What are the best historical novels? We have listed our top 10 recommendations for you below. Read on and choose your next historical novel …

The best historical novels of all time

We start our recommendations with the top 10 best Historical Novels of all time. This list has been updated this year, including all the recent titles.

The Best Historical NovelsAuthor
The Children of JocastaNatalie Haynes
A Thousand ShipsNatalie Haynes
The Emperor’s BabeBernadine Evaristo
The Land Beyond the SeaSharon Penman
The Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett
She Who Became the Sun Shelley Parker-Chan
The Sin EaterMegan Campisi
City of VengeanceD. V. Bishop
Tombland C. J. Sansom
The City of TearsKate Mosse

The updated top 10 list: the best historical novels

Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America

This is our pick for this top ten list, because it shows how different upbringing and later experiences in life can change you. It happens to Mary in 1676, when she is being taken by Indians who then sell her to a female tribal leader.

The Orphan Collector: A Heroic Novel of Survival During the 1918 Influenza PandemicThe Orphan Collector: A Heroic Novel of Survival During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Anyone who wants to know about the impact of another pandemic should read ‘The Orphan Collector’, which is set in Philadelphia when the Spanish Flu broke out in 1918. It tells Pia’s story, and after she ends up in an orphanage, she meets Bernice. Is Bernice really who Pia thinks she is?

Sold on a Monday: A Novel 

We like this book because of its originality. The photo that plays a central role in this book actually appeared in a newspaper. The sign on the photo said: “2 Children for sale”, and reporter Ellis Reed finds out what consequences of the publication of his photo are.

Ireland: A Novel

Ronan decides to look for the storyteller who visited him and his family for a couple of days during the winter of 1951. He wants to know more about the old man who told him about the saints and kings of Ireland. Will he find him?

The Book of Lost Friends: A Novel

The story covers two different times, one where three women slaves have been freed who start searching for their families, and then the story continues two years later, when a teacher discovers the same three women in her class as students. Will she be able to change the lives of her special students?

The Stolen Letter: A completely gripping and emotional World War 2 historical novel

Stella leaves England behind and moves to Italy. Here she meets Ted, but the two are torn apart from each other when the Germans invade Italy. Will she ever see the love of her life again? And what difference does the letter make that finally ends up in her possession?

The Outcast Girls: A completely heartbreaking and gripping World War 2 historical novel

When two girls meet in 1943, they decide to hide in the countryside from the war that is still happening around them. They share a similar past that is comforting, and they also share a goal in life, which is finding out what happened to their families during the war.

A View Across the Rooftops: An epic, heart-wrenching and gripping World War Two historical novel

We think this book deserves to be on our list, because of Josef who needs to take an immensely difficult decision after hiding Michael in his attic. Michael, a Jew, has a forbidden love with a non-Jewish Dutch girl, but what will Josef’s decision eventually be? And how will it affect Michael and Elke?

Old Abe: A Novel

If you are interested in American history, then we would definitely advise you to read this book. It covers the last part of the life of Abraham Lincoln. It starts in 1860, and tells you about the war, freeing slaves, the child he lost, his marriage, and other personal tragedies.

The Iron Earl: A Valor of Vinehill Novel

Evalyn Swanson wants to flee from her existing life, after she finds out her father is picking a husband for her. She meets a Scotsman who will be travelling north, which makes for an excellent escape plan. Then she meets an earl that changes her life. Will they give into the attraction after all that has happened?

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