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so ask already!!! > Historical romances preferably before the 1500s

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message 1: by Kay (new)

Kay (rekindling) | 27 comments I'm looking to read some historical romances (not Harlequin, bodice ripping romances). Sex is completely fine, as long as it's not the centerpiece of the story. Wit, character development, and plot are important to me.

I have no geographical preference, and I'm fine with any time period of human history, though I do prefer time periods before the modern era (~1500s and before). In fact, I'm very curious to see if there are good books people have read that are set in bronze to iron age civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia etc) or even during the Cro-magnon or pre-history periods. (Those don't need to be romance--just would be interested in anything good.)

I'd prefer if the narrator had a strong voice and were an active mover in the story, not just an observer of historical events. I like war and power struggles as well, but they are not necessary. I'm just looking to be immersed in the history as well as the characters and their romance!

Oh, and if there is a book set post-1500s that you really enjoyed, please share! You can never add too many books to the to-read pile. :)

message 2: by Kay (new)

Kay (rekindling) | 27 comments Thanks, Elizabeth! I have heard nothing but good things about this book and have it in my Amazon shopping cart.

Algernon (Darth Anyan) | 74 comments Have you tried Guy Gavriel Kay? He is usually considered a writer of fantasy, but for me most of his books after Fionnavar Tapestry are solidly anchored in historical events and magic is almost non-existent. And romance plays a part of the plot most of the time. My favorites are:

- Sailing to Sarantium set in the Byzantine Empire
- Under Heaven set during the Song dynasty in China (1400?)
- The Lions of al-Rassan set during the Reconquista in Andaluzia
- A Song for Arbonne set in Provence in the time of the troubadours

message 4: by Kay (new)

Kay (rekindling) | 27 comments I *love* GGK! I've only read this Fionavar Tapestry books, but I love them to death. And considering they were his early works, I am very hopeful for those that follow. I'm actually looking more for real history, but the GGK books you've listed are tempting, especially Lions.

message 5: by Betsy (last edited Jun 12, 2013 04:51PM) (new)

Betsy | 182 comments Have you considered Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children saga. I didn't see them among your books. There are 7 books, starting with The Clan of the Cave Bear; I enjoyed all of them but the last one. Set during the rise of the CroMagnun at about 30,000 years ago. Very well researched although the first books pre-date some of the latest discoveries. Lots of description of geography, flora, and fauna, and a very well imagined culture, but focused on a couple of fascinating characters.

Another series you might enjoy is Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles. Six (I think) books set in the 1500's (early Elizabethan), starting with The Game of Kings. Follows the black sheep of an aristocratic Scottish family throughout most of the known world at that time. He enjoys many adventures, bumping up against most major historical figures, influencing some. I enjoyed the books very much. I think they are well researched, fairly detailed history (but I'm not a historian). Also very enjoyable character-driven adventure, with some romance. Dunnett also has another series (the House of Niccolo) that prequels the Lymond Chronicles, set in Renaissance Italy. I haven't read them yet, though they are on my TBR list.

message 6: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 149 comments It's been ages since I read these, so I don't really remember how bodice-rippery they are, but you might check out Joan Wolf. She has a series set in prehistoric France and another about King Arthur and the Saxons.

message 7: by Kay (last edited Jun 13, 2013 10:08AM) (new)

Kay (rekindling) | 27 comments Betsy: Wow, thanks so much for the recs. I apparently have heard of the Clan of the Cave Bear because I marked it as to-read...and forgot about it. I did not realize I even shelved that book until I searched for it just now. That books sounds perfect! I can't wait to start reading it! I'll take a look into the Game of Kings as well.

Christy: Joan Wolf's books sound interesting! Thanks for telling me about them!

I'm so pleasantly surprised with all of the books noted here, especially the ones in the prehistoric age. I wasn't even sure there was literature set during that time period, so these recs are fantastic.

Sam~~ we cannot see the moon, and yet the waves still rise~~ | 110 comments It looks like this link might be helpful to you, although I can't really tell which of them are romances without going through book by book.

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