The best historical fiction with solid research

Who am I?

As a lifestyle reporter, my favorite stories were those of ordinary people doing both great and small things that are extraordinary. I've written since I could string sentences together, beginning with a desire to create what I wanted to read. That need has landed me in historical fiction. Nothing else is as satisfying as plunging down rabbit holes of research to come up hours later wondering where the day went. I strive to make my novels as historically accurate as possible because the combination of emotional involvement of fiction is a great way to learn about history. I'm not here to rewrite history but to give my readers a chance to relive it. 


I wrote...

Shadows

By A.V. Arms,

Book cover of Shadows

What is my book about?

Reality sets in as the Civil War wears on, and the horrors begin to haunt those who survive. Morgan’s cavalry knows the war is turning against the South. Their endless nights and days are haunted by the past and fear for the future.

Destruction spreads, and lives are lost as the Civil War rages. Supplies diminish, and the haggard armies continue pushing through the battles, hunger, and illnesses. After years of tenacious fighting, can the darkened souls of the survivors find peace?

The books I picked & why

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Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

By Steven Pressfield,

Book cover of Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

Why this book?

Before Gerard Butler played Leonidas I in 300, Steven Pressfield wrote his version of the historical event of the Battle of Thermopylae. I loved this book because it does not hide the darker side of the 300 Spartans’ heroism as they stand to fight for their home. This is a well-researched novel about the invading Persians and the significantly fewer number of defenders who held them off long enough for the Greek navy to defeat the Persians at sea and save Greece.  

Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Gates of Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “Steven Pressfield brings the battle of Thermopylae to brilliant life.”—Pat Conroy

At Thermopylae, a rocky mountain pass in northern Greece, the feared and admired Spartan soldiers stood three hundred strong. Theirs was a suicide mission, to hold the pass against the invading millions of the mighty Persian army.

Day after bloody day they withstood the terrible onslaught, buying time for the Greeks to rally their forces. Born into a cult of spiritual courage, physical endurance, and unmatched battle skill, the Spartans would be remembered for the greatest military stand in history—one that would not end until the…

Master of War

By David Gilman,

Book cover of Master of War

Why this book?

I was blown away by the history provided by Gilman in this book about his character Thomas Blackstone. It starts out with Blackstone as a blacksmith apprentice who is recruited to fight in the 100 Years War. He is made an archer with a strong arm, and the reader is transported into battles with Blackstone. The details of the archers, their importance to the army, and their equipment are a true learning experience. 

Master of War

By David Gilman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Master of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Like a punch from a mailed fist, MASTER OF WAR gives a true taste of the Hundred Years War. It is a gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty. The stench and harshness of medieval life is ever present' ROBERT FABBRI, bestselling author of the Vespasian series.

England, 1346: For Thomas Blackstone the choice is easy - dance on the end of a rope for a murder he did not commit, or take up his war bow and join the king's invasion.

As he fights his way across northern France, Blackstone learns the brutal lessons of war - from…


Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel,

Book cover of Wolf Hall

Why this book?

This is the first in a trilogy that combines authentic history with riveting fiction. This book is focused on Thomas Cromwell, a henchman for King Henry VIII. Mantel creates a compelling depiction that readers have no choice but to believe. It is impossible not to sympathize with the Cromwell character she creates. 

Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Wolf Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the the Orange Prize Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

`Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with…


The Red Badge of Courage

By Stephen Crane,

Book cover of The Red Badge of Courage

Why this book?

Battles in this novel are written brilliantly and encompass the character Henry Flemings, and how he reacts to his surroundings is impressive. Readers can experience the Civil War’s fear, horror, dread, exhilaration, triumph, exhaustion, and hunger through Fleming’s eyes. As he navigates the war, Fleming is unsure whether he would be considered a man or a coward after the last shot is fired.

The Red Badge of Courage

By Stephen Crane,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Red Badge of Courage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here is Stephen Crane's masterpiece, The Red Badge of Courage, together with four of his most famous short stories. Outstanding in their portrayal of violent emotion and quiet tension, these texts led the way for great American writers such as Ernest Hemingway.

News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Book cover of News of the World

Why this book?

This is one of those stories about a career I would have never considered. After the Civil War, Captain Kidd travels to Texas doing live readings of newspapers. He is tasked with caring for an orphan who is reluctantly being transported to a family she does not remember. This tells a story of an individual, Joanne, lost between two cultures as a bond is created with the elderly and honorable Kidd. This holds a vivid description of the place and time.

News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked News of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Hundred Years' War, Greece, and the American Civil War?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Hundred Years' War, Greece, and the American Civil War.

The Hundred Years' War Explore 13 books about the Hundred Years' War
Greece Explore 101 books about Greece
The American Civil War Explore 214 books about the American Civil War

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Battle Cry of Freedom, The Killer Angels, and Cold Mountain if you like this list.