Recent Releases in Historical Fiction

Some of the recent historical fiction we’ve had published over the last month that’s starting to take off!

Grave MercyTitle: Grave Mercy

Series: His Fair Assassin #1

Author: R.L. LaFevers

Plot: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Published: April 3rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

The House of Velvet and GlassTitle: The House of Velvet and Glass

Author: Katherine Howe

Published: April 10th 2012 by Voice/Hyperion

Plot: Katherine Howe, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, returns with an entrancing historical novel set in Boston in 1915, where a young woman stands on the cusp of a new century, torn between loss and love, driven to seek answers in the depths of a crystal ball.

Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal-plagued brother in an elegant town house in Boston’s Back Bay. Trapped in a world over which she has no control, Sibyl flees for solace to the parlor of a table-turning medium.

But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help to psychology professor Benton Derby, despite the unspoken tensions of their shared past. As Benton and Sibyl work together to solve a harrowing mystery, their long-simmering spark flares to life, and they realize that there may be something even more magical between them than a medium’s scrying glass.

From the opium dens of Boston’s Chinatown to the opulent salons of high society, from the back alleys of colonial Shanghai to the decks of the Titanic, The House of Velvet and Glass weaves together meticulous period detail, intoxicating romance, and a final shocking twist that will leave readers breathless.

Glamour in GlassTitle: Glamour in Glass

Author: Mary Robinette Kowal

Series: Shades of Milk and Honey #2

Published: April 10th 2012 by Tom Doherty Associates

Plot: Mary Robinette Kowal stunned readers with her charming first novel Shades of Milk and Honey, a loving tribute to the works of Jane Austen in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence. This magic comes in the form of glamour, which allows talented users to form practically any illusion they can imagine. Shades debuted to great acclaim and left readers eagerly awaiting its sequel. Glamour in Glass continues following the lives of beloved main characters Jane and Vincent, with a much deeper vein of drama and intrigue.In the tumultuous months after Napoleon abdicates his throne, Jane and Vincent go to Belgium for their honeymoon. While there, the deposed emperor escapes his exile in Elba, throwing the continent into turmoil. With no easy way back to England, Jane and Vincent’s concerns turn from enjoying their honeymoon…to escaping it.Left with no outward salvation, Jane must persevere over her trying personal circumstances and use her glamour to rescue her husband from prison . . . and hopefully prevent her newly built marriage from getting stranded on the shoals of another country’s war.

The Wicked and the JustTitle: The Wicked and the Just

Author: J. Anderson Coats

Published: April 17th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Plot: Cecily’s father has ruined her life. He’s moving them to occupied Wales, where the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will finally be the lady of the house.

Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now she must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl.

While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And outside the city walls, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.

The Last RomanovTitle: The Last Romanov

Author: Dora Levy Mossanen

Published: April 3rd 2012

Plot: For almost a century, Imperial Russia has captivated the imagination- the ruthless execution of the royal family, the disputed survival of the heir: it’s a cinematic chaos that the masterful Dora Levy Mossanen unravels for her readers. Taking readers deep into tarnished grandeur, The Last Romanov follows Darya, a wise old beauty whose time spent with the Imperial family has haunted her entire life. When the murderous events unfold, Darya is plagued by the prophecy made by the Empress’s advisor, Rasputin. She must find the missing Tsarevich Alexis Romanov and restore the monarchy or risk losing her own life.

Blue AsylumTitle: Blue Asylum

Author: Kathy Hepinstall

Published: April 10th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Plot: Amid the mayhem of the Civil War, Virginia plantation wife Iris Dunleavy is put on trial and convicted of madness. It is the only reasonable explanation the court can see for her willful behavior, so she is sent away to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a good, compliant woman. Iris knows, though, that her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on notions of justice, cruelty, and property.

On this remote Florida island, cut off by swamps and seas and military blockades, Iris meets a wonderful collection of residents— some seemingly sane, some wrongly convinced they are crazy, some charmingly odd, some dangerously unstable. Which of these is Ambrose Weller, the war-haunted Confederate soldier whose memories terrorize him into wild fits that can only be calmed by the color blue, but whose gentleness and dark eyes beckon to Iris?

