Historical Musings #34: Historical fiction to look out for in 2018

This time last year, I put together a list of upcoming historical fiction releases that I was looking forward to in 2017. For my first Historical Musings post of 2018, I’ve decided to do the same.

The publication dates I’ve given are for the UK only and may be subject to change. The dates for other countries could be slightly different – maybe you’ve already had the opportunity to read some of these! I haven’t provided a synopsis for each book, but the ‘find out more’ links will take you to Goodreads or other sites where you can find more information.

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The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
25 Jan 2018
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I’ve actually just finished reading this one but am still including it here as it hasn’t been published yet. You’ll have to wait to read my thoughts until later in the month.

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The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin
1 February 2018
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This sounds like a book I should enjoy; a dark and atmospheric novel set in 1830s London. I have a review copy so should be reading it very soon.

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The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements
8 February 2018
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Having read Katherine Clements’ first two novels, I have been looking forward to her third one. A ghost story set in seventeenth century Yorkshire, it sounds a bit different from her others.

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Templar Silks by Elizabeth Chadwick
1 March 2018
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Elizabeth Chadwick’s new novel is another to feature William Marshal, the hero of several of her earlier books. I still haven’t read The Scarlet Lion, so I’m planning to read it while I’m waiting for Templar Silks.

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The Fire Court by Andrew Taylor
5 April 2018
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Andrew Taylor’s latest historical mystery is the sequel to The Ashes of London. James Marwood and Cat Lovett are investigating a series of murders which take place in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London, as the city is starting to rebuild.

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Circe by Madeline Miller
19 April 2018
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It’s been a long wait since Madeline Miller’s first novel, The Song of Achilles, was published in 2011, but Circe is here at last. I’m expecting another combination of Greek mythology and historical fiction, this time telling the story of the witch Circe from the Odyssey.

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Jane Seymour, the Haunted Queen by Alison Weir
3 May 2018
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The third book in Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series about the six wives of Henry VIII is, unsurprisingly, the story of Jane Seymour. I have read about Jane less often than Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, so I’ve been looking forward to this one. I’m not sure why Jane is ‘the haunted queen’ but maybe I’ll find out when I read the book.

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Queen of the North by Anne O’Brien
31 May 2018
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I have enjoyed several of Anne O’Brien’s previous novels, so I’m sure I’ll be reading her new one. Queen of the North will tell the story of Elizabeth Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Edward III and wife of Henry Percy (better known as Hotspur).

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The Poison Bed by EC Fremantle
14 June 2018
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This historical thriller seems to be a slight change of direction for Elizabeth Fremantle (author of novels such as The Queen’s Gambit and Watch the Lady), which must be why it’s being published under a different name. I can’t wait to read it, especially as the subject of the novel (the Overbury Scandal of 1615) is something I read about for the first time just last year.

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The Romanov Empress by CW Gortner
10 July 2018
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I love Russian history so I’m looking forward to CW Gortner’s new novel which is about Maria Feodorovna, mother of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II.

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The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola
26 July 2018
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This is Anna Mazzola’s second novel (I read her first, The Unseeing, last year) and it sounds fascinating: a “period novel of folk tales, disappearances and injustice set on the Isle of Skye”.

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Court of Wolves by Robyn Young
9 August 2018
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Not much information available about this one yet, but it will be the second in Robyn Young’s New World Rising series which began with Sons of the Blood and is set in Renaissance Europe.

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A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland
6 Sept 2018
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This sounds like a good one to read later in the year when the nights are getting darker. It’s described as a medieval thriller in which “Religious fervour meets pagan superstition”. Maitland is another author whom I have previously enjoyed, so I will definitely be looking out for this one in September.

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A few others I’m interested in reading:

Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce – 5 April 2018
The Cursed Wife by Pamela Hartshorne – 19 April 2018
The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson – 3 May 2018
The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst – 3 May 2018
The House of Gold by Natasha Solomons – 3 May 2018
The Pharmacist’s Wife by Vanessa Tait – 4 May 2018
The Tudor Crown by Joanna Hickson – 31 May 2018
For the Immortal by Emily Hauser – 14 June 2018
The Dying of the Light by Robert Goolrick – 3 July 2018

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Are you looking forward to any of these books – or have you already had the chance to read some of them? Which other historical fiction novels coming in 2018 have caught your eye?

34 thoughts on “Historical Musings #34: Historical fiction to look out for in 2018

    • Helen says:

      The good thing about the Alison Weir series is that they all stand alone so you don’t need to read the previous ones. I enjoyed the Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn books, but I think I’ll find the Jane Seymour one more interesting as I know less about her.

  1. Elle says:

    I loved The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, have proofs of The Wicked Cometh and The Sealwoman’s Gift, and am thinking that The Fire Court will do really well at the bookshop. So will Circe, probably (though I wasn’t a huge fan of The Song of Achilles), and The Illumination of Ursula Flight.

  2. lauratfrey says:

    Circe – I’ve just started a reread of The Odyssey, so depending how that goes, could be of interest. The Russian one looks good too, and the cover on that “darkest London” one is gorgeous!

  3. jessicabookworm says:

    I am also very much looking forward to Queen of the North by Anne O’Brien, The Tudor Crown by Joanna Hickson and Jane Seymour, the Haunted Queen by Alison Weir; the latter of which I already have a review copy of. I am also excited to hear Elizabeth Fremantle is bringing out something a bit different.

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad you’re looking forward to some of these books too, Jessica. I’ve enjoyed all of Elizabeth Fremantle’s previous books so it will be interesting to see what her new one is like.

  4. CLM says:

    Several authors I have not encountered; thank you. I too am a bit behind with Elizabeth Chadwick but was thinking of her affectionately last night while reviewing a 9th century historical in which a careless character said, “I guess…”

    Song of Achilles was not my usual thing but I thought it was very well done. I went to an author reading and as I was sitting down I got an urgent phone call and had to leave. I felt bad I wasn’t able to tell the author how much I admired her creativity. Several friends who have been in a book group with me for 20+ years decided to read it with our four mothers, and I was impressed these nice 80 year old ladies all liked it too.

    My book group does not love historical fiction as much as I do but I was able to persuade them to read Dawn’s Early Light by Elsywth Thane (my all time favorite series) which is newly back in print last month.

    • Helen says:

      It irritates me when I see characters in historical novels using inappropriately modern language too. It doesn’t always prevent me from enjoying the book, but I always notice it!

      I didn’t know the Elswyth Thane books were back in print. I’ve been wanting to read them for a long time, so that’s great news. Thanks!

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