Yesterday I received the latest edition of the Historical Novel Review – the quarterly magazine published by the Historical Novel Society. I am always anxious to see the reviews of new historical fiction and note which ones need to be added to my To Be Read list. In this round, I found 28 books under the printed reviews which fit our Long Ago & Far Away focus. For easy reference I am posting a list of those books here.
Three books under “Biblical” fit LAFA’s (Long Ago & Far Away) loose parameters, but since this period/location gets a lot of attention, I will skip them for this compilation. There are seven in the “Classical” category, six of which take place in either Rome or Greece, again, not really off the beaten path. I did include one from the classical period because it takes place in Turkey – a bit out of the way. I’m also skipping crusader stories since the context is already popular. I have included one from that period due to it’s Spanish setting being less familiar.
The Last King of Lydia – Tim Leach – Lydia (in present day Turkey) – 6th century BC
1200 year gap!
The Secret History – Stephanie Thornton – Byzantium – 6th century AD
600 year gap!
The Corpse Reader – Antonio Garrido (trans. Thomas Bunstead) – China – 13th century
Emeralds of The Alhambra – John D. Cressler – Granada – 14th century
200 year gap!
Claws of the Cat – Susan Spann – Japan – 16th century
200 year gap. (Is this like contractions?)
The Pagoda Tree – Claire Scobie – India – 18th century
The Devil is White – William Palmer – Africa – 18th Century
And now, the 19th century:
The Corsair – Abdulaziz Al-Mahmoud (trans. Amira Noweira) – Bombay, Oman, Iraq and China – 19th century
The Scarlet Thief – Paul Fraser Collard – Crimea – 19th century
Kiku’s Prayer – Shusaku Endo (trans. Van C. Gessel) – Japan – 19th century
The Prisoner of Paradise – Romesh Guneskera – Mauritius – 19th century
Burial Rites – Hannah Kent – Iceland – 19th Century
The Collector of Lost Things – Jeremy Page – Arctic – 19th century
The Family Mansion – Anthony C. Winkler – Jamaica – 19th century
Blood Tango – Annamaria Alfieri – Argentina – 1945
The Roving Tree – Elsie Augustave – Haiti/Zaire – 1950s
Mystery in Malakand – Susanna Bell – Peshawar/Northwest Frontier/British India – 1920
Midnight in St. Petersburg – Vanora Bennett – Revolutionary Russia
Shadows on the Nile – Kate Furnivall – Egypt – 1932
The Gunners of Shenyang – Yu Jihui – China – 1960s
The Man From Berlin – Luke McCallin – Yugoslavia – 1943
The Bride Box – Michael Pearce – Egypt – 1913
The Child Thief – Dan Smith – Unkraine – 1930
Ben Barka Lane – Mahmoud Saeed (trans. Kay Heikkinen) Morroco – 1964 (originally published in Arabic in 1970, so fits only the loosest definition of historical fiction but it is definitely LAFA to most of us.
A Question of Honor – Charles Todd – India/England/France – early 1900s
Lighthouse Bay – Kimberley Freeman – Australia
The Age of Ice – J.M. Sidorova – Russia
The Ghost Bride – Yangze Choo – Malaysia
Exciting reading ahead! Which of these interest you the most?
There are additional reviews online (294 in total!). I will peruse those as soon as I am able. There are also YA and Children’s books reviewed both in the printed mag and online. If someone else would like to glean LAFA books from these before I have the chance, just let me know and we’ll get them posted.