Historical fiction books make for some of the best reads. But it isn’t easy to always find the right book. The good news is that there are thousands of great historical fiction novels that you can easily find on the internet. We decided to narrow it down and list the five best historical fiction books of all time.
Choosing only five books for this list is a difficult task but not an impossible one. There are some historical fiction books that jump out and made making this list a little less stressful. I imagine not everyone is going to agree but that is always going to be the case as these lists are subjective. You can see the list below.
The Five Best Historical Fiction Books of All Time
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A book that was a must for this list is Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. That is a timeless classic and a book that is easily regarded as one of the greatest works of fiction. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy also falls under that description.
The next three books on the list are great books that I imagine won’t make everyone’s top five. The reason I chose them is because they are great works that have had a big impact since their publication. Their contributions cannot be ignored even if they don’t make your list.
An honorable mention that I feel bad about leaving off is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It also has had a big impact and is also regarded as one of the best fiction novels of all time. The reason I left it off the top five is that I think it is hyped a little too much.
That is all for our five best historical fiction books of all-time list. What novels would you have had on the list? Let us know in the comments below! Until next time, happy reading!
26 thoughts on “The Five Best Historical Fiction Books of All Time ”
The book thief is brilliant!
What about the brilliant “Clan of the Cave Bear” since series. Like your list, but surprised by “Outlander”???
I definitely agree on The Book Thief and Gone with the Wind! I’m not so sure about Outlander though…and where is A Tale of Two Cities?!?
So The Great Gatsby is “over-hyped” but that scrap of racist propaganda masquerading as fine literature called Gone With the Wind is considered by the author of this article(and apparently some of it’s readers) to be one of the greatest works of fiction .. ever? 😂😅😆😂😂
Nice job omitting The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. She did only win the Nobel for literature.
Things Fall Apart, really? China Achebe will sure be amused.
He did say his list wouldn’t be everyone’s. But way to be a nice person…
The Samurai’s Garden and Life and Death in Shanghai would be on my list.
I agree since Gone With the Wind is NOT historical fiction at all. Mitchell is not a writer, but far worse is the fact that her book omits the real history of that peiod, focusing instead on Melanie’s relationships. The only book that challenges …Wind… is Jubilee by Margaret Walker. Read it to see why.
Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall Trilogy–none better!
The Sot Weed Factor, by John Barth.
The Tin Drum, by Gunter Grass.
In German even better !
Beloved by Toni Morrison. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Outlander over To Kill a Mockingbird or All the Light We Cannot See or Tale of Two Cities? Best lists are so subjective.
Umm the man who killed the king??
I would have added Nightingale
A greatly underrated book:
Raintree County (American Civil War)
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Horse by Geraldine Brooks
These lists reveal the lack of breadth of your reading. Outlander?? Really?! Why not Fred Flintstone in book form?
Shogun. Tale of Two Cities. Patrick O’Brian’s sea novels. Colleen McCullough’s Rome novels.
You’d be better off surveying readers and taking a poll.
Calling “Gone With The Wind” historical fiction is oxymoronic. It isn’t historical, it’s fantastical racist propaganda, perpetuating the myth of the benevolent slaveholder and the loyal, willing slave — and oh yeah rationalizing the post-war terrorism against innocent, law abiding black citizens.
Are you serious? Books of brilliance? Most of these are inaccurate shlock, good for escapism if you can relax into cultural dominance but hardly historical
I hope you would consider Grossman’s Stalingrad and its sequal Life and Fate.
Thank you for these amazing suggestions. I’ve already read most of them and can’t wait to try those left. I recently came across a book called The Adventures of Yadel the Dreidel by Andy Lazris and I was hooked. It is a fiction that is based on some chilling stories. I am hooked to Andy Lazris’s book collection after this.