Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Settings I Love & Ones I Want To See More Of

Other Bookish Posts

Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Settings I Love & Ones I Want To See More Of

Historical Settings That I Love

Ancient Rome: if I see a book is set in ancient Rome, I am all over it! Emperors, gladiators, soldiers, doesn’t matter to me! My favorite series to encapsulate ancient Rome is Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. I’d love to see it used more in YA! I did loveCurses and Smoke by Vicky Alvear Shecter which was set during the Mt. Vesuvius eruption in AD 79 Pompeii.

Ancient Greece: more specifically, retellings of the Trojan War, Helen of Sparta, or Greek mythology. And Alexander the Great! My clear favorite is The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller but I’ve read a number of excellent Helen books and I lovedLord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell. Again, more YA please!

Ancient Egypt: I actually haven’t read much about ancient Egypt except The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George but I am always attracted to books set anywhere in the time period. I have a few books on my list, including Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray and Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton.

Royal England: if it has to do with the English court (or let’s be honest, England in general), in any time period, I will read it. I absolutely, positively CANNOT resist reading about English royalty! The Plantagenets, Stuarts, Alfred the Great, William the Conquerer, King Arthur (hah)… while I’m a little Tudor’d out, I still love books about them, like Gilt and Maid of Secrets. Really looking forward to My Lady Jane and Traitor Angels. I also loved Patricia Bracewell’s 11th century novel about Emma of Normandy, Shadow of the Crown. And I LOVED Scarlet by AC Gaughen, so I’ll definitely take more Robin Hood retellings. I would DIE for a YA Eleanor of Aquitaine book or a YA star crossed love story of my 16th great-grandparents John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford!

Early 20th century dual timeline: generally speaking, I’m not a fan of WWI/WWII novels. The exception is when it’s worked into a dual timeline novel a la Kate Morton. I like the juxtaposition of timelines and characters against the wartime backdrop.

Regency England (19th century): aka for fans of Jane Austen! Always gets me. I adore Regency settings; they’re so lovely and witty and charming. Even better if a little magic is worked in there! A few favorites include the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig and Courtship and Curses by Marissa Doyle.

Colonial America (17th century): I haven’t read a lot of books set in 17th century America but I very much like the idea of them, especially if they deal with witchcraft or the lead up to the Revolution. And pirates! I have The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland on my TBR. And I would LOVE to find a good novel about the mystery of Roanoke or a YA novel about the Mayflower.

Renaissance Italy (16th century): I adore art history so I’m especially drawn to books about art in Renaissance Italy. I’m REALLY looking forward to The Other Michelangelo by Marissa Moss! I also have a series about the Borgias by Kate Quinnthat I need to read.


Historical Settings I Want To See More Of

Prehistory: I haven’t read any books set during the prehistoric era, but Ivory and Bone is on my list and I can’t wait! I would love to read the classic Clan of the Cave Bear someday too. It’s such a rich time period that could reach many different corners of the globe; I’d love to read about the first humans in Africa, or our ancestors crossing the Bering Strait into North America.

Atlantis: I have loved the myth of Atlantis since I was a child and I would KILL for a historical fiction title set during the fall of Atlantis. It’s more myth that history but no different than King Arthur or Troy if you think about it.

More Alternate History: if a historical book is pitched as a What If, I need it. I absolutely LOVE Laura Andersen’s alternate Tudor series, the first of which deals with Henry IX, the son of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. It’s an exciting mix of historical fiction without knowing how the story ends. I love Rook by Sharon Cameron too and can’t wait to read The Ring and the Crown. I want more alternate history, of all settings!

Ancient Middle East: more books set in Israel! Mesopotamia! Arabia! I love the recent YA trend of Arabian nights and Aladdin retellings, like A Thousand Nights and the upcoming The Forbidden Wish, but I’d love more of other Middle Eastern cultures as well. And I’d love some YA books on Biblical figures such as King David and Esther.

Ancient Hawaii/Polynesia/Mesoamerica: speaking of ancient cultures, I’d love to read about Hawaii’s rich mythology and history, and its connection to Polynesia. I’m fascinated by their last queen Liliuokalani too. And their relationship to English explorers/the U.S. I’d also love to read about the Mayans, the Aztecs, Native Americans, and other indigenous cultures of the Americas all in the context of an amazing story. I’ve barely read any.

