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For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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Post by Tanzanite » Wed November 9th, 2011, 12:48 am

The Queen's Lover by Francine du Plessix Gray. US release June 12, 2012.

The Queen’s Lover begins at a masquerade ball in Paris in 1774, when the dashing Swedish nobleman Count Axel von Fersen first meets the mesmerizing nineteen-year-old Dauphine, Marie Antoinette, wife of the shy, reclusive prince who will soon become Louis XVI. This electric encounter launches a lifelong romance that will span the course of the French Revolution.


The affair begins in friendship, however, and Fersen quickly becomes a devoted companion to the entire royal family. As he roams the halls of Versailles and visits the private haven of Le Petit Trianon, Fersen discovers the deepest secrets of the court, even learning the startling, erotic details of Marie Antoinette’s marriage to Louis XVI. But the events of the American Revolution tear Fersen away. Moved by the cause, he joins French troops in the fight for American independence. When he returns, he finds France on the brink of disintegration. After the Revolution of 1789 the royal family is moved from Versailles to the Tuileries. Fersen devises an escape for the family and their young children (Marie-Thérèse and the Dauphin—whom many suspect is in fact Fersen’s son). The failed attempt leads to a more grueling imprisonment, and the family spends its excruciating final days captive before the King and Queen meet the guillotine.

Grieving his lost love in his native Sweden, Fersen begins to sense the effects of the French Revolution in his homeland. Royalists are now targets, and the sensuous world of his youth is fast vanishing. Fersen is incapable of realizing that centuries of tradition have disappeared, and he pays dearly for his naïveté, losing his life at the hands of a savage mob that views him as a pivotal member of the aristocracy. Scion of Sweden’s most esteemed nobility, Fersen came to be seen as an enemy of the country he loved. His fate is symbolic of the violent speed with which the events of the eighteenth century transformed European culture. Expertly researched and deeply imagined, The Queen’s Lover is a fresh vision of the French Revolution and the French royal family as told through the love story that was at its center.
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Post by Tanzanite » Wed November 9th, 2011, 12:48 am

Warlord by Angus Donald. UK release July 2012.

May 1194. Finally released from captivity, Richard the Lionheart is in Normandy engaged in a bloody war to drive the French out of his continental patrimony. Using the brutual tactics of medieval warfare – sige, savagery and scorched earth – the Lionheart is gradually pushing back the forces of King Philip of France. By his side in this epic struggle are Robert, Earl of Locksley, better known as the erstwhile outlaw Robin Hood, and Sir Alan Dale, his loyal friend, and a musician and warrior of great renown. But while the battles rage and the bodies pile up, Robin seems only to be interested in making a profit from the devastation of war, while Alan is preoccupied with discovering the identity of the man who ordered his father’s death ten years earlier – and the mystery is leading him towards Paris, deep in the heart of the enemy’s territory…
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Post by Tanzanite » Wed November 9th, 2011, 12:49 am

The Queen's Pleasure by Brandy Purdy. US release June 26, 2012 (will be released in the UK as A Court Affair by Emily Purdy).

When young Robert Dudley, an earl’s son, meets squire’s daughter Amy Robsart, it is love at first sight. They marry despite parental misgivings, but their passion quickly fades, and the ambitious Dudley returns to court. Swept up in the turmoil of Tudor politics, Dudley is imprisoned in the Tower. Also a prisoner is Dudley’s childhood playmate, the princess Elizabeth.

In the shadow of the axe, their passion ignites. When Elizabeth becomes queen, rumors rage that Dudley means to free himself of Amy in order to wed her. And when Amy is found dead in unlikely circumstances, suspicion falls on Dudley—and the Queen…

Still hotly debated amongst scholars—was Amy’s death an accident, suicide, or murder?— the fascinating subject matter makes for an enthralling read for fans of historical fiction.
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Post by Tanzanite » Wed November 9th, 2011, 12:49 am

Mistress of Mourning by Karen Harper. US release July 3, 2012 (will be released as The Queen's Confidante in the UK)

London, 1501. In a time of political unrest, Varina Westcott, a young widow and candle maker for court and church, agrees to perform a clandestine service for Queen Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII. The queen’s eldest child and heir to the throne, newly married Prince Arthur, has died suddenly under mysterious circumstances. Elizabeth wants Varina and royal aid Nicholas Sutton to travel into the Welsh wilderness to investigate the death. But as the couple unearths one unsettling clue after another, they begin to fear that the conspiracy they’re confronting is far more ambitious and treacherous than even the queen imagined.
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Post by Tanzanite » Wed November 9th, 2011, 12:50 am

The Spymaster's Daughter by Jeane Westin. US and UK release August 7, 2012.

Danger and intrigue in the Tudor court of Elizabeth I, from the author of His Last Letter.

In Tudor England, traitors are everywhere and the queen’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, is assembling the greatest intelligence-gathering network in the world. Walsingham’s daughter, Lady Frances Sidney, smart, courageous, and unhappy in love, longs for the excitement of decoding encrypted messages and setting traps for those working for rival Mary, Queen of Scots. When Elizabeth makes her a lady-in-waiting, Frances seizes the chance to prove herself. She will risk her father’s condemnation, her heart’s longing, and her very life to safeguard her queen.
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Post by Tanzanite » Wed November 9th, 2011, 12:51 am

The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd. US release June 5, 2012.

