5 Historical Fiction novels not to miss

Recently I was browsing upcoming titles online (sometimes a dangerous thing!) and wanted to share with you the five historical fiction novels that drew me in and made me go back and have another look.

Two are set in India, one in Dartmoor, one in Cornwall and one in Jerusalem and all look as if they are going to be emotional reads.

5 historical novels not to miss


In publishing order:

Templar Silks Elizabeth Chadwick

Print Length: 496 pages

Publisher: Sphere (1 Mar. 2018)

Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0751564974

ISBN-13: 978-0751564976


To save his soul William Marshal takes the perilous road to Jerusalem, but the greatest danger he faces there is losing his heart.

England, 1219
Lying on his deathbed, William Marshal, England’s greatest knight, sends a trusted servant to bring to him the silk Templar burial shrouds that returned with him from the Holy Land thirty years ago. It is time to fulfil his vow to the Templars and become a monk of their order for eternity.

As he waits for the shrouds’ return, he looks back upon his long-ago pilgrimage with his brother Ancel, and the sacred mission entrusted to them – to bear the cloak of their dead young lord to Jerusalem and lay it on Christ’s tomb in the church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Jerusalem, 1183
In the holiest of all cities, the brothers become embroiled in the deadly politics, devious scheming and lusts of the powerful men and women who rule the kingdom. Entangled with the dangerous, mercurial Paschia de Riveri, concubine of the highest churchman in the land, William sets on a path so perilous that there seems no way back for him, or for his brother. Both will pay a terrible price and their only chance to see home again will be dependent on the Templar shrouds.

In this glorious adventure, bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick sweeps the reader to medieval Jerusalem in a story perfect for fans of Ken Follett and Philippa Gregory.

Available to purchase from 1st March in digital and hardcover formats.

I’ve read Elizabeth Chadwick’s Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy which I enjoyed.  I do enjoy power plays/politics in historical fiction!  You can read the opening chapters of Templar Silks on Elizabeth Chadwick’s website.  What do you think?  


Beneath and Endless Sky Renita D'Silva


Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 1925.0 KB

Print Length: 430 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (16 Mar. 2018)

Language: English



An unforgettable and heart-wrenching story of love, betrayal and family secrets. In colonial India a young woman finds herself faced with an impossible choice, the consequences of which will echo through the generations…

1928. In British-ruled India, headstrong Sita longs to choose her own path, but her only destiny is a good marriage. After a chance meeting with a Crown Prince leads to a match, her family’s status seems secured and she moves into the palace, where peacocks fill the gardens and tapestries adorn the walls. But royal life is far from simple, and her failure to provide an heir makes her position fragile. Soon Sita is on the brink of losing everything, and the only way to save herself could mean betraying her oldest friend…

2000. When Priya’s marriage ends in heartbreak, she flees home to India and the palace where her grandmother, Sita, once reigned as Queen. But as grandmother and granddaughter grow closer, Priya has questions. Why is Sita so reluctant to accept that her royal status ended with Independence? And who is the mysterious woman who waits patiently at the palace gates day after day? Soon Priya uncovers a secret Sita has kept for years – and which will change the shape of her life forever…

A breathtaking journey through India from British rule to Independence and beyond; a world of green hills, cardamom-scented air, and gold thread glinting in the sun, brought to life by Renita D’Silva’s exquisite writing. If you love Kathryn Hughes, Dinah Jefferies or Kristin Hannah, this is the novel for you.

Available to purchase from 16th March in digital format.

I read and enjoyed The Stolen Girl in 2014 and do enjoy reading about the Indian culture and its people.  Who doesn’t love a secret in a novel 🙂 Definitely one to watch out for.


The Stranger Kate Riordan

Print Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Michael Joseph (22 Mar. 2018)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0718188063

ISBN-13: 978-0718188061



When you’re the outsider, who do you trust?

Cornwall, 1940.

