Historical Fiction

Review: The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato

The Glassblower of Murano is an exceptional first novel written by Marina Fiorato, who is herself half Venetian and a graduate of the University of Venice. Her love of the city and its history comes through clearly. It’s a very romantic story, full of intrigue and heartbreak; to understand it, a little history is helpful. Murano is well-known for its… Read more

Review: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane has plenty to recommend it: the Salem Witch Trials, crazy grad school mentors and a hot, agnostic steeplejack. Certainly sounds like a good start to a story, combining historical fiction, a bit of mystery and maybe something a little supernatural. It starts with a very interesting question about the Salem witch trials, one that… Read more

Review: Descartes’ Bones by Russell Shorto

In 1666, sixteen years after his death, the bones of Rene Descartes were dug up in the middle of the night and transported from Sweden to France under the watchful eye of the French ambassador. This was only the beginning of the journey for Descartes’ bones, which, over the next 350 years, were fought over, stolen, sold, revered as relics,… Read more

Review: The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss

If you like Historical Fiction with a strong emphasis on the Historical, you’re going to love The Whiskey Rebels. This book is well-written and painstakingly researched. Liss clearly has a thorough knowledge of the history behind the story, the language and demeanour of the characters, and the workings of the frontier economy. (It is truly bizarre to hear them keep… Read more

The Aviary Gate by Katie Hickman

This is definitely a woman’s book. Although it is filled with danger and intrigue, men’s fantasies about harem girls are very different from the blushing virgins and vicious, back-stabbing women you’ll meet in The Aviary Gate – and it’s their loss if they don’t read it. It’s a fascinating glimpse of the inner workings of a harem and its denizens.… Read more