Best Historical Fiction Novel

Welcome back to the eighth month of Calendar Girls!ย Itโ€™s a monthly blog event co-hosted by Flavia and myself, and designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers. Calendar Girls was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl, (because Iโ€™mย an oldies fanatic. ๐Ÿ˜›) For more information, click here!


August’s Theme:
Best Historical Fiction Novel

Oh no. Uh… So… I’m not really sure how I managed to pick a historical fiction novel and not from a lack of choices. In fact, I used to read solely historical fiction when I was in high school and college, but the problem is… I forgot most of them! I know! I’m such a horrible excuse for a reader! But the problem was… after a while, the stories all started to blend together and I… haven’t thought about many of them in years. So… I guess I’ll just have to pick the one I remember the most, which is…

The Devil’s Queen
by Jeanne Kalogridis

Warning: This isย not a YA novel. It is not even PG-13, if I remember correctly. It’s extremely DARK… but that is why I love it!ย ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

The Devil’s Queen follows Catherine de Medici from when she was a young, orphaned woman with enough money to make her a target and into adulthood as she marries Prince Henry of France. Even from a tender age, she is shown the darkness of the world around her. She learns to do what she must to survive, including finding the inner strength that women must.

It really delves into her psyche and portrays just how much, or rather how little, a woman, even a queen, is worth during this time in history. Yet what I loved most about this story was the darkness within it. As some know, Catherine de Medici was believed to dabble in the occult and such a thing is brought into this story and woven in so beautifully. It adds such a dark, glorious tone that drew me in and sunk its claws in, barring me from leaving. That being said, this isn’t a book I would recommend for the faint of heart.ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you read The Devil’s Queenย yet?
If you haven’t, you should!


Calendar Girls’ picks for Best Historical Fiction Novel!

Flavia –ย The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtueย  by Mackenzi Lee
Katie –ย The Scarlet Pimpernelย by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Shanah –ย City of Thieves by David Benioff
Adrienne –ย The Dark Days Clubย by Alison Goodman
Lauren –ย Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Mandy –ย Out of the Easyย by Ruta Septeys
Dawlyn & Krista –ย The Book Thiefย by Markus Zusack
Sophie –ย Fall of Giantsย by Ken Follet
Deanna –ย The Gentlemanโ€™s Guide to Vice and Virtueย by Mackenzi Lee


September’sย Theme:
Bestย Contemporary Novel

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65 thoughts on “Best Historical Fiction Novel

        1. Hahahaha! Slowly? I only read HG after grudgingly watching the movie first. :p Never read Twilight, Vampire Academy, TMI, (insert various other ‘popular’ series here). I’m STILL trying to weed through the books I ignored for so long. Hahahaha!

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    1. Oh, I know why I quit. The stories became repetitive. It was like the historical fiction I was picking up (most likely because it was what I was interested in) was the same thing over and over again. There’s only so much I can take of the same era. I wanted something new and branched into Egyptian historical fiction for a while, but alas… I needed something new and untold. :p Though, I really want to go back. I miss court intrigue. You just don’t find that kind of thing in YA. sigh

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        1. Ah. Yeah. YA does become a smidge repetitive, but, I mean… there’s only 7 plotlines in the entire world. So… everything is technically a repeat of something else. ๐Ÿ˜‰ is such a geek

          And I’m jealous! I’m barely keeping on top of my current reading schedule so I won’t be ready My Lady Jane with you guys! But it looks soooo good!

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  1. Hi, I was thinking of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, excellent writer and student of history. However, I realised that people mostly choose historical fiction based on ‘people if note’; kings, queens, lords n ladies. But mu all time favourite novel in a historical setting is Perfume by Patrick Suskind – it was made into a film with Dustin Hoffman, absolute rubbish. Perfume is packed with description, especially odorous ones. Highly recommended if you like a walk on the dark side.

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    1. Hi, Alexandra! It looks like you’ve given your choice quite a bit of thought. Did you not want to join Calendar Girls and make a post? (You don’t have to participate every month if you don’t have time/don’t want to. Just a thought. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

      I think people pick notable people from history because there are SOOOO many books about them. It’s not as common (or not as well known) to find a historical fiction novel about a nobody. You know what I mean?

      Still, if you’re offering up some dark fiction, I will gladly devour it! Nom nom nom! Hee hee! ๐Ÿ˜€ (If you haven’t noticed already, I might be mildly crazy. :p )

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      1. Hi Melanie,
        Thank you for the invite. I would be interested, though I’m not sure what I can offer as your blog is already crammed with interesting posts; from yourself and others. I couldn’t promise anything regular, I don’t think as I have to fit my own blog around working hours. Send me an email with details of what you would like/expect, and I’ll see what I can conjure up!

