Historical and fantasy fiction have been two of my absolutely favorite genres to read since I was a child. So it follows that historical fantasy–fiction that combines elements of both genres–is one of my greatest literary weaknesses. I’m completely incapable of resisting a good historical fantasy novel!
There are already some excellent guides exploring this growing subgenre available online. Over at their fabulous blog Stacked, Kelly Jensen & Kimberly Francisco have created a number of great genre guides including this one focused on historical fantasy. Additionally, on her blog By Singing Light, Maureen Eichner has an entire page devoted to historical fantasies with middle grade, young adult, and adult titles organized by their chronological settings.
So instead of offering an overview of historical fantasy, I’m going to highlight a few titles that fit into a recent trend. Over the last couple years, I’ve noticed something of an uptick in historical fantasy exploring the first few decades of the 20th century–time periods that have sometimes been underrepresented in this particular subgenre, especially when compared to the medieval and Victorian eras. But if these recent novels are anything to go by, the years between 1900 and 1940 are especially well-suited to the creation of rich, genre-blending stories.