For Dan Wells

9k=…and other readers of historical fiction, a list of some of my favorites, in alphabetical order.  Where I recommend the first book (marked with an asterisk), you should understand that I’m recommending the series.

(Dan may have read some of these himself, but I know he has not read them all.)

Luther Blissett, Q. A spy novel set in the Thirty Years War and the Reformation.

Bernard Cornwell, Sharpe’s Tiger* and The Last Kingdom*.  Redcoats and saxons, respectively.

Dorothy Dunnett, The Game of Kings* and Niccolo Rising*. Intrigue, trade, politics, and adventure, in the sixteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose. If Sherlock Holmes was a medieval monk, confronting a series of murders modeled on the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse.

C.S. Forester, Mr. Midshipman Hornblower*. Napoleonic naval adventure whose protagonist was purportedly the model for James T. Kirk.

Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander*.  Seriously, Dan, I’m astonished you haven’t read these books.  They’re the other side of the Jane Austin stories — the adventures of naval officers and spies in foreign lands — with Austinian wit and humanity.

Mary Renault, The King Must Die. Theseus.

Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver*. In the opening sequence, a messenger comes to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to bring back to Europe the one man who can resolve the bitter fight between Newton and Leibniz over who invented calculus. Then it gets even more awesome.


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