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Desperately Seeking Medievals

Have you noticed that medievals, once a staple of the historical category, have become thin on the ground?

Yesterday, I re-read Dark Champion by Jo Beverley off my keeper shelf. I expected it to have some age issues, since the book was originally published in 2003, but I really enjoyed it. I appreciate that Beverley incorporates religion into her setting (a fanatical priest advising the heroine against lust; issues around being asked to swear an oath on the cross), and also that the heroine chafes at the legal restrictions on women without the author sweeping those restrictions away.

Now I’m reading By Possession by Madeline Hunter, from 2000. It’s the last book I haven’t read from her Medievals series, and I’ve loved the other books. In addition to knights, Hunter explores the lives of non-nobles, such as a wealthy merchant and a hardworking freemason. And for another under-explored corner of the medieval world (medieval Europe had non-white people in it!), after that I plan to read Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole.

But even the Cole book is from 2014. Is there anything more recent?

I checked our database:

2016: No Medieval Europe reviews. Jeannie Lin’s novella The Liar’s Dice is set in medieval/Tang Dynasty China; it earned a C.

2017: 10, but 7 of these are from an effort to get Top 100 books into the database. Only 3 new releases, none above B+)

2018: 1 review (The Princess by Elizabeth Elliott, A-; The Golden Hairpin by Qinghan CeCe is set in medieval/Tang Dynasty China but is not a romance)

2019: 1 review (The Dark Knight by Elizabeth Elliott; book was a 2012 release)

2020: 2 reviews (Uncovering the Merchant’s Secret by Elisabeth Hobbes, A-; Forbidden Warrior by Kris Kennedy, D)

Now, obviously, AAR isn’t reviewing every single release. But it’s still an indicator that these are dark times in the kingdom for what was once a powerhouse subgenre.

So can you help me? Have you read any recent-ish medievals (published since, say, 2015 or so) that are good? If so, what were they?

And finally, if you are looking to get caught up on medievals, here are some tags that may help:

Arthurian (technically the Dark Ages but it has knights and princess and all the good stuff)

The Anarchy Matilda of vs. Stephen

Norman Conquest




1400s, 1500s, Tudor, Elizabethan, (We’re getting into the Renaissance here but it may still be what you are looking for)

~ Caroline Russomanno

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