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Teen Historical Fiction Prehistoric through Renaissance

Teen Historical Fiction

15th Century - 19th Century List 20th Century List

Ancient Egypt (3100 BC – 395 AD)

Sphinx's Princess
by Esther M. Friesner
YA F FRIESNER
Nefertiti’s dancing abilities, remarkable beauty, and intelligence garner attention near and far, so much so that her family is summoned to the Egyptian royal court, where Nefertiti becomes a pawn in the power play of her scheming aunt, Queen Tiye. 370 pages

Cleopatra Confesses
by Carolyn Meyer
YA F MEYER
Princess Cleopatra, the third (and favorite) daughter of King Ptolemy XII, comes of age in ancient Egypt, accumulating power and discovering love. 276 pages

Cleopatra’s Moon
by Vicky Shecter
YA F SHECTER
Cleopatra Selene, the only surviving daughter of Cleopatra and Marc Antony, recalls her life of pomp and splendor in Egypt and, after her parents’ deaths, captivity and treachery in Rome. 355 pages

Ancient Greece (1200 to 146 BC)

Odysseus in the Serpent Maze
by Jane Yolen
YA F YOLEN
Thirteen-year-old Odysseus has adventures involving pirates, satyrs, a trip to the Labyrinth, and two girls, Penelope and Helen, who play a major role in his future. 248 pages

Troy

King of Ithaka
by Tracy Barrett
YA F BARRETT
When 16-year-old Telemachos and his two best friendsleave their life of privilege to undertake a quest to find Telemachos's father Odysseus, they learn much along the way about what it means to be a man and a king. 261 pages

Nobody’s Princess
by Esther Friesner
YA F FRIESNER
Determined to fend for herself in a world where only men have real freedom, headstrong Helen, who will be called queen of Sparta and Helen of Troy one day, learns to fight, hunt, and ride horses while disguised as a boy and goes on an adventure throughout the Mediterranean world. 320 pages

Beauty’s Daughter
by Carolyn Meyer
YA F MEYER
When Helen runs off with Paris, her enraged husband, King Menelaus, starts a war with Troy, leaving their plain daughter, Hermione, alone to witness the deaths of heroes on both sides. 304 pages

Roman Empire (55 BC to 476 AD)

Pompeii (79 AD)

Curses and Smoke
by Vicky Shecter
YA F SHECTER
Tagus, a medical slave who wants be a gladiator and Lucia, the daughter of Tag’s owner are two teenagers in love, but it is the year 79 and soon Vesuvius will alter their lives forever. 336 pages

Palestine

Poisoned Honey
by Beatrice Gormley
YA F GORMLEY
Interspersed with stories of the Apostle Matthew, this book tells of one girl’s journey through tragedy and the occult before becoming a follower of Jesus. 306 pages

The Bronze Bow
by Elizabeth Speare
YA F SPEARE
When the Romans brutally kill Daniel's father, the young Palestinian searches for a leader to drive them out, but comes to realize that love may be a more powerful weapon than hate. 254 pages

Britain

Bloodline Rising
by Katy Moran
YA F MORAN
Cai, a thief, finds himself held captive on a trading ship bound for Britain--the home his father, a ruthless barbarian assassin. 328 pages

The Shining Company
by Rosemary Sutcliff
YA F SUTCLIFF
In 600 AD in Northern Britain, Prosper becomes a shield bearer with the Companions; an army made up of three hundred younger sons of minor kings and trained to act as one fighting brotherhood against the invading Saxons. 295 pages

The Vikings (789 to 1085 AD)

The Silver Sea
by Julia Golding
YA F GOLDING
When pirates raid a village in ninth-century Norway, 18-year-old Toki is captured as a prize. 334 pages

Viking Warrior
by Judson Roberts
YA F ROBERTS
Although he has noble parents, 14-year-old Halfdan lives as a slave in Denmark in A.D. 845 but through a tragic bargain he gains his freedom and sets out to claim his birthright. 360 pages

The Humming of Numbers
by Joni Sensel
YA F SENSEL
Aiden, a novice about to take monastic vows in 10th century Ireland, meets Lana, a girl who understands his ability to hear numbers humming from all living things. The two of them are thrown together in a mission to save their village from invading Vikings. 243 pages

Sword Song
by Rosemary Sutcliff
YA F SUTCLIFF
Bjarni is cast out of the Norse settlement in the Angles’ Land for oath-breaking and spends five years sailing the west coast of Scotland and witnessing the feuds of the clan chiefs. 271 pages

The Middle Ages (500 to 1500 AD)

Crusades/Pilgrimages

The Book of the Lion
by Michael Cadnum
YA F CADNUM
In 12th-century England, after his master, a coin maker for the king, is punished for cheating, 17-year-old Edmund finds himself traveling to the Holy Land as squire to a crusader. 204 pages

Belle's Song
by K. M. Grant
YA F GRANT
In 1387, 15-year-old Belle joins Geoffrey Chaucer, his scribe Luke, squire Walter, and others on a pilgrimage from London to Canterbury to atone and pray for a cure for her father's crippling injury, but political intrigue threatens them all. 300 pages

