Tag Archives: historical fiction

My Last Lament

5 Feb

Aliki is one of the last of her kind, a lamenter who mourns and celebrates the passing of life. Told in flashbacks, we experience Greece during and after WWII, through the eyes of Aliki as a child, a young woman, and an old woman. Lyrically written, this book evocatively shares a time and place with its readers. Reminiscent a bit of All the Light We Cannot See, in that the book shares a deeply personal and unusual look at the devastation of war. Definitely recommend, especially for those interested in history.

I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a fair & honest review.



The Confessions of Young Nero

7 Jan

Esteemed author¬†Margaret George reveals the intricate backstory of a historical figure long known only through the phrase “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.”

Ms. George does her usual phenomenal work here as well, bringing us into young Nero’s life while he was just a child, albeit a child in a family where relatives were poisoned on a regular basis.¬†We develop a real sympathy for young Nero, only to lose it as he becomes more and more jaded, as he loses touch with the musically talented youngster he once was.

About halfway through, I decided to do some history research myself, and found that all the pivotal events explored in the novel are considered historically accurate. Knowing that made the book even more enjoyable. Definitely a must for fans of historical novels, and fans of ancient Rome.

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Whitehall Episode 5: The Rules of the Game

6 Aug

Loving this concept of multiple writers! This is the fifth “episode” in a series about King Charles II and his Queen, Catherine, his mistress, and the politics of the court. Super smart way to approach the publishing business, first of all, and the concept delivers with engaging stories! I felt like my favorite character-driven romance novelists came together to write this intriguing political & historical fiction.

I received an advance reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review – and now I need to go back and buy the first four episodes! If you are a fan of historical fiction, you’ll love this series.



16 Jul

Lady of the Highway is the third book in The Highway Trilogy Series, starting with Shadow on the Highway and Spirit of the Highway, and is based on the real life story of Lady Katherine Fanshawe (Ferrers) who was known as ‘The Wicked Lady’. Deborah Swift writes historical fiction set in less-well known time periods, and populates her stories with convincing characters, whether they are the main players, or the bit parts. Always enjoyable to read.

The Thief Taker becomes The Fire Catcher in London’s Great Fire

24 Oct

I quite liked this book – this is a relatively unexplored time in history and the character of Charlie Tuesday is very engaging. Interesting plot, great descriptions, quickly paced plot = fun read! This is the second book in a series and now I’m going to hunt down the first book and catch up. Would be a nice fit for YA readers looking for historical action. Well done!!

A Flower for the Queen, or An Under-Gardener’s Adventure

23 Sep

An earnest under-gardener is thrust into a world of high adventure and intrigue when he is sent to South Africa on a secret mission to find the Strelitzia Reginae – a wondrous and rare flower that the king desires to present to his queen. A bit of a mixed bag in tone, the story is framed Princess Bride-like by an old narrator telling his life story. The mishaps and plot twists are almost comic, but the tone carries on with a straight face. The characters never came to life for me, and the plot twists are all nicely resolved. Some enjoyable descriptions of South Africa give the setting texture.
I’d give this 3.5 stars – worth reading if a friend left it behind on your coffee table, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hunt this down.


England’s 17th Century Civil War: The Winter Prince

23 Sep

This book provided an interesting perspective into the civil war between King Charles I and Parliament in the mid-17th century. The story focuses on the relationship between Mary Villiers, the Duchess of Richmond, and Prince Rupert, who was a Lancelot to King Charles. I enjoyed this historical novel which features lesser known historical figures (to me, at any rate) than the Tudors. The palace intrigues, the politics and the battles are vividly portrayed. Mary, the consummate royal insider, balances the tension between supporting her king and trying to stop the civil war that is destroying her country, while resisting the love Rupert offers her in order to be faithful to her husband.
Rupert is a fascinating character and I’d love to explore more of his history.
Overall, a solid historical read and worth the time.