For decades, Penhallow Hall has stood frozen in time, protecting the secrets of its isolated inhabitants. But the far corners of England are no shelter from the war, and Penhallow must finally open its doors to strangers.

Three newcomers arrive, each looking to escape their past. They adjust easily to the routine – nightly blackouts, the threat of invasion – but tensions mount and secrets are forced into the open. For one of them is not there by choice. And then, in the hushed hours of deepest night, a young woman is taken by the sea.

Was it simply a tragic accident? Or should the inhabitants of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

Available to purchase from 22nd March in digital and hardcover formats.

Paperback available in August.

I enjoy Cornish settings and this reminds me a little of Liz Fenwick (watch out for my review of One Cornish Summer coming soon!).  I also enjoy novels set during WWII.  And this sounds such an intriguing mystery too doesn’t it?


The Sapphire Widow Dinah Jefferies

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Viking (5 April 2018)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 024130377X

ISBN-13: 978-0241303771


Ceylon, 1935. Louisa Reeve, the daughter of a successful British gem trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill-seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Except what they long for more than anything: a child.

While Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much of his time at a nearby cinnamon plantation, overlooking the Indian ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner Leo, a rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not as it seems. And when Elliot’s shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa has only Leo to turn to…

Available to purchase from 5th April in digital and paperback formats.

Hardcover available from August.

Hands up.  I’m a big fan of Dinah Jefferies writing.  I haven’t missed one of her novels yet (you can read my reviews on the blog) and yes, The Sapphire Widow is on my tbr.  Dinah Jefferies writes from experience.  Settings come to life and always so full of emotions for me.  I can’t wait to read The Sapphire Widow!

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Mad Blood Stirring Simon Mayo

Paperback: 416 pages

Publisher: Doubleday (19 April 2018)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0857525166

ISBN-13: 978-0857525161



1815: The war is over but for the inmates at Dartmoor Prison, peace – like home – is still a long way away.

On the eve of the year 1815, the American sailors of the Eagle finally arrive at Dartmoor prison; bedraggled, exhausted but burning with hope. They’ve only had one thing to sustain them – a snatched whisper overheard along the way.

The war is over.

Joe Hill thought he’d left the war outside these walls but it’s quickly clear that there’s a different type of fight to be had within. The seven prison blocks surrounding him have been segregated; six white and one black. As his voice rings out across the courtyard, announcing the peace, the redcoat guards bristle and the inmates stir. The powder keg was already fixed to blow and Joe has just lit the fuse.

Elizabeth Shortland, wife of the Governor looks down at the swirling crowd from the window of her own personal prison. The peace means the end is near, that she needn’t be here for ever. But suddenly, she cannot bear the thought of leaving.

Inspired by a true story, Mad Blood Stirring tells of a few frantic months in the suffocating atmosphere of a prison awaiting liberation. It is a story of hope and freedom, of loss and suffering. It is a story about how sometimes, in our darkest hour, it can be the most unlikely of things that see us through.

Available to purchase from 19th April in digital, hardcover and paperback formats.

Simon Mayo’s first adult novel looks awesome doesn’t it!  I enjoy stories that blend fact and fiction.  I always need to be invested emotionally in a story for it to have any impact and Mad Blood Stirring looks to be an emotional read.

Mad Blood Stirring
The Sapphire Widow
The Stranger
Beneath an Endless Sky
Templar Silks

What draws you in for that second look?

Whether you buy online, browse the shelves in a bookshop or borrow from the library, if you’re an historical fiction fan I think you’ll agree with me that these novels deserved a second look.


Married with two sons in their early 20’s, I love my day job as an Inclusion Lead. I am passionate about early help, expressed not only in my setting but also as a member of Bournemouth’s Early Help Operational Board. It’s an honour to be working alongside others to instigate change and growth.

I’m also passionate about my love of reading, being out in nature and creating with crochet.

I’ve been blogging for seven years at Jera’s Jamboree.