This post was inspired by Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic of this week is ‘Genre Freebie’. I decided to go for historical fantasy, because it’s a mix of two of my favourite genres. The books are also a great way to temporarily escape this upsetting time. While writing this post, I noticed that I actually haven’t read a lot of books in this subgenre. I definitively want to change that. Here are my favourite historical fantasy books so far:
1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
The topic of this blog post was inspired by this book. Today I finished reading it, and I loved the setting: a fantasy version of medieval Russia. The writer used her own characters next to persons who actually lived at the time. She also included many creatures from Russian folklore. For example a domovoi, a household spirit who is believed to protect the house and his inhabitants.
2. Timekeeper by Tara Sim
This story is set in a version of London in 1875 where a damaged clock can fracture time. If a clock isn’t repaired on time, the time in a town just stops working. This is a very original story that also has an adorable romance between two boys.
3. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
This book could also be labelled steampunk or dieselpunk. It’s set in alternative version of the First World War. Austria-Hungary and Germany are called the clankers and use steam-powered war machines. The Darwinists, made up by the United Kingdom, France and Russia, have fabricated beasts. The story alternates between the English Deryn and Prince Aleksander from Austria-Hungary. I know many stories set during the Second World War, so it was interesting to read one about the more unknown First World War.
4. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno Garcia
The setting of this book is well-chosen by the Mexican writer: 1920s Mexico mixed with some Mayan mythology. This means there are ancient gods and demons, but also automobiles and fancy hotels. The result is a very interesting world.
5. The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero
This is a children’s book set during the Second World War. The writer actually added just one fantasy element: a living doll named Karolina. A magical wind brought her from the Land of Dolls in the hands of a dollmaker in Krakow. She makes all the difference, because she is like a little light in this beautiful story about a horrible time in history.