Ireland/Scotland: pre-Anglo Saxon, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, Druids, the Scottish Stuarts, Irish legends (Tristan and Isolde!). More more more! I have Deception’s Princess to read and I was SO looking forward to The Innkeeper’s Daughterbut it’s no longer being published :(

Vikings: I love Vikings and Norse culture, in theory! I need to watch the show and read more about them, but I find the history absolutely fascinating, especially the women. Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon series on Vikings and Alfred the Great’s quest to unite England into one kingdom is fantastic but I’d love to see some books that mix battle with other parts of their society and culture. I have Bracelet of Bones and Hidden (based on the legend of the first Norse woman pirate!!!) on my TBR.

Would you like to see more books from these settings? Do you love the same settings I do? Have any recs for me? Comment below!




Morgan @ Gone with the Words

44 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Settings I Love & Ones I Want To See More Of”

  1. Avatar

    Tasia @ Lalipop Blog

    I love that you included Hawaii/Polynesia on your list. Iʻm from Hawaii/Hawaiian so Hawaiian history and culture is so important to me and I like when people know the real story of what happened in Hawaii. Youʻre making me want to write a book about Hawaiian history just to fulfill your wish, haha!

  2. Avatar

    Hannah @ Broc's Bookcase

    The Trojan War made my list this week too and King Arthur & Robin Hood!!! (great minds think alike!)
    I was thinking about books set in the time of volcanic eruptions last night, I didn’t know there was already some around! Ooooo Atlantis would be amazing!
    Great choices! Happy reading!!!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Yay!! Indeed, those are three awesome subjects :) I haven’t read many besides Curses but I’m sure they must exist somewhere. I’m dyingggg for a good Atlantis book, wouldn’t it be fun!

  3. Avatar


    Prehistoric has made quite a few lists this week! It’s something that never would have crossed my mind, but I can’t help but be intrigued by it now!

    My TTT.

    Also, feel free to check out our giveaway.

  4. Avatar

    Kim Griffin

    Great list! I’d love to see books set in the early 20th century too, and I love royal England! I’ve always been interested in Atlantis also and I love the Greek and Roman mythology, so any books related to that would be great. I love how you’ve given some examples of books in these areas, now I can add them to my TBR list! Thanks! Here’s my TTT. Happy reading! New follower!

  5. Avatar


    I haven’t read any set in Italy I don’t think or the Vikings but I’m definitely interested in discovering some- great picks lovely and I am loving your gifs!

    Here’s my TTT @ Emma’s Bookery if you would like to check it out, have a great day :-) xo

  6. Avatar

    Laura @ Scribbles & Wanderlust

    MORGAN, have you read DARK DAYS CLUB? It’s a paranormal detective series set in Regency England. If you haven’t read it already, you might like it!

    For some reason I thought you DID enjoy WWI/WWII novels BECAUSE of the Kate Morton connection. But that makes sense. Dual timelines and parallel structures are fun to read. Did I send you LETTERS FROM SKYE? That’s WWI/WWII dual timeline AND Scotland.

    READ PATRICIA BRACEWELL. She hits so many of your Loves/Wants. And Paula Brackston!

    I, too, have eyed Clan of the Cave Bear. Maybe we should read that together sometime? And along those same lines, I’ve heard fans of Outlander enjoyed that and Sara Donati’s American Revolution books. All of these are big reads, but supposedly very good.

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      I just ordered Dark Days Club; I’ve checked it out of the library a couple times and sent it back unread. It’s so long that I don’t want the pressure of a due date haha! I hope I like it too :) I can totally see where you would think that, but yes my WWI/II love is rather specific. YOU DID! I very much want to read it, it’s on my summer TBR.

      I’ve read her first book and looooved it! The Price of Blood is calling my name. I have to try Paula Brackston, her books always sound so intriguing and those lovely covers!

      My friend loved the Cave Bear series and she and I have very similar reading taste so I bet we would both enjoy it! Someday :) Haha.

  7. Avatar

    Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    Oh man! I am so with you on several of these settings! Ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt are no brainers for me. I can’t get enough of those! (Such a sucker for mythology) I also love Colonial America too!

    I would love to see more Viking and Ireland/Scotland too!

  8. Avatar

    Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense

    I’d love to see more books about ancient Egypt, I don’t think I’ve ever read one. Alternate histories are always really interesting to explore. I love the Regency Era as well, one can never have too much Austen. Great list!

