Historical Fantasy

A
Rust in the Root

Rust in the Root does not take place in the same universe as Justina Ireland’s paranormal historical duology Dread Nation/Deathless Divide, which both earned DIKs here. This book can’t possibly be as good as those, right? Surprise! It’s even better. In a magic-infused alternate history, the ...

B+
The League of Gentlewomen Witches

What a charming, imaginative book!  The League of Gentlewoman Witches continues the Dangerous Damsels series with fun and aplomb.  Want a romance about a witch and a pirate?  Then look no further. Miss Charlotte Pettifer is the future leader of the titular league, and prophesized heiress of Bl ...

A-
Daughter of the Sea

Elisabeth Hobbes dips her toes into the historical fiction side of the writing pool with Daughter of the Sea, the tale of a foundling and the woman who takes her in.  This pretty, lyrical tale is honest and lovely, with some perfect prose imagery. Effie Cropton has a sailor husband and an infant ...

C
Bright Ruined Things

Transporting Shakespeare’s The Tempest into a 1920s setting and retrofitting the story into one of an established blood family versus a found one is not an easy feat – and its one Samantha Cohoe attempts with limited success in Bright Ruined Things. The tension in the mystery plot is palpable an ...

C
The Midnight Bargain

Women’s fiction hides under the guise of fantasy and romance in The Midnight Bargain, a sometimes clever but disappointingly never wise, novel. Beatrice Clayborn is in town for bargaining season in Chasland, aka The Season in Regency England + Magic. She wants books not a husband, because a hus ...

A
Daughters of Jubilation

Daughters of Jubilation is a powerful read.  Imbued with a beautiful, graceful sense of strength, it comes out swinging with a heroine who has a wonderfully memorable voice. Sixteen-year-old Evalene – Evvie - Deschamps is growing up in a Jim Crow Era mid-south, helping to care for her younger ...

B+
Romanov

I knew going in that Romanov would be an emotional read. A fantasy novel about the Russian royal family’s incarceration told from the view point of Grand Duchess Anastasia, it could hardly be a cheery book; after all, the horrifying historical ending to that imprisonment is common knowledge. Howev ...

D-
The Pretender's Crown

Well. It's unusual, at least. Belinda Primrose is a spy and assassin for Lorraine, the queen of a country on a map that looks suspiciously like 1588 Europe. Belinda is also a magician (called witchlords in this alternate historical fantasy), and happens to be Lorraine’s bastard daughter, the pr ...