View Full Version : Historical novels

Greg W
29-10-2004, 10:56:13
Anyone recommend any good historical novels to read? Generally medieval or ancient (aka Greece, Macedon, Rome, Byzantium, etc) periods.

Similar stuff that I have really liked:
Colleen Mcullough - First Man in Rome series
Sharon Penman - Here be Dragons and it's sequel which I am reading now
Stephen J Rivelle - A Booke of Dayes
Stephen Lawhead - Taliesin, Merlin, Arthur

Er, that's all that I can think of off the top of my head, but they were all excellent reads. Am currently working my way through a bit more Sharon Penman, but wouldn't mind some ideas after that. I'd prefer historically accurate stuff, as opposed to, say, David Gemmel's books on Alexander.

I tried reading Ken Follett's book about building a church (forget the name), but I couldn't get into it. I'm not really into mysteries, thus the series about the Monk who solves murders (forget the name) wouldn't be my thing.

I'd love something good on the Augustus (and later) period of Rome. Anything on Sparta, Athens or Macedon around their supremacy. Egypt, Byzantium, Persia or Babylon would do too. As would anything medieval.

Also wouldn't mind reading up a bit on Japan or China. About the only book I have read is "Musashi", which was interesting, but also rather odd.

29-10-2004, 14:31:35
The Light Bearer - by Donna Gillespie

"clashing Roman and Teutonic cultures"

29-10-2004, 16:54:15
Woody, have you ever heard about Steven Saylor? He has written a series of mysteries in Rome around 50 BC. They are very acurate and therefore quite fun IMHO.

29-10-2004, 17:14:22
I really like Bernard Cornwell's stuff. I pity the fool who tries to break into his market while he's still writing.

Lazarus and the Gimp
29-10-2004, 17:39:53
Me too.

"Pompeii" by Robert Harris is great, as is "The last English king" by Justin Rathbone.

The Shaker
29-10-2004, 17:44:31
I read all sharon penmans and I liked them all.

Also steven pressfield - Gates of fire and tides of war.
(about thermopylae and alcibiades respectively)

30-10-2004, 03:24:15
Flashman, obviously. Though not the time period you refer to.

30-10-2004, 12:27:16
You could try David Drake and Eric Flint, The Belisarius series.

Starting with 'An Oblique Approach' , there are five in the series.
Total fiction like Lawhead, but set toward the end of the roman empire.

01-11-2004, 15:07:02
Try Valerio Massimo Manfriddi (summit like that anyway).
He tends to concerntrate on that sort of era.
I've almost finished the Alexander (The Great) trilogy and they is pretty good. Not to much of it is made up. There is also "Spartan" which is ok and "The last Legion" These 2 are complete fiction but they aint to bad.

Greg W
02-11-2004, 22:42:54
Originally posted by Angelhorns
Flashman, obviously. Though not the time period you refer to. So, who or what is flashman? I almost dread the results if I google it up...

Thanks for the ideas, I'll have to see what I can find at my local bookstore(s).

03-11-2004, 01:04:34
Flashman is really popular- its based on a character who appeared in Tom Brown's schooldays who was basically a bullying upper class swine, and its all about he ends up entwined in all the significant events of the 19th century. My ex raved about it, and its got a lot of male fans because it swashbuckling, historicaly accurate (save his character) and funny/smart.

Review from first book on Amazon:
The first instalment of the Flashman Papers sees the fag-roasting rotter from Tom Brown's Schooldays commence his military career as a reluctant secret agent in Afghanistan. Expelled from Rugby for drunkenness, and none too welcome at home after seducing his father's mistress, the young Flashman embarks on a military career with Lord Cardigan's Hussars. En route to Afghanistan, our hero hones his skills as a soldier, duellist, imposter, coward and amorist (mastering all 97 ways of Hindu love-making during a brief sojourn in Calcutta), before being pressed into reluctant service as a secret agent. His Afghan adventures culminate in a starring role in that great historic disaster, the Retreat from Kabul.


03-11-2004, 23:56:28
Originally posted by Greg W
I'd love something good on the Augustus (and later) period of Rome.

The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius should fit that particular bill...