*I'm preemptively cutting rereads from consideration because obviously I loved them or I wouldn't have read them again.
1) The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland
Friends. I don't even LIKE American History. I could care less about the Revolutionary War, to be perfectly honest. It's not even remotely my period in any way, shape, or form. But Thorland sucks me in like none other, and The Rebel Pirate was a phenomenal follow-up to The Turncoat, which might have been my number one book if I hadn't discounted rereads. Honestly, even just thinking about this book, now I kind of want to reread The Rebel Pirate AND The Turncoat... So. I guess what I'm really saying is -- buy them both immediately if you haven't.
2) The Conqueror's Wife by Stephanie Thornton
If you haven't read any of Stephanie Thornton's book yet, I don't know where you've been or what you've been doing with your life, but you need to get on it. I've read three books that tackle Alexander the Great so far in my life, and The Conqueror's Wife is by far and away the most engaging to date. I defy you NOT to love Hephaestion and Drypetis, and as always, Thornton proves herself an absolute master when it comes to weaving the Ancient World.
3) Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell
Ragnar and Uhtred are reunited in this book and their chemistry is fantastic. I'd been a little luke-warm on the preceding volumes, feeling like there was something missing for me, personally, to enjoy them as much as I'd like, but this one knocked it out of the park so hard I immediately ordered the next in the series. So for those of you who may have stopped reading the Saxon stories after book one or book two, man, book three made it all so worth it. Definitely give it another go if you were on the fence! (Also that cover is gorgeous.)
4) The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
This book was a perfect blend of mystical/spiritual and historical. It's definitely an example of what I'd love to see more of in the historical fiction genre, as far as the blending of those two elements goes. We need books like these, because without the spiritual to give us context for the cultural, we lose an important piece of the puzzle in helping us to understand one another. And while there were moments that didn't surprise me, perhaps, as much as I might have liked, it didn't prevent me from hugely enjoying this read.
5) Age of Bronze by Eric Shanower
Okay, this is maybe cheating a little because I only read the most recent two graphic novels in 2016 -- the first two I read in 2015. BUT. I really want to recommend this as a whole thing, not just one volume, because it is one of the most meticulous and absolutely thorough retellings of the Trojan War mythology I've ever come across. Every side story, every footnote, every hero is represented right down to Theseus's sons, and the art is phenomenally researched too. There's no Hollywood Roman nonsense happening in these panels. It's the real deal, and I'm personally super eager to read more!
If you want to know what my Top 5 Non-Hist Fic Reads were in 2016, Klikk Klikk!
And if you missed it, last week you got a very special teaser for DAUGHTER OF A THOUSAND YEARS, my next release, coming your way February 21! So check it out -- and if you enjoy it, don't forget to pre-order and mark it to-read on Goodreads!
Amazon | Barnes&Noble | IndieBound