100 books like The Stone Rose

By Carol McGrath,

Here are 100 books that The Stone Rose fans have personally recommended if you like The Stone Rose. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Cloistered Lady

Lee Swanson Author Of Her Dangerous Journey Home

From my list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first recollection of a fascination with medieval history occurred while watching Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. I soon exhausted our school library’s limited selection of tales of kings and castles. Much later, a history degree and decades spent in Germany and England allowed me to delve deeply into historical research, gaining a specialized knowledge into the areas in which I was most interested. I am particularly fascinated with the lives of women, most of whom medieval chroniclers relegate to a brief mention as wives and mothers. There are clearly stories here yet to be told and I am always excited to learn of new scholarship.

Lee's book list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists

Lee Swanson Why did Lee love this book?

Eleanor of Aquitaine is certainly one of the most formidable women of the Middle Ages; not just because she was queen to two kings, but because she had the courage to openly defy them both.

Consequently, I raced to order Coirle Mooney’s first novel in her The Medieval Ladies series, followed quickly by the second, The Cloistered Lady. I absolutely love the author’s ability to craft vivid descriptions of time and place, especially the uncommon setting of the nunnery at Fontrevault. Joanna, Queen Eleanor’s lady-in-waiting, is a delightfully complex character.

Like Christina Kohl in my series, she is wonderfully human; but her fears and shortcomings are balanced out by her sometimes-surprising strength and compassion. I enjoyed all three novels in the series, but this one most of all.

By Coirle Mooney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cloistered Lady as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An enchanting historical drama set in Medieval France! For fans of Philippa Gregory, Elizabeth Chadwick, Carol McGrath and Anne O’Brien.

Joanna and Alice are forced from dazzling court life to bleak confinement…

1173, France

Eleanor of Aquitaine has been arrested for rebelling against her husband, King Henry II of England.

Her loyal ladies-in-waiting, Alice and Joanna of Agen have fled to the nunnery at Fontrevault, where they are anxiously awaiting news of their queen.

Alice and Joanna struggle to adapt to their cramped new home at the Abbey. Each is secretly nursing a broken heart – and harbouring unholy desires.…


Book cover of The Girl Empress: The Chronicle of Maud

Lee Swanson Author Of Her Dangerous Journey Home

From my list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first recollection of a fascination with medieval history occurred while watching Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. I soon exhausted our school library’s limited selection of tales of kings and castles. Much later, a history degree and decades spent in Germany and England allowed me to delve deeply into historical research, gaining a specialized knowledge into the areas in which I was most interested. I am particularly fascinated with the lives of women, most of whom medieval chroniclers relegate to a brief mention as wives and mothers. There are clearly stories here yet to be told and I am always excited to learn of new scholarship.

Lee's book list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists

Lee Swanson Why did Lee love this book?

Civil war has threatened ruling monarchs several times in English history.

The first instance is the bloody 12th-century conflict between King Stephen and the rival claimant, his cousin Matilda. Yet, the woman known as Empress Maud had already experienced an incredible life before returning to England in 1139 to challenge Stephen’s rule.

The early years of this truly remarkable woman's life are masterfully recounted in Amy Mantravadi’s The Girl Empress. Despite being a first-person narrative, the author has deftly interwoven a myriad of twelfth-century minutiae that should satisfy both readers enamored with historical detail as well as those craving a rollicking adventure story.

I especially liked how the author incorporated other historical figures into the story; each of these encounters was like finding a little jewel.

By Amy Mantravadi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Girl Empress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The history books remember her as Empress Mathilda, but her path to sovereignty began when she was just a girl named Maud. Engaged, estranged, and crowned by the age of twelve, this is her story . . . As the firstborn legitimate child of King Henry I of England, Princess Maud is faced with the fiercest crisis of her eight-year-old life when she learns that she will be sent to Germany to marry the Holy Roman Emperor. To make matters worse, her husband-to-be is in the midst of a disagreement with the Pope, and the threat of civil war continuously…


Book cover of Lotharingia: Charlemagne's Heir

Lee Swanson Author Of Her Dangerous Journey Home

From my list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first recollection of a fascination with medieval history occurred while watching Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. I soon exhausted our school library’s limited selection of tales of kings and castles. Much later, a history degree and decades spent in Germany and England allowed me to delve deeply into historical research, gaining a specialized knowledge into the areas in which I was most interested. I am particularly fascinated with the lives of women, most of whom medieval chroniclers relegate to a brief mention as wives and mothers. There are clearly stories here yet to be told and I am always excited to learn of new scholarship.

