πŸ“š Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2020 Wrap-Up and 2021 Sign-Up

Hello fellow bookworms, as the fateful year of 2020 comes to a close, it is time to wrap-up my reading for my first year taking part in the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, hosted by Amy at Passages to the Past. Here’s what I managed to read and the link in the titles will take you to my review, if I have had chance to write one (I apologise as I am woefully behind πŸ™„):

  1. The Poison Bed by E. C. Fremantle ⭐⭐⭐
  2. The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale ⭐⭐⭐
  3. Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir ⭐⭐⭐
  4. The Favourite: Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough by Ophelia Field ⭐⭐
  5. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ⭐⭐
  6. The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor ⭐⭐⭐
  7. Katharina: Deliverance by Margaret Skea ⭐⭐⭐
  8. The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley ⭐⭐⭐
  9. The Berlin Wall: A Very Brief History by Mark Black ⭐
  10. Martin Luther and John Calvin by Charles River Editors ⭐⭐
  11. O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King ⭐⭐
  12. The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner (2020) ⭐⭐⭐

I was aiming to reach the Renaissance Reader level (10 books) and as you can see I have surpassed my goal! I have loved taking part in this challenge and enjoyed all of these books, however my top picks for the challenge would have to be: The Toymakers, Katharina: Deliverance and The Firebird. 😍

Now I’d love to hear from you: Did you take part in this challenge too? What were the best historical-fictions you read this year? Any of the books on my list take your fancy?


But that’s not all folks! This was such a success for me that I can’t wait to take part again. So it is now time to get ready for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2021, which this coming year will return to being hosted by Marg of The Intrepid Reader. Thank you to Amy for hosting for the last five years! πŸ™Œ

For those new to this, here are the details of the challenge:

  • The challenge runs from January 1st to December 31st, 2021.
  • Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created.
  • Everyone can participate! If you don’t have a blog you can post a link to your review if it’s posted on Goodreads, Facebook, or Amazon, or you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish.
  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please use the direct URL that will guide us directly to your review)
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, History/Non-Fiction, etc.)

Also these are the different reading levels you can choose from:

  • 20th Century Reader – 2 books
  • Victorian Reader – 5 books
  • Renaissance Reader – 10 books
  • Medieval – 15 books
  • Ancient History – 25 books
  • Prehistoric – 50+ books

Having surpassed the Renaissance Reader level this year, next year I am going to push myself a little more and aim for the Medieval level. Here are some historical-fictions on my TBR I am particularly excited to read:

  • The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory
  • Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir
  • Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle
  • The Red-Haired Archaeologist Digs Israel by Amanda Hope Haley
  • A Tapestry of Treason by Anne O’Brien
  • The Lady of the Ravens by Joanna Hickson
  • The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places by Neil Oliver
  • The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick

I am also looking forward to linking into the monthly challenge posts, seeing what others are reading and discovering new novels and bloggers again.

Now I’d love to hear from you: Are you taking part in this challenge too? What historical-fictions are you looking forward to reading this year? Any of the books on my TBR you think I should push to the top of the pile?

19 thoughts on “πŸ“š Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2020 Wrap-Up and 2021 Sign-Up

  1. This is a lovely event. I”ve recently read two historic style works of fiction and I recommend both. Francie Hardinge A Skinful of Shadows which was a ghostly tale set in the time of conflict and civil war and the Sin Eater by Megan Campisi which was set in a faux ELizabethan age and was really gripping.
    Perhaps I should sign up to this one. I can quite easily see myself maybe including one book per month.
    Lynn πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you for the recommendations, Lynn – I have been hearing lots of good things about Megan Campisi’s Sin Eater, but I don’t think of heard about Francie Hardinge’s A Skinful of Shadows, so I will check them out further. 😊 And not that I am biased, but I think you should definitely sign up for this challenge! πŸ˜‰

  2. Sounds like fun and congrats on exceeding your target this year! From your new list I’ve only read The Lady of the Ravens, and I think you’ll enjoy it! πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you, FF and I am particularly looking forward to reading The Lady of the Ravens, after having really enjoyed several of Hickson’s earlier books. 😊

  3. Congratulations on your 2020 challenge achievement ! I’ll be joining the historical challenge 2021, but at the Victorian level for a start πŸ™‚

  4. I am really excited about taking part in the Historical Fiction Challenge this coming year. My shelves are packed with books that qualify. I look forward to reading your thoughts on your choices for the challenge!

    1. I hope you enjoy taking part in this challenge and I hope it lives up to your excitement! Sounds like you have plenty to read for it, which is always a great start, but let’s hope there’s not too much to choose from! 😁

  5. I’ll be taking part in this challenge again next year too. Good luck with reaching the Medieval level – I’m sure you can do it! I have read some of the books on your TBR and particularly enjoyed Queen’s Gambit and The Phantom Tree.

    1. Thank you, Helen πŸ™‚ I am fairly optimistic about reading the Medieval level and I can’t wait to read The Phantom Tree, as I have heard lots of good things about it. While poor Queen’s Gambit has been on my TBR pile for far too long!

  6. Good job on reaching your goal!! πŸŽ‰ Of your possibilities, I’ve read The Phantom Tree and The Kingmaker’s Daughter. I really enjoy both!

  7. I love historical fiction! I guess I don’t bother with the challenge because I don’t need help to keep reading it. πŸ™‚ but I always enjoy seeing others’ posts.

    A book I can recommend is one I’m reading right now, Malafrena by Ursula K. Le Guin — it’s a bit unusual because it’s set in an invented Eastern European country, but very convincing nonetheless! Don’t know if it would count though…

    1. To be fair I don’t really need this challenge to keep me reading historical-fiction either, but I do love getting inspired of what to read next from other bloggers and seeing if I can push myself to read a little more. Also thank you, I will certainly keep Malafrena by Ursula K. Le Guin in mind, especially as this is an author I keep meaning to read! And I think it would count as the challenge says any sub-genre is accepted and lists historical-fantasy. πŸ˜ƒ

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