Here are twelve initial selections, in order by author surname. At least one more post in this series will be going online this month. Please let me know of any other recommended titles in the comments.
A young woman's life enclosed in a small cell within a village church in 13th-century England proves to be surprisingly intense and dramatic. FSG, May.
She was fated to be known in myth and legend as Helen of Troy, but in this inspired retelling of her early life, Helen aims to flee her predestined life with the help of Theseus, the son of Poseidon. Lake Union, April.
The setting is 13th-century Bohemia, which is fabulous in itself, but also of interest is the storyline: a young woman, possibly with supernatural abilities, becomes the personal healer to King Ottakar while figuring out the mystery of her origins. Pegasus, November.
The Australian author's first mainstream historical novel depicts Napoleonic France from the viewpoint of an English baronet's daughter who becomes an unwitting spy. William Morrow, June 30.
The first novel in Courtney's Queens of the Conquest trilogy, which I've been highly anticipating, focuses on Edyth, the granddaughter of Lady Godiva, and her unexpected path to power during the last days of Saxon England. Macmillan UK, May.
Curry's debut novel traces the life of Sai Jinhua, a late 19th-century courtesan who left a controversial legacy due to her role in influencing China's relationship with the West. Dutton, September.
Dallas, a favorite chronicler of western fiction about strong women, sets her newest novel in a small Colorado mining town in 1880, when a trusted midwife must defend herself against a murder charge.
St. Martin's, September 30.
Sensuality, decadence, and self-discovery as a young Italian woman in 1913 Buenos Aires disguises herself as a man to pursue her dream of playing the violin in a troupe of tango musicians. Knopf, July.
A new novel from Sara Donati, who's been absent from the literary scene for a few years, is reason to celebrate in itself. Here she continues her family saga with two young women, both physicians in 1880s New York, who are forced to make tough life decisions. Berkley, September.
From the author of Queenmaker, Wisdom's Daughter, and Delilah, three compelling and historically authentic novels of biblical women, comes a re-interpretation of the ancient story of Vashti and Esther in the court of King Ahasuerus. St. Martin's, September.
Subtitled "a novel of love and rebellion," this is the love story of Katharina von Bora, a nun in 16th-century Germany who fled her cloistered life, and Martin Luther, leader in the Protestant Reformation. Hedlund is an acclaimed inspirational historical novelist. WaterBrook, October.
Hoffman's literary novel recounts the little-known story of impressionist painter Camille Pissarro's mother, Rachel, a Jew growing up on the isle of St. Thomas in the early 19th century. Simon & Schuster, August.