Lee's book list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists

Lee Swanson Why did Lee love this book?

For medieval women, the right to assume title and property upon the death of their fathers or husbands could not be taken for granted. Most succumbed to the pressure to marry and relinquished their right to rule to conniving husbands, trapping themselves in loveless relationships.

A few, such as Matilda of Canossa, refused to be cowed into submission. Lara Byrne’s Lotharingia: Charlemagne’s Heir, is a wonderfully engaging blend of scholarly research and rich storytelling detailing the early life of this courageous woman. The characterizations are beautifully well-developed; I found some to virtually leap off the page and into the reader’s heart.

Like Christina Kohl in my series, Comitissa Matilda is a woman unafraid, whether to pursue forbidden love or to wield a sword in battle.

By Lara Byrne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lotharingia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A unique tale of love and politics, betrayal and survival, male and female power, relics and prophecies, against the Machiavellian backdrop of the Investiture Controversy.


A.D. 1062. The Holy Roman Emperor is dead, and his underage son, snatched from his mother, is a puppet in the hands of regents. The fate of the empire lies in the hands of three women. Surprisingly, the Church takes their side, but Rome’s support has a price. Matilde refuses to be a pawn in the marriage game. Is she the child of Charlemagne’s prophecy? HFC 2021 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER (WORLD HISTORICAL…


Book cover of The Greenest Branch: A Novel of Germany's First Female Physician

Lee Swanson Author Of Her Dangerous Journey Home

From my list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first recollection of a fascination with medieval history occurred while watching Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. I soon exhausted our school library’s limited selection of tales of kings and castles. Much later, a history degree and decades spent in Germany and England allowed me to delve deeply into historical research, gaining a specialized knowledge into the areas in which I was most interested. I am particularly fascinated with the lives of women, most of whom medieval chroniclers relegate to a brief mention as wives and mothers. There are clearly stories here yet to be told and I am always excited to learn of new scholarship.

Lee's book list on medieval fiction with fierce female protagonists

Lee Swanson Why did Lee love this book?

During my years in Germany, a favorite getaway was a stroll through the vineyards above the town of Rüdesheim am Rhein to the Abbey of St, Hildegard.

Well-familiar with the life of this brilliant, multi-faceted woman, I was hesitant to undertake P.K. Adams’ novel The Greenest Branch, especially when I discovered it was written in the first person. To my delight, I found my fears to be unfounded. The author has masterfully captured what I believe to be the spiritual essence of Hildegard in both her narrative and dialogue.

Adams’ portrayal of Hildegard’s struggle against the misogyny of the 12th century Church, as personified by Prior Helenger, forms a central conflict to the novel; as does her self-denial of worldly pleasures of the flesh while embracing the pain of self-mortification.

By P K Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Greenest Branch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Hauntingly beautiful and meticulously researched. P.K. Adams writes about the Middle Ages like someone who has lived there. Hildegard’s story is inspiring, and her voice feels so real that it’s almost spooky.” – Jessica Cale, author of Tyburn.

In The Greenest Branch the medieval era comes vividly to life in all its romanticism and splendor, but the societal strictures that prevent women from being able to access education and live independent lives are also on display.

The year is 1115, and Germany is torn apart by a conflict between the Emperor and the Pope over who should have the right…


Book cover of The First Princess of Wales: A Novel

E.L. Daniel Author Of All the Gold in Abbotsford

From my list on where the damsel is not always the one in distress.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a strong, independent woman (*snaps fingers through the air*), yet I adore a soul-sucking romance. Many might think this is a contradiction, but it’s not! A woman can be both loving and stubborn…both enamored by her partner yet still strong enough to speak up for herself. Sadly, I think historical fiction often defaults to portraying dependent and subjugated women, and this isn’t necessarily wrong—in fact, it’s probably more accurate. However, when I’m getting lost in the magic of a novel, I want to experience the all-consuming love without sacrificing the resiliency and independence of the women involved, and these books spin stories where both outcomes are possible!

E.L.'s book list on where the damsel is not always the one in distress

E.L. Daniel Why did E.L. love this book?

