Thursday, June 21, 2007

Two historical novels to watch for

You know it's going to be a weird day when you stagger up the steps to the post office, a huge bin of packages in both hands, and the postal clerk greets you by asking if you can tell there's a dead mouse somewhere under the counter. (No, I couldn't.)

Then we traded dead mouse stories. We have three cats and live out in the country, what can I say.

But on to book news. Gillian Bradshaw has a new Roman-era novel, Dark North, out this month. If you haven't heard about it, don't be surprised. Severn House is a hardcover library publisher, so you won't be seeing it in bookstores. I know about it mainly because a Bradshaw fan wrote in via the HNS website. Amazon has it for sale, but the date is wrong - it's June, not September, and if you plan to get a copy, I suggest ordering sooner rather than later. I had to wait six months to get her earlier Alchemy of Fire because it sold out fast, but they did a 2nd printing.

According to the blurb, it's set in Roman Britain circa 208 AD, and deals with an African cavalry scout who gets involved in imperial intrigue after he saves the life of a beautiful attendant to Empress Julia Domna (wife of Septimius Severus, who's on a mission to conquer Scotland). There aren't many novels set around this period of history, I don't believe.

Also, Valerie Anand has a new historical novel forthcoming this November, from Mira. The House of Lanyon, per information I found on a Harlequin blog, is a multigenerational story set in 15th century England. The small print on the cover says "The Exmoor Saga," which makes me think it's first in a series. I never really followed her Elizabethan mystery series (written as Fiona Buckley), but if this is anything like her Bridges Over Time series - one of my favorites - it will be something to look forward to. It's the first novel she's written under her own name in over ten years. This would go on my Christmas list, but I have a feeling I'll be buying it before then. Great cover, too. The UK publication date (also Mira) is April 2008, per an editor there.

My report on Willocks' The Religion, as promised - I'll be doing a full writeup in my next NoveList column (November; August is already turned in), but I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite its having possibly more gory scenes than any other historical novel I've read. Now that says something.


  1. Those look interesting. (And no headless woman covers on either?)

  2. Och, I so want to read that Bradshaw novel.

    Danngit, how do you get an English library book in Germany?

  3. I had better not ever see a headless woman cover on a Gillian Bradshaw novel. (It would so not fit.)

    Good question, Gabriele. Does give any payment options you can use? It's listed there.

  4. Oh, that looks like treats that book like any other and I can get it free of shipping in September. Let's hope the conditions won't change.

  5. I love the cover, but am mystified (unless it's a plot point) as to why the publisher chose an image of a very 19th c. statue ("The Falconer" in Central Park) for a novel set in ancient Rome

  6. Really? That's very funny, actually. They may have been hoping no one would notice.

  7. Oh, it's definitely "The Falconer." I live near the park, it's my favorite statue, so I pay it a visit whenever I get the chance to take a walk in the park!