Monday, February 1, 2016

top ten tuesday: historical settings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, and this week's theme is "February 2: Top Ten Historical Settings You Love/ Ten Historical Settings You'd Love To See or Top Futuristic Books You Love/Ten Futuristic Societies I'd Love To Read in Books --- basically this week is all about the past or the future....spin it however you choose"

I love this topic, so I thought that I would do a mixture of historical settings that I love and historical settings that I can't wait to read about! (which is basically just me being obsessed with England, but that's okay!)

Books with Historical Settings that I Loved 

1. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken– WWII London/15th century Syria/others
 passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

2. Scarlet Series by A.C. Gaughen – Late Medeival England 
Will Scarlet is good at two things: stealing from the rich and keeping secrets - skills that are in high demand in Robin Hood's band of thieves, who protect the people of Nottingham from the evil sheriff. Scarlet's biggest secret of all is one only Robin and his men know...that she is posing as a thief; that the slip of a boy who is fast with sharp knives is really a girl.
The terrible events in her past that led Scarlet to hide her real identity are in danger of being exposed when the thief taker Lord Gisbourne arrives in town to rid Nottingham of the Hood and his men once and for all. As Gisbourne closes in a put innocent lives at risk, Scarlet must decide how much the people of Nottingham mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles have the rare power to unsettle her. There is real honor among these thieves and so much more - making this a fight worth dying for.
3. The Season – Regency England 
Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued — in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.
When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!

4. Vengeance Road – Erin Bowman – Arizona Territory, late 1800s 
Revenge is worth its weight in gold.

When her father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies, among them a young Apache girl and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear: some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate’s quest for revenge may prove fatal.
5. Walk On Earth a Stranger – Rae Carson – Early 19th century America 
Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

6. The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller – Classical Greece 
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles' mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Books with Historical Settings that I'm Looking Forward to

1. Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys – late-WWII 
The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are  Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
2. Blackhearts – Nicole Castroman – late 17th/early 18th century England
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

3. The Forbidden Orchid – Sharon Biggs Waller – mid-19th century England and China 
Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls' father is a plant hunter, usually off adventuring through the jungles of China.

Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan fails to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid, meaning that he will be thrown into debtors' prison and the girls will be sent to the orphanage or the poorhouse. Elodie's father has one last chance to return to China, find the orchid, and save the family—and this time, thanks to an unforeseen twist of fate, Elodie is going with him. Elodie has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China.

But even if she can find the orchid, how can she find herself now that staid, responsible Elodie has seen how much the world has to offer?

4. Love, Lies and Spies – Cindy Anstey – 19th century London
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.
5. And I Darken – Kiersten White – 15th century Ottoman Empire 
NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

6. The Crown's Game – Evelyn Skye – 19th century Russia (but with magic?) 
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

link me to your lists, I'd love to see them! 



  1. I am intrigued by so many of the books you have listed! :-)

  2. Interesting list! I haven't read any of the books you listed but some of the settings you mentioned are settings I enjoy reading books from--any period of Russian and English history, WW2, the medieval period :)

    My TTT

    1. you should definitely think about checking some of these out! I, at least, really like them :)

  3. Great list! I also can't wait to read Salt to the Sea :) Her books are always amazing. Thanks for stopping by @ MY TTT

    1. I know, and I love WWII, so I can't wait for this one!

  4. Great list. I am obsessed with England as well :) No shame! Salt to the Sea looks amazing - I have not heard about it before so thank you! I have been wanting to read Vengeance Road and Walk on Earth a Stranger as well.

    1. Anglophiles without shame! You should definitely try Vengeance Road or Walk on Earth a Stranger, I definitely had a five-star experience with both of them. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. OMG YES!! I would LOVE to visit the world of Song of Achilles! That has always been one of the most fascinating periods in "history"(?) to me! Great list! :D

    Here are my Top Ten!

    1. Yeah I always wonder if I can actually count The Song of Achilles as historical fiction, but i love it so much that I couldn't leave it off this list! :)

  6. Salt To The Sea, The Crown's Game and And I Darken are all on my TBR too!
    My TTT:

    1. I hope you like them! I will definitely check your TTT out!

  7. SO many books I want to get a hold of especially, Passenger- so much hype :) Interesting list! Here's my TTT @ Emma's Bookery if you would like to check it out, have a great day :-) xo

    1. You should definitely check out Passenger! I think it lives up to the hype. Thanks for stopping by, Emma :)

  8. I'm super excited for The Forbidden Orchid... A Mad, Wicked Folly was pretty fantastic and I'm really looking forward to reading more of Sarah Biggs Waller's work!

    1. I haven't read anything by her before, but I am definitely looking forward to giving The Forbidden Orchid a try!

  9. Ooooh, I loved VENGEANCE ROAD and SALT TO THE SEA. I'm about a third of the way through WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER and I'm enjoying it as well. I've got PASSENGER out from the library right now -- really hoping I get a chance to read it before it comes due.

    Happy TTT!

    1. I'm glad you loved Salt to the Sea, I can't wait to read it! Walk on Earth a Stranger definitely started out slow but through the middle and end I couldn't put it down! Hope you get the chance to read Passenger as well!

  10. I'm looking forward to Salt to the Sea as well!

    1. It seems like tons of people have been waiting for it to come out!

  11. I just finished Vengeance Road and thought it was awesome, it definitely makes me want to read more Westerns. I'm also a big fan of whatever Rae Carson writes. I'm really excited for Love, Lies and Spies, it sounds like the kind of book I love. Great list!

    1. I never read many westerns before the two on this list, but they were so good that I want to read more! I definitely think Love, Lies and Spies looks great too :) thanks for stopping by!

  12. I really enjoyed Passenger and Vengeance Road, Walk on Earth a Stranger is still on my TBR but... I'll get around it, I swear! I'm excited for all the books that are to be released you're mentionned, but I hadn't heard anything about Love, Lies and Spies so I'll add it to my TBR ;)

  13. I've heard such great things about Vengeance Road! As someone who loves out-of-the-ordinary historical settings (as you saw on my TTT), I think I'd enjoy the western backdrop. And I am so, so excited for The Forbidden Orchid as well - I LOVED the author's debut, A Mad, Wicked Folly, so I'll read anything she writes. Thanks for stopping by my TTT, and sorry for taking a few days to return the favor!


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