10 Historical Fiction Novels to Request or Read Today

A collage of the covers included in this article

Want to take a journey to the past? Below you’ll find five historical fiction novels you can request now on NetGalley, and five that are already on sale and that you can pick up from your favorite bookstore or library.

Request these while you can:

Matrix by Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff returns this September with a novel inspired by the life of the 12th-century poet Marie de France. At the age of 17, Marie was banished by Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and sent to a British abbey to become its new prioress. After the initial shock of her new circumstances, Marie quickly takes to her new life, seeking to improve the lives of the nuns she now oversees and learning to trust in the beatific visions that come to her.

Sisters in Arms by Kaia Alderson

This debut historical fiction novel from Kaia Alderson follows members of the Six Triple Eight, an all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps, during World War II. Pianist Grace Steele joins the Army after learning that her brother was killed in the war, and reporter Eliza Jones is tired of her publisher father restricting what she writes about and decides to enlist. Together the two forge a friendship that sees them through a journey to Europe and a dangerous mission unlike anything they’ve experienced before.

The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley

Susanna Kearsley’s latest transports readers to Scotland. Lily Graeme is attempting to retrieve her late husband’s wages, though when doubts are cast on her claim as his wife, Adam Williamson is tasked with investigating the authenticity of her marriage certificate. Alternating between the 1680s and the 1700s, the book explores Lily’s past and the role Adam plays in deciding her future.

The Reckless Kind by Carly Heath

Carly Heath’s YA debut introduces readers to Asta Hedstrom, a teen living in Norway in 1904 who is reluctant to marry Nils, the boy her mother betrothed her to. When Nils attacks her best friend Gunnar in a fit of jealousy, Asta moves into the quiet cabin where Gunnar and Gunnar’s boyfriend, Erlend live. Together, the three begin to plan a way to take their futures into their own hands.

Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim

Beginning in 1917, Juhea Kim’s debut novel spans over 50 years. In the Korean mountains, a hunter makes the choice to save a Japanese officer. Years later, the hunter’s son JungHo is living on the streets of Seoul when he meets Jade, a young girl who was sold to a courtesan school by her family. Kim tracks their friendship against the changing landscape of Korea during the fight for independence.

Check out these books on shelves now:

Love and Fury by Samantha Silva

Samantha Silva’s novel explores motherhood and feminism through the eyes of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin as she tells her life story to her newborn daughter, Mary Shelley. When a doctor’s treatment leads to complications, midwife Parthenia Blenkinsop tells Wollstonecraft to speak to her daughter as a distraction. From there a tale unfolds of Wollstonecraft’s childhood, her writing, her loves and friendships, and so much more.

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

The second installment of Alka Joshi’s Henna Artist series is on shelves now. The Secret Keeper of Jaipur picks up 12 years after the first book in 1969 with Lakshmi helping a now 20-year-old Malik. He’s currently working at the Singh-Sharma building firm, which is building a highly-anticipated new cinema. When a tragic accident occurs and the firm comes under fire, Malik begins to suspect that there’s more to the story than is being told and seeks to uncover the truth.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

New York Times bestselling author Kate Quinn is back with a tale of three female code breakers working against the clock during World War II. Osla longs to show that she’s more than a debutante, and knows that her fluency in German will make for a valuable asset. Mab is drawn to the codebreaking machines, and puzzle-master and local spinster Beth rounds out their unstoppable trio. The three come together to crack German military codes, but what happens when the war threatens to tear them apart?

Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee

Stacey Lee’s latest YA novel follows the fateful voyage of the Ship of Dreams. Valora Luck and her brother Jamie are 17-year-old British-Chinese twins who are making their journey to America aboard the Titanic. Valora wants them to start over in the States as acrobats at the Ringling Brothers Circus, while Jamie had hoped to make his way to Cuba. Before they can reach an agreement, the ship strikes ice and they must do whatever it takes to survive.

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris

This historical fiction debut set in Georgia after the end of the Civil War is on the summer reading lists of both Oprah and Barack Obama. Nathan Harris’s novel opens with a pair of Black brothers finding work on a white man’s farm. Prentiss and Landry are hoping to save money to travel north to find their mother, while George and his wife Isabelle are grieving the loss of their son Caleb, who they believe died in the war, and appreciate having the brothers around. Caleb surprises them all when he returns home, and disrupts the peace the four had found together.

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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