The institution calls itself modern, but Iris is skeptical of its methods, particularly the dreaded “water treatment.” She must escape, but she has found new hope and love with Ambrose. Can she take him with her? If they make it out, will the war have left anything for them to make a life from, back home?
Blue Asylum is a vibrant, beautifully-imagined, absorbing story of the lines we all cross between sanity and madness. It is also the tale of a spirited woman, a wounded soldier, their impossible love, and the undeniable call of freedom.

Spirit's PrincessTitle: Spirit’s Princess

Author: Esther M. Friesner

Series: Spirit’s Princess #1

Published: April 24th 2012 by Random House Children’s Books

Plot: Himiko the beloved daughter of a chieftain in third century Japan has always been special. The day she was born there was a devastating earthquake, and the tribe’s shamaness had an amazing vision revealing the young girl’s future—one day this privileged child will be the spiritual and tribal leader over all of the tribes. Book One revolves around the events of Himiko’s early teen years—her shaman lessons, friendships, contact with other tribes, and journey to save her family after a series of tragic events. Once again, Esther Friesner masterfully weaves together history, myth, and mysticism in a tale of a princess whose path is far from traditional.

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9 Comments

Filed under Books News

9 responses to “Recent Releases in Historical Fiction

  1. The Last Romanov looks like a really fascinating read! I hope it’ll be available at the library. I just found your blog and its awesome 🙂

    • nerdybookreviews

      Yes, it certainly does! Unfortunately my library doesn’t accquire new books straight away which is really disappointing for me. At the moment, we’re just getting in ‘new; books from 2011. Thank you very much, that’s very kind of you!

      • It’s the same for me too! I tried to get Cinder and I got an email saying that it won’t be loaned out because it’s still a fairly new release. So I might actually have to buy it. I don’t really know too much about the Imperial Family in Russia, but I’d like to know more about them!

        I read The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges and I enjoyed that book. Have you read that one?

        • nerdybookreviews

          That’s quite bad. What are you meant to do, read it in the library? Mine won’t even have a copy because it’s that new!
          Me either! I think Russian history could be quite interesting.
          No, I haven’t heard of that one. I may have to check it out. Is it a recent book release?

        • I think that’s the idea unfortunately. If it’s at a reasonable price, I’ll buy it off the book depository or something.

          I wish I had taken Russian History! There was a prof who used to teach a course, but I’m not sure if he’s coming back for the next school year, but I’ll be done in December 😦 So no luck.

          Yup, The Gathering Storm came out this year. I personally enjoyed it. I read it as the Young Adult book for this book challenge I’m participating in!

        • nerdybookreviews

          Not a very good idea in my opinion since you’d have to stay all day. It’s one book I’m not bothered about reading at the moment.
          Ahhh, that’s a shame! I love history, but I guess I’ve never thought of studying Russian history. I’m sure it would be interesting. Maybe you’ll be able to do some of your own research?
          I just looked it up on GR, it sounds really good! I think I shall have to invest. Thank you for the recommendation.

        • I probably shouldn’t even be thinking of reading Cinder right now because my to-read pile is massive and I want to get those out of the way!

          Maybe once I’m done school I can start reading some historical material on Russia. That’s for suggesting that!
          If you read GR let me know how you like it 🙂 I thought it was pretty good for a debut novel and I can’t wait to read the second book when it comes out later this year! Oh and is it okay if I add you on goodreads?

        • nerdybookreviews

          I know the feeing of a huge to-read pile.
          That would probably be best! Let me know how your exploration goes into Russian history.
          Sure thing! I will let you know. There is a link on my “A Little Bit About Nerdy” to my profile. It would be great to talk to you more on there! 🙂

        • I will! But you might have to wait till the end of December since that’s probably when I’ll get my hands on some Russian History books 🙂

          And I just added you on goodreads by the way 🙂

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