If you were to ask me if I enjoy reading Historical Fiction, I would probably say ‘No!’. I suppose it makes me think of history classes at school, bodice ripping, the politics of marriage and dry lists of Kings and Queens. Now look at the six books in this picture – all of which I have read (or re-read) in the past week. Four of them could easily fall under the Historical Fiction banner, albeit 20th century, and I thoroughly enjoyed every one.
I think they made such a strong impression on me because they are all jolly good stories with strong characters and well crafted narratives. No preaching or thrusting handfuls of things I ‘ought’ to know in my face, even though they are full of fascinating and sometimes horrific detail. In retrospect it is obvious that the authors have put a great deal of effort in researching the historical settings but they never let their research get in the way of telling the story. If you haven’t read Code Name Verity, Buffalo Soldier, Homer and Langley or I, Corriander because you are wary of historical fiction, please give them a try. They are all well worth requesting from the library.
So, four historical novels and three fantasies – yes, I know that adds up to seven, but I Corriander has a very pretty foot in both camps. Now I’ve finished Pretties I’ve requested the third book in Scott Westerfeld’s series, so I won’t say anything more about that for now in case you’ve only read the first book. That just leaves Phoenix. Wow! A breathtaking combination of illustration and text that I absolutely adored. I read it in less than a day and am thinking about reading it again before it goes back to the library. I may have to add it to my wish list in the hope that the birthday bunny will bring me my own copy.