Seattle Picks: Historical Fiction--Ancient & Medieval World
Annotation:The young widowed Alice Perrers and her daughter find both protection and danger in the lavish court of King Edward III and Queen Philippa.
Annotation:In order to escape hanging, archer Nicholas Hook joins King Henry V’s army and is sent to France where he fights in the 1415 Battle of Agincourt, and rescues a French novitiate from raiding troops.
Annotation:The legendary princess Panchaali narrates this re-telling of the ancient Sanskrit epic of Mahabharata from the viewpoint of a rebellious, strong, magical woman. Filled with intrigue, battles, plot twists, tragedy and romance.
Annotation:Baudolino, an Italian peasant, saves a Byzantine historian during the 1204 sack of Constantinople by Christian crusaders. Baudolino then recounts the story of his life in a leisurely narrative sprinkled with fantasy.
Annotation:An Iroquois brother and sister in early 15th-century North America are kidnapped when unknown warriors raid their village. Written by archeologists, this gripping (and at times violent) adventure tale has many authentic cultural details.
Annotation:The legendary Helen – “the face that launched a thousand ships” – narrates the epic story of her life and the Trojan War. Part history and part mythology, her tale is filled with battles, gods and romance.
Annotation:Lady Margaret Beaufort, ruthless Tudor matriarch, steers her way through courtly intrigue and civil strife to ensure that her son, Henry VII, becomes King of England.
Annotation:Set in 12th-century Sweden, this book – first in the Crusades Trilogy – follows the life of Arn Magnusson, a young aristocrat raised in a Cistercian monastery before joining the Knights Templar.
Annotation:Princess Alais navigates conspiracies and shifting loyalties in the royal French court of the early 13th century. This suspenseful, richly detailed novel is a sequel to The Canterbury Papers, but stands on its own.
Annotation:This action-filled account of Genghis Khan’s early life shows how his remarkable rise to power was shaped by brutal events on the Mongolian steppes in the 12th century and by Khan’s fierce determination.
Annotation:This carefully researched and vividly rendered account of 15th-century Spain follows the experiences of several Jewish characters during the Inquisition and the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World.
Annotation:An 11th-century Scottish warrior-king grants sanctuary to a royal Saxon family, demanding in exchange to marry their daughter. Based on true historical figures.
Annotation:This lyrical and moving retelling of Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, focuses on Achilles’ killing of Hector and the subsequent heart-wrenching act of supplication by Hector’s father, the king of Troy.
Annotation:After Cleopatra and Marc Anthony commit suicide, their children are brought as captives to Rome. Selene and her brother grow up in Caesar’s household, navigating politics, intrigue and romance while yearning to return to Egypt.
Annotation:In 14th-century France, Auda, a papermaker’s daughter whose tongue was torn out at birth, learns to read and write. These skills allow her self-expression, but also bring her into conflict with the Inquisition.
Annotation:Filled with the drama of ancient Rome, this saga follows multiple generations of the Pinarius family as they serve a series of emperors from A.D. 14 to 141. A sequel to Roma, but stands on its own.
Annotation:Weir brings a historian’s eye for detail to this gracefully written account of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her stormy, passionate marriage to King Henry II.