View Full Version : Fiction set in Medieval period -- NOT historical fiction?

06-24-2015, 05:58 PM
Not sure it exists exactly, but I guess I am asking for a book similar to Pillars of the Earth: something that is set in the medieval period but is not historical fiction a la Sharon Kay Penman, etc.

I guess it's knowing the history can be looked up so I can know how it all turns out...

Pillars of the Earth, for example, has real history as the background, but tells a fictional story. I did not LOVE Pillars of the Earth, however. A whole chapter on climbing up into the cathedral to set it on fire? By the end, I thought the pillars were in fact Aliana's boobs because he talked about them so much.

I want to read fiction along with the boys while we study different periods of history.

Anyway, help?!?

06-24-2015, 06:00 PM
Shoot! I posted this in the wrong place.... I don't know how to delete it or move it.

06-24-2015, 06:12 PM
I don't know if this would work as there is historical references in there too, but I love all of Phillipa Gregory's books. It is only medieval England, but I have read all of hers and they are interesting, not for kids, though.

06-24-2015, 06:39 PM
The Fool's Guild Mysteries series by Alan Gordon is pretty good. The first book, Thirteenth Night, is a sort-of sequel to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
There's some real history as a backdrop, but I don't know enough to know how accurate it is. It's been a long time since I read it, so I'm not sure of the age-appropriateness of it. Lots of Shakespeare references, obviously.

I really enjoyed the series, about a Fool's Guild and their machinations to control and direct politics of various nations.

06-24-2015, 06:39 PM
Philippe Gregory lets her bias of several key figures color her books.

Many are very good and I own several.

But they are not historical fact. The Constant Princess is a favorite and does not contain the bias of several other books. It is not historically accurate, or what is known to be accurate. She does a very good job of weaving her own story into history. (if you through out the scene with the raw lettuce. She did ZERO research on Medieval food.) Gregory takes on the premise of what if Catherine of Aragon did consummate her marriage to Arthur Tudor and why she would lie about it.

06-24-2015, 07:23 PM
Eric Flint's 1632 series?

Through narrative expedience, a town in modernish west virginia gets transplanted to the middle of the 30 years war. yeee haw!

I guess thats alternate history. But what is set in middle ages that isnt historical fiction?

Mists of Avalon to cover king arthur, if you dont mind the incest, I suppose.

06-26-2015, 10:25 PM
I have a few on a list I made for 6th grade, but I haven't studied the Middle Ages in a quarter of a century, so I don't know how accurate the historical bits are:

"Crispin" by Avi
"Catherine, Called Birdy" by Karen Cushman
"The Midwife's Apprentice" by Karen Cushman
"A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver" by E.L. Konigsburg

And then we recently read a favorite of mine that's more adult--"The Doomsday Book" by Connie Willis

I have some other from the Rennaisance and Elizabethan periods.

06-26-2015, 11:58 PM
Adam of the Road is really good, it takes place 13th century, won a Newbery . I read it out loud to my boys last year when they were 11 and 14. Here's a blurb from wikipedia:
"Set in thirteenth-century England (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England), the book follows the adventures of a young boy, Adam. After losing his spaniel and minstrel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minstrel) father, Adam embarks on a series of escapades throughout medieval England (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_England). Readers are given an accurate portrayal of medieval culture and society."

06-27-2015, 12:04 AM
Rover by Jackie French is another excellent read aloud. We all loved this one.


Its about a young girl nabbed by Eric the Red's daughter in a raid and becomes her slave. They travel to Greenland and eventually Vineland. I looked it up when we were done and found it was based on some of the sagas and she tried to make it historically accurate in terms of the way people lived back then.

04-05-2016, 12:40 PM
Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell.
Not really mediaeval, but a great trilogy.
Thinking about it, it's more like a secular take on myth than 'history' although it is rooted in History, focusing on one of King Arthur's champions.
The protagonist, Dervel Cadarn has one mention somewhere in History - from that, some cool novels.