed, Sigrid Undset has marginally less name recognition than Bob Dylan. After all, nobody can reflexively sing out traces out of Kristin Lavransdatter, the historical fiction trilogy that uttered her the publication world’s most significant life achievement award.

However, this masterful exploration of existence in 14th-century Norway deserves a place on your bookshelf. Although the initial installation, The Wreath, was released in 1920, it makes a fascinating read today. Sexy yet exhaustively researched, it is guaranteed to change your perspective of the Middle Ages.


Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer prize-winning Book, ” The Sympathizer, is Due to an undercover agent’s confession of espionage during the war between North and South Vietnam. The unnamed protagonist retells his rise up the control string in Saigon and his eventual trip into the US while reporting on his comrades in North Vietnam.

And his story is not the straightforward narrative of a loyal literary agent; he forges real friendships with all the Southern generals and representatives. They were with him during life-and-death scenarios.

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