10 Historical Fiction Books for Adults

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10 Historical Fiction Books for Adults
Do you love traveling back in time when you read? I know that I sure do. I love being taken back to another place in time and experiencing life with the characters. I love reading about important events in history while I’m engrossed in the plots. It has sparked my interest many times to go do more research on something I discovered. This is why I am a HUGE fan of Historical Fiction books. My first preference is Inspirational Historical Fiction, but I just love historical fiction in general.

What is historical fiction? Historical fiction is divided into two broad categories. The first includes any work in which both the setting and the supporting characters have a historical basis in fact. The second includes work in which the setting alone is set in the historic past, while the characters and situations are otherwise fictitious. I like to read a mix of each, but I really enjoy the first definition.

Here is a list of 10 Historical Fiction Books for Adults that I’ve put together. Some of these are true Historical Fiction in that they take place during a specific event/time in history while others are simply books set in a past time of history.

1. Ride the Dark Trail by Louis L’amour

Call me old school, but there is nothing like a good western…and EVERYONE knows that Louis L’amour is the king of westerns! I had to include one of his books on my list–and this one (part of his Sacketts saga) is one of my favorites. If you want to get taken back in time with cowboys, Indians and the wild west, go grab a Louis L’amour. There is a reason why so many of his books were turned into blockbuster movies!

2. The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court, Book #1) by Philippa Gregory

From the author who brought you the best seller, The Other Boleyn Girl, comes another series  beginning with the book The Constant Princess which revolves around the life of Catherine of Aragon. Philippa Gregory is a genius at bringing the Tudor era of England’s monarchy to great and glamorous pomp and circumstance. You will be surrounded by so many vivid word pictures you will be able to imagine the lives of the power grabbing royalty in brilliant color! If you have a thing for all things British royalty you will enjoy reading all of Ms. Gregory’s books!

3. A Constant Heart (Against All Expectations, Book #1) by Siri Mitchell

Take a look at the Tudor era from a different view with best selling inspirational fiction author Siri Mitchell’s book, A Constant Heart. Follow Marget as she learns all the ins and outs of royal court during the age of Elizabeth 1.  Newly married to one of the advisers of the queen, her introduction at court goes awry and Queen Elizabeth despises her and her husband casts her away. Desperate to win him back at all costs, Marget sets out to do whatever it takes to learn how she failed and regain the love of the man bound to the queen.

4. Outlander series by Diana Galbado

Are you an Outlander fan? I have never read the books, but I have friends who are obsessed with them and demanded that I include them in my list. With these books being New York Times Bestsellers and with a plot ripe for Hollywood, it’s no surprise that there is much excitement about the new Outlander TV series based on the books. Grab a copy and meet Claire Randall, a married combat nurse in 1945, who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 in Scotland, where she is forced to marry romantic Scots warrior James Fraser a midst the chaos of war and raiding Highland clans. Now Clair must navigate this strange new world, torn between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

5. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

I love historical classics and one of my favorites is the epic Gone with the Wind. This book is just as good of a read now as when it was first released. Have you ever actually read it or have you just seen the movie? If you love the movie, you need to check out the book that started it all. You will be swept away in the saga of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in the midst of the Civil War and it’s aftermath.

6. From Dust and Ashes (WW2 Liberators, Book #1) by Tricia Goyer

Join inspirational fiction author Tricia Goyer as she begins her World War 2 Liberators series with From Dust and Ashes. It is 1945 and a group of American soldiers liberate a Nazi concentration camp. Helene is the abandoned wife of an SS guard who has fled to avoid arrest. Overcome by guilt, she begins to help meet the needs of survivors. Throughout the process, she finds her own liberation — from spiritual bondage, sin, and guilt.

7. Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings, Book #1) by Lynn Austin

Have you ever wondered what the back story is for all of those kings in the biblical Old Testament? The Bible has entire books just devoted to listing their lives, but we don’t get to know the background on more than a couple. Join Lynn Austin as she dives into the lives of the ancient kings of Israel and Judah beginning with Hezekiah, heir to the throne of King David. When his evil father plots to sacrifice him, Hezekiah’s mother, Abijah, searches frantically for a way to save him. But only two men can help her, and neither of them seems trustworthy. In a time and place engulfed by violence, treachery, and infidelity to Yahweh, Abijah and her son must discover the one true Source of strength if they are to save themselves and their country.

8. City of Jasmine (City of Jasmine, Book #1) by Deanna Raybourn

Set against the lush, exotic European colonial outposts of the 1920s, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn delivers the captivating tale of one woman who embarks upon a journey to see the world—and ends up finding intrigue, danger and a love beyond all reason. Join Evie Starke, a famous aviatrix, who lost her beloved husband, adventurer Gabriel Starke, with the sinking of the Lusitania five years ago. Ready to move forward in her life, on she has embarked on a flight around the world; however, in the midst of her successful and triumphant tour, her world comes screeching to a halt upon the receipt of a mysterious and recent photo of…her husband. Follow her adventure for truth as she travels to the ancient city of Jasmine, Damascus where she discovers that nothing is as it seems.

9. Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

From Nancy Horan, New York Times bestselling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.

10. I am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War by Jerome Charyn

Since publishing his first novel in 1964, Jerome Charyn has established himself as one of the most inventive and prolific literary chroniclers of the American landscape. Here in I Am Abraham, Charyn returns with an unforgettable portrait of Lincoln and the Civil War. Narrated boldly in the first person, I Am Abraham effortlessly mixes humor with Shakespearean-like tragedy, in the process creating an achingly human portrait of our sixteenth President


I hope that there was something on this list that caught your eye and that you can enjoy diving into the genre of Historical Fiction! It’s my most favorite genre and I know that it could quickly become yours too!



About Lisa McKinney

Lisa’s been married to the love of her life for 11 years after being transplanted from the city life in Washington (the state!) to the farm life in Kentucky. They have two amazing boys and are embracing the country life. She enjoys bringing some of her family’s farm adventures to life on her blog including posts about homeschooling, cooking, the farm and just life in general. She has a love for cooking, is a glitter junkie and a book hoarder who dances around the kitchen to old movie musical soundtracks. The glass is absolutely half-full in her life and she thanks God for all the little things that He shares with her every day.


  1. I grew up on and still like historical fiction. Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt wrote mysteries, which I read voraciously. I’m glad to have found your blog through the A-Z challenge. Keep up the good work! http://www.dianeweidenbenner.com

  2. When I was a teen, I think I read every Louis L’amour novel in the library. I loved the old west and imagined I lived in each of his stories.

  3. Cindy Austin says:

    Great list, I have read a few of these. Currently into a great novel in this genre Strange Birth by Julian Stone. Set in the 1950’s during the beginning of the television era and the politics and tactics used to drive the networks. Fascinating read. I recommend it, juliandavidstone.com is the author’s site, the book information is there.

  4. Charlotte Brown says:

    Sound interesting, all. I read a book a long time ago entitled “Eight ” ; author’s name is Kathryn Neville I think. The lead female has an alternative ego of sorts in France during the Revolution. It’s history & fantasy, sort of. Surrounds finding all the pieces of Charlemagne ‘s chess set in order to obtain some mystical power. The opening paragraph grabbed me with its imagery & I couldn’t put it down.


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