Juliana St. John is the daughter of a prosperous knight in Marlborough, who has since passed away. Though her future seems charted for her to marry the son of her father's business partner, a set of circumstances interrupt that certainty and set her on a God-directed course toward the court of Henry the Eighth and his last wife, Kateryn Parr.


Sir Thomas Seymour, the brother of Jane Seymour, late mother to the current heir, Prince Edward, returns to Wiltshire to tie up his business with Juliana's father's estate, and as he does, chances upon her reading as Lector in the local church. He sees instantly that she would fit into the household of the woman he loves, Kateryn Parr. Her mother agrees to have her placed in Parr's household for "finishing" and Juliana goes, though perhaps reluctantly. For she knows a secret. She has been given the gift of prophecy and in one of her visions she has seen Sir Thomas shredding the dress of the king's daughter, the lady Elizabeth, to perilous consequence.

As Juliana accompanies Parr to court, Henry's devout sixth queen raises the stakes for all reformers. Their support of Anne Askew puts them in life-threatening jeopardy, as does the queen's desire to direct her husband's, and the realm's, direction and belief. In the end, Juliana must choose between love and honor, personal fulfillment and sacrifice; she ultimately learns the secret that will undo everything she thought she knew about her own life.

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Post by annis » Fri November 11th, 2011, 2:39 am

Not sure if anyione's mentioned this yet, but Giles Kristian's forthcoming book has a publication date now (April 2012) , and a title, though no cover as yet that I can see.

The Bleeding Land is the first in a series set during the English Civil Wars of the 17th century:

England. 1642. War is coming. The rift between King and Parliament has widened and armies muster, ready to fight for their religious and political ideals. Nothing is so destructive as civil war, and for the Rivers family, the raising of the King's standard heralds a conflict that threatens to tear them apart.

As a knight and friend of King Charles, Sir Francis Rivers' loyalty is beyond question, and so should be that of his family. However another Royalist, Lord Henry Denton, imprisons a suspected Catholic priest and in so doing makes an enemy of Sir Francis's youngest son, Tom. For Tom is betrothed to Martha Green, the imprisoned man's daughter. In desperation, Martha pleads with Denton to free her father. He agrees, but on one condition: she must give herself to him. In the event, Denton reneges and Martha watches her father hang. Heartbroken, unable to live with her shame, Martha takes her own life and Tom, burning with hatred for Denton - and his father for not interceding - turns his back on his home and family. In London he falls in with a crowd of men eager to fight for Parliament for, in the prospect of war, Tom sees his chance for vengeance.

But Sir Francis Rivers' eldest son, Mun, is for the king, and joins a troop of horse commanded by the dashing Prince Rupert. Sir Francis rides in the King's Lifeguards as the first battle of the war looms. But whilst men fight and die at Edgehill, the Rivers women, Lady Mary and her daughter, Bess, must also fight to survive as the family home, Shear House, is besieged.

A novel of honour, vengeance, courage and love, The Bleeding Land brings England's civil war to life in all its terrible glory.

Those like me who loved Kristian's rip-roaring Raven series (Vikings!) will be pleased to hear that he hasn't ruled out another in the series at some point. See interview with GK here:
http://www.historytellers.co.uk/blog/?p=27

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Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
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Post by Vanessa » Fri November 11th, 2011, 8:30 am

That sounds good, Annis. I will have to look out for it, although I will probably wait for the paperback or ebook.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Post by Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:46 pm

The Glovemaker by Stacia Brown. UK release February 16, 2012.

London, 1649. Oliver Cromwell is running the country, and a law
targeting unmarried mothers threatens the life of glovemaker Rachel
Lockyer. This is her story.

It is 1649. Charles I has been beheaded, Cromwell is running the country,
and a new law targeting unwed mothers and lewd women has been passed.
A law that presumes that anyone who conceals the death of her illegitimate
child is guilty of murder.

When a dead infant is found buried behind the Smithfield slaughterhouse,
all fingers point to thirty-nine-year-old glover’s assistant Rachel Lockyer.
A fiercely independent woman, Rachel has been carrying on an affair with
a married man, a one-time political agitator with a radical group known
as The Levelers. Though no one knows for certain that Rachel was even
pregnant, she is arrested.

So comes an investigation, public trial, and unforgettable characters: gouty
investigator Thomas Bartwain, fiery Elizabeth Lillburne and her
revolution-chasing husband, Huguenot glover Mary Du Gard, and others.
Spinning within are Rachel and William, their remarkable love story, and
the miracles that come to even the commonest lives.
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Post by Tanzanite » Tue November 15th, 2011, 5:47 pm

Tomb of Alexander by Sean Hemingway. UK release March 1, 2012.
An epic new archaeological thriller from the grandson of Ernest
Hemingway.

It was the most renowned and respected shrine in the Roman Empire,
sought after for generations, the object of veneration by Julius Caesar,
Cleopatra, Caligula, Hadrian and the world over. It stood for centuries
within a sacred precinct the size of a large town at the heart of the greatest
Greek city in the world. Yet at the end of the fourth century AD it
disappeared without trace, creating the greatest archaeological enigma of
the ancient world. What became of the tomb of Alexander the Great?

In his compelling debut thriller, Sean Hemingway seamlessly weaves
together the ancient and the modern as our hero Tom Carr is drawn
further and further into one of the greatest mysteries of our time, risking
everything to get at the truth...

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