  9. Avatar

    Alexa S.

    Morgan!! I love, love, love this post, and if I had done Top Ten Tuesday this week, I’ve no doubt mine would have looked VERY similar. I’m mostly fond of reading Regency England stories, but I’ve definitely dabbled a bit in the others you’ve mentioned. But I mostly wanted to comment to say that I would LOVE more books set in Ireland/Scotland, and in Atlantis. That would be EPIC. Plus, authors can’t go wrong with more YA in any of these settings!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Thank you!!! I bet it would be too :D That’s the thing, I can find quite a bit more of these as adult books, which is great, but more YA would be so wonderful! And I really want Atlantis! Haha.

  10. Avatar

    Samantha @ A History of Books

    Reading your list made me realize how much I left out. I was also thinking that I would like to see more of the Dark Ages, The Fall of Rome, Braveheart style books or the Jacobins (More outlander but YA!), or even the Crusades. Theres so many books on here I haven’t read yet, and I must add them to my TBR immediately! I also go to thinking, maybe more retellings of Ancient Greece with the Persian War. The possibilities are endless! I bought Rook a few months ago, and I’ve been dying to read it but other books have taken priority. It looks so good and that cover is beautiful. I recently read Blackhearts and I really loved that one if you like Blackbeard. I think you would like the romance in that one. I’m definitely going to be keeping a more careful eye out for historical fiction, and I’ll send recs along to you if I find hidden gems!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Woohoo, the TBR mountain grows! Ooh the Persian War would be interesting! Did you ever end up reading Rook? I still need to read Blackhearts, it sounded great. I remember you had a good review for it. Yay that sounds awesome, thanks! More hist fic for all :)

  11. Avatar

    Cam @ cammminbookland

    We have such similar tastes! I actually found myself gasping and nodding enthusiastically to many of your Want-To-See books because YESSSS NEED TRISTAN AND ISOLDE BOOKS!

    For Ancient Middle East, have you read Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little, or The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh?

  12. Avatar

    Mary @ Literary Distractions

    I agree with everything on this list! I especially love Ancient Egypt, Royal England, and Colonial America settings, but your list of settings we need more of is spot on as well. I will back you up 100% to any publisher demanding for more books based in Ancient and pre-2000s Middle East, Ireland/Scottland and Viking cultures. Here, here!

  13. Avatar

    Cait @ Paper Fury

    YESS I WANT ALL OF THESE. Particularly Vikings. Like why arent’ there more Viking books?!? The small readers get How to Train Your Dragon, but I shall pout until there’s a YA version. I’m also really excited for Ivory and Bone!! I think I’ve read one book set in pre-history times?!? Wolf Brother…I can’t remember the author. XD BUT YEAH. It was an MG book around the ice age era and IT WAS AWESOME AND I NEED MORE OF THAT TOO.
    I guess it’s hard to do historical fiction with all the research that would need doing, right?! BUT IT’S SO WORTH IT IN THE END BECAUSE HF IS AMAZING. I LOVE.

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Right! Exactly!! NEED MOAR VIKINGS. Oooooh I’ll have to look that up! I haven’t read any pre-history books. I hope you like Ivory and Bone! I mean that’s very true…. but still! I’m greedy and I need allllll the hist fic ;) Haha.

  14. Avatar

    Holly J

    YAAASSS MORGAN ALL OF THESE PLEASE. It’s weird that I’ve never really been a huge fan of historical fiction, and yet I LOVE history and learning about history. I love books set in Ancient Rome/Greece/Egypt. Anything involving the royals of England! Colonial America, too. I do love WWII settings, but I personally would love to see more Civil War-set books though. I also want to see more of all of the ones you mentioned! Especially prehistory. IVORY AND BONE BE MINE. I want more of Ireland, too. Still a little upset we’re not getting The Innkeeper’s Daughter anytime soon. I still hope it gets published someday!

    Lovely list, girl! I’m definitely saving this so I can come back to it and check out your recommendations. :)

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Oh that’s interesting! I think I love them *because* I love history. Civil War is an era I’m starting to become more interested in so I second that. Gosh I know, I was so looking forward to The Innkeeper’s Daughter… yay, glad you liked it! Thanks for commenting :D

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.