        A

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh! You would post it on your own blog, Alexandra. ๐Ÿ™‚ On the first Monday of each month, all the Calendar Girls post their choice for that month’s theme to their own blogs. Then my co-host and I make a list so people can check out others’ choices and comment. It’s very low key and many of our participants skip a few here and there as their real life schedules get busy. Here’s all the information: https://mnbernardbooks.wordpress.com/calendar-girls/

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    1. Oh dear. It’s okay. I know that I read and am open to reading darker fiction than most people. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you don’t like dark, I definitely do not recommend. (though, much historical fiction in this particular time period tends to be dark. Oh, the scandals!)

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    1. I wanted to read a bunch of historical fiction before this month’s theme, but… I don’t know which box all my historical fiction is in!! >.< So frustrating. Still, I like my choice and I’ve never heard of ‘The Wild Queen.’ Is it about Catherine, as well?

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        1. Oh! That’s lame. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Sounds more like a history book than a fictional piece. What a shame. pushes to ‘not interested’ TBR

          And I loved Jackaby! You’re right, though, the historical element wasn’t very strong. It was there, obviously, as it was a time-period setting, but the actual interactions and what not were more fantasy than anything. Still, a good read. I have Beastly Bones (#2) sitting on my desk. I gotta read it… eventually. >.>

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              1. YASSS!!! That sounds like a plan!! B&N estimates it will be here in a week. I had the perfect timing when I used the $200 gift card my husband got from work because B&N had a special where I got $10 back for every $50 I spent, so I got 5 more free books!! fist pump

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    1. YAY! TBR love! I’m so happy to hear it, Mandy! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did and you’re not failing! (I barely remembered to scheduled my post and I’m your co-host! Bahahaha! Now, that would be failing. :p ) Looking forward to seeing your pick!

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  2. Oooooh, I’m SO adding this story to my TBR. It sounds amazing. I love Catherine from history, and I can imagine twisty, dark will be so good. Fantastic choice, Melanie! And I can’t wait to read it. (And my post will be up later in the week – I’m failing XD)

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      1. Aw don’t be! It’s still mostly a plan ๐Ÿ˜„ I have to woek every day this week but I try to read as much as possible before uni starts again! I want to get rid of the unread books I have at home ๐Ÿ˜‰

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            1. Haha! Perhaps we should’ve joined the Tackle your TBR challenge this year. :p Though, I bought quite a few of these books this year. So, they wouldn’t have been on my challenge list anyway. Hee hee!

              As to a top ten… uh…. >.> <.< >.> Can we wait until I actually have a TBR shelf? Hee hee! I’m supposed to be moving next week. ๐Ÿ˜€

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                1. Hahaha! The shelf of shame. You named yours? I think I’ll name mine ‘Steve.’ Wait. No. I don’t want a male bookshelf. So, it’ll be… ‘Darla.’ Yes. Darla, the bookshelf. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh. but then the other bookshelf might get jealous that IT doesn’t have a name. Um… wanders away muttering to self

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                  1. Haha mine should be called Daisy I think. Like the one from the Great Gatsby? I will referr to her as “Daisy aka. The shelf of shame” ๐Ÿ˜ƒ How many books should we takle? I go on to London on September 4th so I don’t think I’ll be able to read much then. How about 10 books for the rest of August? Is that too much/ not enough time? What do you think? ๐Ÿ™‚

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                    1. 0.0 I… I’ve never even read 10 books in a month! What ARE YOU?! Some kind of like… reading goddess?! And actually August is AWFUL for me. I have to move, go to orientation, set up a dozen meetings for school, etc, etc. Big life changes this month. :/

                      (There’s a reason my TBR is as bad as it is. Hahahaha!)

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                    2. Haha aw ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ˜ถ I dunoo… I just.. read.. then how many would you like to read? Would 3 be ok? ๐Ÿ™‚ wow that’s a lot going on. What kind or orientation are you doing?

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  3. Here’s my post Melanie: http://twobirds1blog.blogspot.ca/2017/08/calendar-girls-aug-2017-best-historical.html

    I haven’t read this one but it sounds fascinating and I do love dark. I’ve always thought Catherine de Medici an interesting figure but I haven’t read much about her. I think I’m going to have to check this one out at some point. Hah, Goodreads just informed me it’s already on my want to read shelf, excellent. Boo, my local public libraries don’t have it. Oh well, that’s what inter-library loans are for ๐Ÿ˜€

    I know exactly what you mean about reading one genre sooooo much that things start to run together, that’s why I try and punctuate/break up my reading by mixing in other genres, or at the very least throwing a graphic novel or two into the mix.

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    1. YAY! TBR love! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ And I have! I loooooved that show! I’m so sad it’s over now. sigh But Catherine truly was epic! She was definitely the fiercest female in the entirety of Europe! BAM! LIKE A BOSS! ๐Ÿ˜Ž Hee hee!

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            1. 0.0 Holy TBR, Batman! Thankfully, I think my excessive pickiness works to my advantage in this regard. I may have just over 1,000 books on my ENTIRE Goodreads account. goes to check

              …. Well… this is embarassing. I don’t even have 500 on my Goodreads account (that’s read, unread, etc.) blink blink

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