6 New Historical Novels We Can’t Wait to Get Our Geeky Hands On

Half a dozen can't-miss titles landing this summer.

6 New Historical Novels We Can’t Wait to Get Our Geeky Hands On

Historical fiction is having a major moment. These days, it's cool to flaunt your love of the head-rolling Tudors or the sword-swinging Samurais by toting your favorite novel around. As the genre's devotees know, mixing a killer narrative with an exacting love of historical detail is the only real time-travel proven to science.

Here are six books coming out this summer that we know will serve as our own personal TARDIS:

  1. Flood of Fire by Amitov Ghosh. This, the final book in the Ibis trilogy, promises to launch us through the First Opium War. The first book was a tour de force, the second was rather meandering. Here's hoping Ghosh finishes the series with the triumph we know he's capable of.
  2. Game of Queens: A Novel of Vashti and Esther by India Edghill. Two queens, one king, and many, many years of history between them and us. Edghill is a fantastic researcher with a great ear for a story, and we know she'll turn this Old Testament tale into a revelation.
  3. French Concession: A Novel by Xiao Bai. Spying, secret arms deals, assassins, and sex in 1931 Shanghai sounds pretty captivating. Especially when the story is told by one of China's most acclaimed writers making his English-language debut.
  4. Newport by Jill Morrow. The Roaring Twenties come to life in this glitzy debut about family secrets, the decadent wealthy, and a beautiful young woman.
  5. The Exchange of Princesses by Chantal Thomas. In 1722, Spain and France trade two child princesses in a bid to cement their peace — and the French regent's ambition. But nothing goes as planned in this latest novel by French author Thomas, who previously wowed readers with her touching, delicate Farewell, My Queen.
  6. The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel. Okay, so including this on the list might be wishful thinking. Mantel's much-awaited conclusion to her prize-winning saga of Thomas Cromwell and his machinations is supposed to come out this summer, though even the author herself has hinted it might be next year. We'll light a candle to Henry VIII and hope.

Anyone wanting to indulge their inner historical-fiction geek is welcome to catch up with the Independent at this year's Historical Novel Society Conference on June 26-28 in Denver.

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