MY FAVORITE HISTORICAL NOVELS (in no particular order)

Ancient Period

  1. The Source, by James Michener (History of one town in Palestine, from Stone Age to Present)
  2. Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield (Spartans and Thermopylae)
  3. Virtues of War,   “     (Alexander’s memoires)
  4. The Afghan Campaign, “    (Alexander’s Afghan war)
  5. Fire From Heaven, The Persian Boy, Funeral Games, series by Mary Renault (novels about the life of Alexander and aftermath)
  6. Warrior in Bronze, and King in Splendour, series by George Shipway (Bronze Age Mycenaean Age Greece; during Age of Heroes)
  7. King of Pontus, by Alfred Duggan (Life of Mithradates of Pontus)
  8. First Man in Rome, The Grass Crown, et al, series by Colleen McCullough (Political event in the last century of the Republic, centering on Marius, Sulla, Pompey and Caesar)
  9. The Imperial Governor, George Shipway (Set in Roman Britain, time of Boudicca)
  10. The Lost Eagle, by Ralph Graves (Roman hero seeks to recapture  the eagle standards lost at Teutoberger Forest)
  11. The Last of the Wine, by Mary Renault (Athens during the Peloponnesian War)
  12. Mask of Apollo, “    (Hero journeys to Syracuse during reign of Dionysus the Tyrant)
  13. I Claudius, and Claudius the God (and his wife, Messalina), by Robert Graves
  14. The Besieger of Cities, by Alfred Duggan (story of Demetrius the Besieger)
  15. Judas, My Brother, by Frank Yerby (Tale of event around life of Christ)
  16. The King Must Die & The Bull from the Sea, by Mary Renault  (life of Theseus)
  17. Hercules My Shipmate, by Robert Graves (Bronze Age Greece, tale of Jason and the Argonauts)
  18. Young Caesar, and Imperial Caesar, by Rex Warner (memoires of Caesar)
  19. Pericles the Athenian, “    (life of Pericles of Athens)
  20. Winter Quarters, By Alfred Duggan (Gallic horseman in the service of Crassus)


Dark Ages/Middle Ages

  1. Count Belisarius, by Robert Graves (life of the Byzantine general)
  2. The Sword at Sunset, by Rosemary Sutcliffe (novel of “real” Arthur)
  3. The Last Viking, series by Poul Anderson (life of Harald Hardraada)
  4. The Saxon Chronicles (first book = The Last Kingdom) by Bernard Cornwell (set during Viking invasions of England and Alfred the Great)
  5. The Arthur Series (first book = The Winter King) “    (Cornwell’s take on “real” Arthur)
  6. Conscience of the King, by Alfred Duggan  (novel of the life of Cerdic the Saxon)
  7. King of Athelney,  “       (novel of Alfred the Great)
  8. The Saracen Blade, by Frank Yerby    (adventures of 13th cent. Hero, friend of Emp. Frederick II, “El Stupor Mundi”)
  9. An Odor of Sanctity, Frank Yerby  (set in Visigoth/Moorish Spain , 8th cent)
  10. The Paladin, by George Shipway (knight during time of William Rufus)
  11. The Sword of Hachiman, by Lynn Guest (novel of Minomoto Yoshitsune and Gempei War)
  12. Count Bohemond, by Alfred Duggan (Novel of Italo-Norman Crusader)
  13. A Knight in Armor, “     (Novel of a simple Knight during 1st Crusade)
  14. Lady for Ransom, “       (Novel about Norman adventurers in Byzantium)
  15. Lord Geoffrey’s Fancy, “    (13th century Frankish Greece)
  16. Knights of Dark Renown, and The Kings of Vain Intent, by Graham Shelby  (events leading up to and during 3rd Crusade)
  17. The Long Ships, by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson (tale of Red Orm, the Danish Viking)




  1. The Prince of Foxes, by  Samuel Shellabarger  (tale of hero in the days of Caesare Borgia)
  2. Captain from Castile, “   (heroic tale set during Spanish conquest of Mexico)
  3. The King’s Cavalier, “      (tale of French chevalier during early 16th century)
  4. The Religion, by Tim Willocks  (heroic tale set during siege of Malta)
  5. Shogan, by James Clavel    (westerner in 16th century Japan)
  6. Aztec, by Gary Jennings     (life of Aztec Eagle Knight in last days of “One World)
  7. Manchu, “       (set during Manchu conquest of Ming China)
  8. Diamyo, series by William Morell    (heroic tale of Japanese super-samurai in late 16th century Europe)


17 – 19th Century

  1. Captain Blood, by Rafael Sabatini  (Caribbean pirate tale)
  2. The Golden Hawk, by Frank Yerby  (another pirate tale)
  3. The Sharp Books (first = Sharp’s Tiger) by Bernard Cornwell  (heroic tales of Wellington’s best fighting soldier)
  4. Flashman series (first = Flashman), by George MacDonald Fraser  (humorous adventures of greatest rogue of Victorian Age, Sir Harry Paget Flashman)
  5. The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard, by Arthur Conan Doyle (adventures of Napoleonic light horseman).
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One Response to MY FAVORITE HISTORICAL NOVELS (in no particular order)

  1. mutnodjmet13 says:

    A great list, and I intend to read a few selections after I finish my Lenten reading of faith-based books. I would be negligent as your ancient Egypt expert to not include a couple of my favorite that cover that land: Pauline Gedge’s Lords of the Two Lands Trilogy, which is about the reconquest of Lower Egypt by the 17th Dynasty Theban Royal Family. They successfully battle the Hyksos invaders. In fact, anything about Egypt my Gedge is excellent and usually as close to historically accurate as a good fiction will present.

    Another set you will enjoy is Duncan Sprott’s 2 Books: The Ptolemies and Daughter of the Crocodile.It deals with the Ptolemies starting with #1 and going forward — and goes into good detail about the histories, intrigues, and personalities. Sprott was slated to do all the clan until Cleopatra VII, but only finished 2 of the 4 books in the “Quartet”. I would like to add his depiction of Arsinoe Beta is one of my favorites, in terms of historical women.

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