When it comes to novels, there is only one genre I steadily covet: historical fiction. Finding authors that don't infuse their prose with modern sensibilities is not easy, let me tell you; life then greatly differs from life now, and I am most insistent on a semblance of accuracy.
Gillian Bradshaw has written books of both of history and fantasy, but her latter genre I do not find satisfying; usually it is simply a hint of the improbable without explanation or background. My fantasy can't restrict itself to the occasional cameo; I want an entire culture, society, and so forth. But her historical novels have left me breathless and white-knuckled.
- The Beacon of Alexandria: To avoid an undesirable marriage, a young woman masquerades as a eunuch to learn medicine. And her teacher is a Jew.
- The Bearkeeper's Daughter: A young man seeks his biological mother, who is the empress of Byzantium.
- The Imperial Purple: A talented weaver is drawn into a conspiracy to overthrow the government; she struggles to save herself and her family from higher and stronger forces than she.
- Island of Ghosts: After his people are routed by the Romans, a prince of the Sarmatians makes a new life in Britannia, dodging betrayal, conspiracies, and his own dark memories.
- Cleopatra's Heir: Mostly conjuncture, a "what if?" had Cleopatra and Caesar's son, Caesarion, had escaped and lived.
- Render Unto Caesar: A naive, honest merchant travels to Rome to seek justice, only to battle corruption and danger.
- Alchemy of Fire: A royal concubine turned perfumer befriends a brilliant alchemist whose inventions could save their city in war.
- London in Chains: Based during the British Civil Wars, a young woman travels to London to seek a new life after being brutally gang-raped by soldiers on her own side. There she finds a cause to work for, friends, love, and her own strong self.
- A Corruptible Crown: A sequel to London in Chains.
All of these I greatly enjoyed and would happily re-read at any time.