If you’re always on the lookout for that special book that transports to an older world the second you turn the page, we have a few recommendations you’ll definitely want on your list!
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
This is the fast-paced immersive thriller read you need to spice up your historical fiction list. Sarah is a blonde-haired blue-eyed Jewish girl in 1939 Germany, hiding in plain sight at a Nazi boarding school. If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. And once you read this, make sure you pick up…
Devil Darling Spy by Matt Killeen
Because once you finished Orphan Monster Spy, you’ll be dying to find out what happens to Sarah next. In this utterly gripping sequel, Sarah hunts a rogue German doctor in West Africa who might be a serial murderer. Also, it just looks really nice next to the first one tbh.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Four voices. Four secrets. The lives of four young people come together at the end of WWII, weaving a story that brings to light the greatest maritime disaster in the history of the world.
Chances are if you’re a historical fiction fan, you already know alllll about Ruta, but JUST IN CASE, we’re making sure you know about this queen and her timeless works. In particular, one of our very favs: Salt to the Sea (and all the emotions it will leave you with.)
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
If you love books written in verse, and you love historical fiction, we’d like to introduce you to your new favorite book: this.
Artemisia Gentileschi was one of Rome’s most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. After she was sexually assaulted, Artemisia faced a terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost. Joy McCullough’s bold novel in verse is a portrait of Artemisia as a young woman, battling with much more than she should have to.
Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz
Oftentimes, historical fiction can be pretty heavy, and this is a great, light romance to balance out. Some background: after seeing Hamilton, author Melissa de la Cruz’s daughter wanted to know more about the love story of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler–and can you blame her? So Melissa researched and re-imagined the story of Alex & Eliza and wrote their story! Basically, if you ship Alex and Eliza, you need to read this asap.
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
This.book.is.MAGIC. It is historical fiction + fantasy + strong female lead + so SO many emotions. Oh, and it’s MARIE LU. Make SURE you have this on your immediate 2020 TBR for when it hits shelves March 3rd!! (Pre-order here!)
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
This book is gorgeous inside and out. Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain.
The Game of Hope by Sandra Gulland
For Napoleon’s stepdaughter, nothing is simple – especially love. Inspired by Hortense’s real-life autobiography with charming glimpses of life long ago, this is the story of a girl destined by fate to play a role she didn’t choose.
Lovely War by Julie Berry
To put it simply, this book is lovely. Imagine a love story in the midst of World War II, and the Greek Gods watching it all play out from above as Aphrodite stands trial. This book is breathtaking.
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
This is like if you put Buffy the Vampire Slayer in historical fiction. And it’s EPIC.
On the eve of Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears–and Helen is determined to find her. She meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, despite his reputation?
Ashes in the Snow by Ruta Sepetys
(One more Ruta Sepetys book on this list. BECAUSE SHE’S THAT GOOD.)
Everything changed for 15-year-old Lina one night in 1941, when Soviet officers forced her family apart into Siberian work camps. A tale of survival, strength, and love that will make you want to hug the person next to you.