Star-crossed lovers and a strong female heroine! This setting is the beginning of the end for the Plantagenets. Their royal court is turbulent—filled with secrets and enemies after the dramatic coup of the current king’s father, King Edward II (the events of which are featured in my book). When the beautiful and willful Joan of Kent, cousin to the royal family, is sent to live among them, she soon learns they’re the ones responsible for her father’s unjust execution and her family’s subsequent shame. Though the handsome and chivalrous Black Prince of Wales is falling at her feet, she twists his affection against him in an act of revenge, only allowing Fortune’s Wheel to turn once she decides it should be so.

By Karen Harper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The First Princess of Wales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The daughter of a disgraced earl, she matched wits with a prince.

It is the fourteenth century, the height of the Medieval Age, and at the court of King Edward III of England, chivalry is loudly praised while treachery runs rampant. When the lovely and high-spirited Joan of Kent is sent to this politically charged court, she is woefully unprepared for the underhanded maneuverings of her peers.

Determined to increase the breadth of his rule, the king will use any means necessary to gain control of France—including manipulating his own son, Edward, Prince of Wales. Joan plots to become involved…


Book cover of The Cross of Lead

Faye Gibbons Author Of Halley

From my list on coming-of-age for almost any age.

Why am I passionate about this?

All my life I’ve been pushing against limits. Being the oldest of five children born to a farm couple who became mill workers, I was frequently reminded by family that “people like us” did not need much education, didn’t get the good jobs, and shouldn’t “rise above themselves.” Being a girl, I had additional limits. Naturally, when I learned to read, I was drawn to books in which characters broke through unfair restraints to have adventures and accomplish great deeds. I wanted to be one of those people. By the time I came of age, I knew I had a shot at becoming the heroine of my own story!

Faye's book list on coming-of-age for almost any age

Faye Gibbons Why did Faye love this book?

Crispin is a young serf in Medieval England--an orphan despised by everyone for reasons he does not understand. Though I never had problems as dire as Crispin faced, I frequently felt mistreated as a child, and like him, the forest was my comfort and refuge. Like him, I had a lively curiosity about the lives of others and many times learned important lessons through observation. I shared Crispin's tendency to hero worship those who befriended me, and like him, I generally chose my role models well.

By Avi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Cross of Lead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?


Newbery Medal winner The Cross of Lead is "a page-turner from beginning to end... full of adventure, mystery, and action" (School Library Journal).

Sometimes I ran, sometimes all I could do was walk. All I knew was that if the steward overtook me, I’d not survive for long....

Crispin is a poor thirteen-year-old peasant in medieval England. Accused of a crime he did not commit, he has been declared a "wolf’s head," meaning he may be killed on sight, by anyone. He flees his tiny village with nothing but his mother’s cross of lead. 

In the English countryside, Crispin meets…


Book cover of Peace-Weavers and Shield Maidens: Women in Early English Society

Theresa Tomlinson Author Of A Swarming of Bees

From my list on throwing light into the Dark Ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent much of my childhood living close to Whitby Abbey and heard many stories of the famous Saint Hilda. As a mother of three, I began writing stories, initially to entertain my children, and eventually published many historical stories for children and young adults – twice shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. I moved back to the Whitby area in my 60s determined to write for an older age group and indulge my lifelong fascination for the Anglo-Saxon period. I took the half pagan Fridgyth character from my Young Adult adventure mystery – Wolfgirl - and developed her role as a warm, curious, flawed, investigator. I'm working on a third Fridgyth the Herbwife novel.

Theresa's book list on throwing light into the Dark Ages

Theresa Tomlinson Why did Theresa love this book?

I first came across this short book when researching for stories set in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. Kathleen Herbert, (herself a historical novelist) provided not only excellent information, but also a practical vision of the period specifically from a woman’s point of view. It is easy to read and presents the information in an accessible way; perhaps one of the earliest books focussed on women’s history.

By Kathleen Herbert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Peace-Weavers and Shield Maidens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An account of the earliest Englishwomen; the part they played in the making of England, what they did in peace and war, the impressions they left in Britain and on the continent, how they were recorded in chronicles and how they come alive in heroic verse and jokes.


