Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Top Ten Historical Fiction Reads for 2006

As promised, here are my ten favorite historical fiction novels that I read in 2006. Some were published this year, others were published years ago. Here they are, in no particular order:

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory (Jane Rochford, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard)
Mary by Janis Cooke Newman (Mary Todd Lincoln)
Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund (Marie Antoinette)
Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir (Lady Jane Grey)
Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George (Mary, Queen of Scots)
Fatal Majesty by Reay Tannahill (Mary, Queen of Scots)
The Seventh Son by Reay Tannahill (Richard III)
The Ivy Crown by Mary Luke (Katherine Parr)
The Severed Crown by Jane Lane (Charles I)
The Young and Lonely King by Jane Lane (Charles I)

Other favorites: A Lady Raised High by Laurien Gardner (Anne Boleyn), The Last Queen by C. W. Gortner (Juana the Mad), The Lord of Misrule by Eve Trevaskis (Edward II and Piers Gaveston), The Pleasures of Love by Jean Plaidy (Catherine of Braganza, reviewed on my Jean Plaidy blog), Loving Will Shakespeare by Carolyn Meyer (Anne Hathaway), Gatsby's Girl by Caroline Preston (F. Scott Fitzgerald's girlfriend Ginevra King), The Sceptre and the Rose by Doris Leslie (Catherine of Braganza), and My Lady of Cleves by Margaret Campbell Barnes (Anne of Cleves). I could add some more, but it's getting late.

Aside from reflecting my weakness for books about British royalty, what do these books have in common? Overwhelmingly, it's their depiction of character; all feature likable, yet flawed heroes and heroines. Add to that vivid, realistic dialogue and a distinct narrative voice in most cases, and I was hooked.

I may not be blogging again until after the New Year, so Happy New Year!

3 comments:

Carla said...

I can never do Top 10 lists, I always get to about 50 and then give up :-) Some good ideas on yours, and a couple that I've already read and liked and have now been reminded to re-read.
Happy New Year!

Marg said...

I really should reread The Seventh Son and see if I dislike it as much as I did the first time.

Happy New Year to you Susan.

Lynne said...

I just finished THE BOLEYN INHERITANCE and enjoyed it. I've heard good things about MARY - I'll have to look for that one. In fact, I'll have to look for quite a few on your list - they all sound interesting.

Happy New Year, Susan.