The 20 Must Read Historical Fiction Books of All Time

One of the most fascinating genres has to be historical fiction. It has tons of amazing novels and the amount of research authors do makes these story feel real. That is why we will be listing the 20 must read historical fiction books of all time. Keep reading to see which books made the list!

Choosing which novel to read from this genre is a tall task. With so many new and old novels to choose from, you can waste hours trying to decide. This list focuses on some of the best historical fiction books that are beloved by millions. You can see the full list below!

The 20 Must Read Historical Fiction Books of All Time

Historical Fiction Books to Read

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

There are many old and new classics on this list. Novels such as The Book Thief, The Nightingale, War and Peace, and Beloved jump out right away. These authors have kept the genre fresh and showcase the endless potential of historical fiction novels.

We can’t forget the books that have come to define the genre over the decades. Novels such as Gone with the Wind, All the Light We Cannot See, and Outlander are books new readers should read. To understand this genre, reading the best books is a must.

A Gentleman in Moscow book cover
A Gentleman in Moscow book review

One of my personal favorite books on this list is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. The setting, attention to detail, and storytelling make this a must read. I know little of Russian history and was fascinated with this world since the first page.


That ends this list of the 20 must read historical fictions books of all time. What books should we include in the next list? Let us know in the comments below!

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20 thoughts on “The 20 Must Read Historical Fiction Books of All Time

  1. Sharon says:

    The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult is my all time favorite book covering the Holocaust. I think it should definitely should be on the list!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don’t overlook The Clan of the Cave Bear series.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Anything written by Edward Rutherford (Sarum,London,The Forest,Paris,….) is a MUST read!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good list but missed All Quiet on the Western Front!! Maybe To Kill a Mockingbird is historical fiction at this point?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Definitely a multifaceted history novel.

  6. Nancy says:

    Any books by James Mitchener. They are amazing novels. 

    1. Dotty says:

      The Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wolf Hall and the two novels that followed by Hilary Mantel, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, I Claudius by Robert Graves, Imperium by Robert Harris, Dogs of War by Robert Stone, Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason, Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, Atonement by Ian McEwen, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

  8. Anonymous says:

    With Fire and Sword is a big gap; Quo Vadis too.

  9. Kath says:

    It is past time to remove from the list the sympathetic white nationalist pov of “Gone with the Wind”.

    Add “Cry, the Beloved Country” by Alan Paton or “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m amazed the Naploeonic War seafaring books by Patrick O’Brian aren’t on your list. He is widely acknowledged to be the best historical novelist in living memory.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati should be included.


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