16 Historical Fiction Books to Take You Through All the Eras

If you are a fan of historical fiction, you probably have a favorite era to read about. Like any other subject, there are great books encompassing historical fiction through all the eras. But what is historical fiction, exactly? Some people believe it means fiction that was written in the past. The more popular definition is fiction set at least fifty years earlier than the time it was written.

For instance, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is historical fiction by the first definition, but not the second. I myself base historical fiction on the second definition, so I have compiled a list of 16 great works of historical fiction through the eras for you to enjoy.



Year of Wonders

by Geraldine Brooks

And this is the story of a young woman in a small village outside 17th-century London, who courageously treats the sick and fights superstitions when the plague comes to her town.


One Night in Georgia

by Celeste Norfleet

Three coeds from New York City embark on a life-changing road trip in a Ford Fairlane convertible during the sweltering, turbulent summer of 1968, a time following the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy, as well as race riots, political protests, and the birth of Black power.


The Confessions of Frannie Langton

by Sara Collins

Fans of Alias Grace will love this 19th-century confessional, about a former slave from a Jamaican sugar plantation who is accused of murdering her English employers.


Gods of Jade and Shadow

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This Jazz Age Cinderella story is about Casiopea, a young woman who accidentally frees the Mayan god of death while cleaning her rich grandfather’s home. Now she must help him reclaim his throne.


The Revisioners

by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

This is an excellent novel about race, marginalized voices, and family. In 1924, former slave Josephine is now a farm owner, but her uneasy friendship with her new neighbor brings danger into her life.


The Moor’s Account 

by Laila Lalami

This Pulitzer Prize finalist is the imagined memoirs of a real person: Mustafa al-Zamori, the first black explorer of America. The slave of a Spanish conquistador, he was one of only four people to survive an expedition to Florida.


Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.