This time, we are taking the road less travelled. You may already be thinking, Am I really going to spend my time reading books about history? Don’t we get enough of that in our educational life?
Well, here’s the reveal: historical fiction is a totally different world. History books are all about the facts. Historical fiction authors use these facts and tweak them a little bit to match their vision. History books describe real events that took place before and historical fiction novels describe characters living during those events.
Here are some recommendations for the genre that will debunk your assumptions!
1) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Every reader has an “all-time” favorite list of books irrespective of genres or authors, just a few top picks that will always remain so memorable. Needless to say, this is on my personal list. Set in 1939 in Nazi Germany, a little girl finds a book on the ground. It’s the beginning of WW2, and Death is a frequent visitor.
The most unique concept about this classic is that Death itself narrates Liesel’s story. Death follows her, as if intrigued. So we, in turn, become just as interested. I guarantee that you’ll never forget this book as long as you reach the end.
2) Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
We’re not only getting transported into ancient times now, but also into historical fantasy. The author herself is a historian, but made sure to add interesting twists for a one-of-a-kind mix between history and magic in the first book of her Blood of Gods and Royals series. This book is set in the time of sixteen-year-old Alexander the Great, on the brink of conquering half the world.
Now imagine in addition to that, magic is integrated into the story. Following different characters’ points of view; you learn about court politics and war tactics, while seeing some practice of magic. The hidden bonds and links between the characters is also fun to follow.
3) And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
As usual with Hosseini’s books, this one is a heartbreaker. This novel may lead you into a small reading slump, since you can’t keep from thinking about the characters each time you put it down. In 1952, a family from Afghanistan gets separated into different parts of the world and cross generations interact in unlikely ways after the effects of war.
This book reminds us of the unseen links between everyone we come in contact with and the possibilities of self-discovery; the strong, lifelong bonds of siblinghood are a major theme of the novel, as well. The author’s writing style can only be described as the good kind of sad, the kind that makes you appreciate every little thing you experience. So, keep your tissues nearby!
You never know which book could spark your curiosity about a specific time period, a historical figure, or event that you've never really heard about in depth before. Historical fiction truly is a genre worth exploring. As they say, won’t like it till you try it!
What do you think?
What other historical fiction books do you love? Is the genre itself intimidating in any way? Share your thoughts!