10+ Best Historical Fantasy Novels Everyone Has Forgotten About

Dear Gentle Reader, I’m talking about Favorite Historical Fantasy novels!

10+ Best Historical Fantasy Novels the Everyone Has Forgotten About


1 Lord of the Two Lands ~ Judith Tarr

Brilliant take on Alexander the Great’s occupation of Egypt from a clash of two cultures perspective, told by a magic wielding Egyptian Priestess who slowly falls in love with Ptolemy’s younger (illegitimate) brother. (Full review on Goodreads.)

Daughter of the Empire

2 & 3 & 4 Daughter of the Empire series – Raymond Feist & Janny Wurts

An epic fantasy trilogy of political intrigue in an alternate medieval Japan where magic is real and the aliens have landed long ago. (Full review on Goodreads.) I love this series so much I reread it almost every year.

5 & 6 & 7 & 8 The Fire Sword series – Adrienne Martine-Barnes

Four books of magic mixed with mythology spanning three generations and across half the world, from Celtic medieval England, to Byzantium and the Greek Gods, to India and the great Kali. (Full review on Goodreads.)

9 The Last of the Wine – Mary Renault

Not really SF/F but amazing. Life and times in Ancient Athens leading up to the Peloponnesian War. One of the best handlings of Greek love I have yet seen on paper. Also, the main character may or may not be behind the name “Alexia.” I first heard this book on audio. If you can get hold of the audiobook, that’s the way to go. (Full review on Goodreads.)


Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

10 Mara, Daughter of the Nile – Eloise Jarvis McGraw

A young slave girl turns spy for Tuthmosis III and helps bring about the revolution that overthrew Hatshepsut in Middle Kingdom Ancient Egypt. (Full review on Goodreads.)

11 The Perilous Gard – Elizabeth Marie Pope

Princess Elizabeth’s lady in waiting, Kate, gets taken by the People of the Hill in this Renaissance set retelling of Tam Lin.

12 Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow – Jessica Day George

An ancient Nordic fairy tale in an atmospheric Viking setting follows a girl who can speak to animals and a bear who is a prince. (Full review on Goodreads.)

Court of FIves Kate Elliott

13 Court of Fives – Kate Elliott

The setting is fantasy (although with little magic and no fantastical creatures), but there are definite overtones of Ancient Egypt under Roman rule, and perhaps a little Etruscan feel here or there, all bundled up with commentary on colonialism and race relations. (Full review on Goodreads.)

A word about my list:

All of the above have strong well-written romantic components. They also all have tough female central characters (except Renault’s protag, who is gay). Yet all these protagonists also stay true the mentality of their time period as well as being bad ass. I happen to like all these qualities a lot in the books I read. SPOILER ALERT They are also all HEA, except Last of the Wine & the later sword books. You have been warned. Last of the Wine is still wroth it, it’s a truly wonderful book. And sometimes a girl needs a good cry.

I myself don’t really write historical fantasy. I write steampunk which sometimes crosses into gaslight fantasy and gets it’s own category… for some reason.

Anyway this is the book I probably had to do the most historical research for:

Reticence: Custard Protocol Book 4


Percy is off to Japan, but will Japan survive Percy?

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion the Custard Protocol series.

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Posted by Gail Carriger

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