The 20 Best Historical Fiction Novels of All Time 

Historical books are always a pleasant read especially when the author does a lot of research on the time period. Some of my favorite novels fall under this genre and I am always looking for new books that are amazing to read. That is why we decided to list the 20 best historical novels of all time. Keep reading to see which novels made our list! 

The 20 Best Historical Fiction Novels of All Time 

Choosing only 20 historical novels was not easy. Some classics had to be left off but the list came out well. There are too many great novels and a bunch of lists could be made without any complaints from me. You can see the full list below! 

The 20 Best Historical Fiction Novels of All Time 

New and Old Classics 

There are a bunch of new and old classics on the list. Some of the new ones are The Book Thief, The Nightingale, A Gentleman in Moscow, and The Underground Railroad. I believe the genre is in good hands as many new authors have made a name for themselves. 

But we cannot forget the older classics and the authors that made the genre what it is. Classics such as Gone with the WindWar and Peace, and A Tale of Two Cities. Whether you like modern novels or classics, there are a lot of options ot choose from. 

Conclusion 

That is all for our list of the 20 best historical fictions novels of all time. What books should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below! 

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36 thoughts on “The 20 Best Historical Fiction Novels of All Time 

  1. Maria martin says:

    The General in his Labyrinth – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Reply
    1. Shimon Elstein says:

      Where are James Michener and James Clavell?

      Reply
    2. Sue says:

      Isabel Allende, too. And L.M. Jorden’s witty historical mysteries (Aconite, Queen of Poisons and Belladonna, Bitter Conduct) hare really historical novels with some mystery.

      Reply
      1. Samir Mokdad says:

        Repeat, again and again the same article about books…it is becoming boring !!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This list is useless without Gone With The Wind

    Reply
  3. Raymond says:

    You left out Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. A novel of the French Revolution. Great story also with an unusual ending. Still have a copy after fifty years. Sabatini was a bona Fide historian. He also wrote Captain Blood a story of Caribbean Pirates. Beautiful writing.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous says:

      What about Mary Stewart or Mary Renault just to start , most what list no where near.

      Reply
  4. Paul MLeary says:

    How could you leave War and Remembrance and it’s prequel Winds of War off of your list? These books trace in painstaking and carefully researched detail the rise, and ultimately the fall of Adolph Hitler, and the catastrophe he wrought upon the world.
    Hitler bears the moral responsibility for the deaths of 6 million people for the crime of being Jewish, along with the millions of others he regarded as misfits.
    No other novels have attempted to tell the story of that calamity on the scale that Herman Wouk did in these two books.

    Reply
      1. Anonymous says:

        Ben Hur was the best selling novel of the 19th century

  5. SJH says:

    Although categorized as a youth novel, The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a classic historical fiction read.

    Reply
  6. Winston says:

    A new book, West Point Deep Cover is based on a true story of a West Point cadet who is recruited by the CIA to be a deep cover spy within the Russian military. Check it out!

    Reply
  7. Laurie Prim says:

    The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith.

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  8. Dakota Burton says:

    Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus! It’s based on a real person and real events, but it’s still definitely a work of fiction. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes espionage, Norwegian history, WWIi history, etc. It is geared more towards teens/young adults, but I think adults would still enjoy it. I still do!

    Reply
  9. Pekka Karppinen says:

    Heaven Förbid, Mika Waltari “The Egyptian” is essential to this kind of list.

    Reply
  10. Jos says:

    The Plum Tree- I don’t know why more people don’t know about this book but it’s on my very short list of the best books ever written.

    Reply
  11. J Bertram says:

    Almost any of the Michener novels, but especially Hawaii, Centennial and Chesapeake…

    Reply
  12. Greg Purcell says:

    Killer Angels. It won a Pulitzer Prize and is mandatory reading if you plan to visit the Gettysburg battlefield.

    Reply
  13. Anonymous says:

    Read “The Scotland Spy” and “Legend of the Chinese Spy” for historic fiction. Both on Amazon.

    Reply
  14. Jennifer L Bobic says:

    I think you absolutely should have included The Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk, and The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. While these books center around real events (The Civil War and WW II), some or all of the characters were fictional, so they fall into the fiction label.

    Reply
  15. Anonymous says:

    James Michener (such as The Source, Hawaii and many others)
    Marie Benedict (such as Only woman in the room, The other Einstein, Personal Librarian)
    Erik Larsen’s The Splendid and the Vile

    Reply
  16. Anonymous says:

    The Cicero trilogy by Robert Harris. Also Enigma by him as well.

    Reply
  17. Al says:

    All the historical books by Larry Collins and Dominique LaPierre have been left out. Freedom at Midnight; Is Paris Burning; O! Jerusalam and many other by DLP with other authors.

    Reply
  18. Martin Forsey says:

    Wolf Hall is too brilliant to leave off.

    Reply
  19. Ed Ploog says:

    How about The Captain from Castile, The Last of the Mohicans, or The Black Rose?

    Reply
  20. Spears says:

    L.M.Jorden for historical early 20th c. Very witty social satire mysteries (Dr. JOSEPHINE SERIES) with unusual characters..also Samson’s Shardlake medieval series. These are both great If you like historical mysteries that are very well researched and written by historians.

    Reply

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