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Book Reviews: Some of My Favorite Historical Fiction Reads

We interrupt your regularly scheduled browsing to bring you this important announcement: History is rad. 

Actually, it’s just me with a second review roundup in anticipation of the upcoming release of my boxed set Colors and Ghosts, which contains Books 1–3 of a series that blends several genres. My first roundup looked at some of my favorite fantasy reads. This one will delve into some of my historical fiction picks. But before you scroll, I want to get a little nerdy.

I studied history in college and grad school. My academic focus was 20th-century America, but I’ve always enjoyed reading (and writing) about other regions and eras. Ancient Rome. Napoleonic Europe. Maoist China. Sign me up for all of it, especially if the story can match the richness of the setting.

Cover of Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry.

Below are my thoughts on some of the best historical fiction I’ve read recently.

Lonesome Dove is perhaps my favorite of these. Not because it was necessarily the most enjoyable read; the author, Larry McMurtry, is rarely gentle with his characters. But the prose flows and the book is as much about aging as it is the American West. (Yes, I also still read about the United States.) I’m not sure I’ve picked up a better novel in the last decade.

If you’ve read Lonesome Dove or any of the other books on this list, feel free to let me know what you thought. And if you try one and like it, I’d love to hear about that too!

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Cover of the historical fantasy novel Witch in the White City, by Nick Wisseman.

Millions of visitors. Thousands of exhibits. One fiendish killer.

Neva’s goals at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago are simple. Enjoy the spectacle—perhaps the greatest the United States has ever put on. (The world’s fair to end all world’s fairs!) Perform in the exposition’s Algerian Theatre to the best of her abilities. And don’t be found out as a witch.

Easy enough … until the morning she looks up in the Theatre and sees strangely marked insects swarming a severed hand in the rafters.

"... a wild ride sure to please lovers of supernatural historical mysteries." – Publishers Weekly

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