Book cover of Stephen: The Reign of Anarchy

Marc Morris Author Of The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England

From my list on medieval Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into medieval history from the moment I arrived at university, when I looked at a lecture list that included the Norman Conquest, King John and Magna Carta, Edward I – in short, the subjects of the books I have gone on to write. The attraction for me was that the medieval centuries were formative ones, shaping the countries of the British Isles and the identities of the people within them. After completing my doctorate on the thirteenth-century earls of Norfolk I was keen to broaden my horizons, and presented a TV series about castles, which was a great way to reconnect with the reality of the medieval past.

Marc's book list on medieval Britain

Marc Morris Why did Marc love this book?

The reign of King Stephen (1135–1154) was characterized by chaos and disorder, as he and his cousin Matilda fought over the succession to the English throne. This makes it a challenge to offer a coherent account, but Carl Watkins succeeds where others have failed in his short history of Stephen’s reign. The whole book, minus its academic endnotes, runs to under 90 pages, but it packs a considerable punch, thanks to Watkins’ elegant and enviable prose style. 

By Carl Watkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stephen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Stephen risked being seen as a man who never quite transcended the essential flawed-ness of his claim to be king. His actions betrayed uneasiness in his new skin'

Remembered as a time in which 'Christ and his saints slept', Stephen's troubled reign plunged England into anarchy. Without clear rules of succession in the Norman monarchy, conflict within William the Conqueror's family was inevitable. But, as this resonant portrait shows, there was another problem too: Stephen himself, unable to make good the transition from nobleman to king.


Book cover of 1415: Henry V's Year of Glory

Gordon Corrigan Author Of A Great and Glorious Adventure: A Military History of the Hundred Years War

From my list on the Hundred Years' War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I decided to write this book because while there are many works on the Hundred Years War, they tend to dwell on the political and diplomatic, rather than the military aspects. I considered that this period marked a real revolution in military affairs, led by England. It was England that had the world’s only professional army since the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west in the 5th Century, that used technology (the longbow) as a force multiplier, and while moving on horseback did its fighting on foot. It was these three legs of the revolution that allowed tiny English armies to defeat far larger French feudal ones.

Gordon's book list on the Hundred Years' War

Gordon Corrigan Why did Gordon love this book?

Henry of Monmouth, Henry V, was the second king of the disputed Lancastrian dynasty, and in my opinion the greatest Englishman who ever lived.

He was king at 25, slaughterer of the nobility of France at 27, regent and acknowledged heir to the French throne at 32, and dead at 34. Had he lived, the history of Europe might be very different. He was a man who shaped English history and who still affects Anglo-French relations to this day.

This book, by Ian Mortimer, one of the very best authors of the period, looks at the year 1415, the year when the young Henry led a sick, exhausted, and starving English army to a stunning victory over a far larger French force at Agincourt, in an example of leadership and military professionalism of the highest order.  

By Ian Mortimer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1415 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry V is regarded as the great English hero. Lionised in his own day for his victory at Agincourt, his piety and his rigorous application of justice, he was elevated by Shakespeare into a champion of English nationalism for all future generations. But what was he really like? Does he deserve to be thought of as 'the greatest man who ever ruled England?'

In Ian Mortimer's groundbreaking book, he portrays Henry in the pivotal year of his reign. Recording the dramatic events of 1415, he offers the fullest, most precise and least romanticised view we have of Henry and what…


Book cover of The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England

T.M. Rowe Author Of A Viking Moon

From my list on transporting you back through time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have three lifelong passions, the first was reading, then writing, and then archaeology/history. To this end I studied and trained as an archaeologist before I sat down and decided to write stories set in the past as a way of bringing it to life. Of course, there had to be an adventure, a bit of a mystery, and a dash of magic to bring it all together. The books on my list are just a few of those that I have enjoyed reading during my hunt to get to know the past in intimate detail – on my own time travelling journey.

T.M.'s book list on transporting you back through time

T.M. Rowe Why did T.M. love this book?

I have read a lot of history and archaeology books and more often than not they can be a little dull, dry and in some cases work better than a sleeping tablet.

Not with this book, here you learn about parts of medieval England you just wouldn’t think about, written from a more personal point of view its less about political stuff like kings, queens, and those pesky archbishops and much more on the practicalities of living in medieval England.

Would you know what to eat, wear, or where to go to the toilet? Would you know how to address a lord or lady? Would you know what to do if you got sick? This is a vital guide for all time travelers!

By Ian Mortimer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The past is a foreign country. This is your guidebook. Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guest house? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? This radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. It shows us that the past is not…


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