Thursday, March 06, 2014

Small press spotlight: new and forthcoming historical novels, part 2

And here's a second gallery of upcoming historical novels from small & independent presses.  In many cases they incorporate settings used by very few other novelists and the variety they offer is just one of the reasons these publishers play a valuable role in the publishing industry.  If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

The next gallery, covering historical mysteries, will be posted next Friday, March 14th, when I'll be attending (and hanging out with other librarians and publishers at) the Public Library Association conference in Indianapolis. More guest posts and reviews will be forthcoming before then, too.

This volume about Edwin, High King of Britain in the early 7th century, launches a new series about the Christian kings of Northumbria.  Lion Fiction, April 2014.

A fictional retelling of a remarkable man, Thomas Greene Wiggins ("Blind Tom,"), a visually impaired musical performer who was born into slavery in the mid-19th century.  Graywolf, June.

From the pseudonymous author of The Ruins of Lace comes a new historical novel about three women a nun, an outcast, and a princess – in 10th-century France.  Each prays desperately to Saint Catherine for a miracle to change her life.  Sourcebooks, April 2014.

This romantic historical novel of ancient times retells the story of a legendary pair of lovers: Helen, Princess of Sparta, and Paris of Troy.  Mythmakers, April 2014.

A sweeping romantic epic set at the time of Mary Queen of Scots, originally published in 1983 (as Love's Pirate).  The author is best known today for her contemporary mysteries.  Camel Press, February 2014.

In small-town Wales in the '20s, a shy undertaker impulsively proposes marriage to a young woman he hardly knows but quickly regrets it only to find he can't withdraw his offer so easily.  This novel of social morals and values seems light and quirky at first... but keep reading.  (I can highly recommend it.)  Europa Editions, February 2014.

A novel with parallel narratives involving mothers and daughters, with the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 at their center.  The author is the daughter of Hungarian refugees and incorporates details from her family history in her latest novel.  Poisoned Pen Press, September 2013.

Literary fiction about a real-life artist, Wang Meng, in 14th-century China; he encounters many memorable characters as he travels through a politically turbulent land.  Overlook, April 2014.

This multi-voiced narrative, set in Northampton, Massachusetts, in the 18th century, follows the life and times of Jonathan Edwards, a powerful theologian who helped bring about the First Great Awakening.  Small Beer Press, October 2013.

A novel of war, politics, and family set in a troubled 15th-century Scotland, as John Sempill, the last son in his line after his father's death on the battlefield, must forge a new life under the country's new king.  Hadley Rille, September 2013.

A novel comprised of three interlinked stories set in 14th-century France; Christine de Pizan, a notable woman writer of medieval Europe, figures strongly in the first installment. Fireship, May 2013.

Wiederanders' debut takes as its subject the relationship between Fanny Osbourne, an aspiring artist and still-married American, and Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson.  Yes, this is the same couple featured in another recent novel, although this one has a narrower focus: the year 1879, when he crossed sea and land to convince her to marry him.  Fireship, March 2014.


  1. There some books that look interesting.

  2. The new series by Albert sounds interesting - I'll have to check that one out!

    1. There really isn't much written about that time period. I found a spotlight article about the publisher earlier today in Library Journal. They're Christian-based but make a point of emphasizing historical realism and avoiding preachiness.

  3. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Some of these look interesting, Sarah. I like that you are doing this with the small and self publish press books. Glad to see one from Fireship in there.

    1. Fireship has been picking up many excellent titles - I always look forward to seeing their latest catalog.