Blood Red Horse
by K.M. Grant
YA F GRANT
A horse named Hosanna changes the lives of two brothers and those around them as they fight with King Richard I against Saladin. 277 pages

Changeling
by Philippa Gregory
YA F GREGORY
In 1453, 17-year-old Luca Vero is recruited to help investigate evil across Europe but instead frees his first subject, Isolde, from captivity in a nunnery. 272 pages

1212: Year of the Journey
by Kathleen McDonnell
YA F MCDONNELL
During the religious crusades that pit Muslim against Christian against Jew, a young shepherd has a vision that prompts him to gather children of all faiths and lead them on a crusade for peace. 288 pages

King Arthur

The Seeing Stone
by Kevin Crossley-Holland
YA F CROSSLE-HOLLAND
In late 12th-century England, 13-year-old Arthur tells how Merlin gives him a seeing stone which shows him images of legendary King Arthur, a man whose life parallels his own. 342 pages

The Legend of Lady Ilena
by Patricia Malone
YA F MALONE
In sixth-century Great Britain, a girl seeking knowledge of her lineage is drawn into battle to defend the homeland she never knew, aided by one of King Arthur’s knights. 232 pages

The Boy's King Arthur
Edited by Sidney Lanier
YA F MALORY
Recounts the Tales of King Arthur, Lancelot, Tristam, Gareth, Galahad, Percival, and the Holy Grail. 321 pages

Song of the Sparrow
by Lisa Ann Sandell
YA F SANDELL
Elaine goes to live with her family in Arthur’s military camps and describes her changing views of war and those around her as she joins in the struggle. 394 pages

Robin Hood

The Outlaws of Sherwood
by Robin McKinley
YA F MCKINLEY
Go adventuring with Robin Hood and his outlaws in Sherwood Forest in 12th-century England. 282 pages

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire
by Howard Pyle
YA F PYLE
Experience the legend of Robin Hood, who plundered the king’s purse and whose generosity endeared him to the poor. 394 pages

Belgium (Flanders)

A Sword in Her Hand
by Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem
YA F RIJCKEGHEM
A disappointment to her father since the day she was born, Marguerite resists her father’s will for her to marry a man she doesn’t love. 276 pages

England

Crispin: the Cross of Lead
by Avi
YA F AVI
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.  262 pages

The King's Arrow
by Michael Cadnum
YA F CADNUM
In 1100, Simon Foldre, delighted to participate in a royal hunt as a squire, finds his future irrevocably altered when he witnesses the possible murder of King William II. 208 pages

The Queen's Daughter
by Susan Coventry
YA F COVENTRY
See King Henry II’s youngest child’s relationships with her family, particularly with her brother Richard. 373 pages

Catherine, Called Birdy
by Karen Cushman
YA F CUSHMAN
The daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she expresses her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off. 212 pages

The Plague
by Joanne Dahme
YA F DAHME
Nell acts as a double for Princess Joan, but after Joan dies, her brother wants Nell to assume the princess’ identity, while Nell tries to escape to tell the king the truth about his daughter. 272 pages

The Merchant’s Daughter
by Melanie Dickerson
YA F DICKERSON
In 1352 England, 17-year-old Annabel, granddaughter of a knight and a would-be nun, eludes a lecherous bailiff but falls in love with Lord Le Wyse, the ferocious and disfigured man to whom her family owes three years of indentured servitude. 284 pages

Deception’s Princess
by Esther Friesner
YA F FRIESNER
In Iron Age Ireland, Maeve, the fierce, willful youngest daughter of King Eochu of Connacht, is caught in a web of lies after rebelling to avoid fosterage with another highborn family and an arranged marriage. 324 pages

An Uncertain Choice
by Jody Hedlund
YA F HEDLUND
When Lady Rosemarie must find someone to marry before she turns 18 to avoid becoming a nun, she finds herself torn between three knights who are competing for her hand. 254 pages  

Warrior Princess
by Frewin Jones
YA F JONES
After a deadly attack on her home, fifteen-year-old Princess Brarwen meets a mystical woman in white who prophesies that Bramwell will save her homeland from falling to the Saxons.  346 pages

The Striped Ships
by Eloise McGraw
YA F MCGRAW
Juliana, a Saxon girl, loses her home and family when the Normans conquer England in 1066 and seeks to order her life by helping in the creation of the Bayeux tapestry. 229 pages

The Squire's Tale
by Gerald Morris
YA F MORRIS
Terence finds his life suddenly changed when he becomes the squire to Gawain of Orkney and accompanies him on a quest, proving Gawain’s worth and revealing an important secret about his own identity. 212 pages

Knight's Fee
by Rosemary Sutcliff
YA F SUTCLIFF
Randal, a young orphan at Arundel Castle, is set upon the path to squirehood. His own courage will pave his path to become a knight. 285 pages

The Edge on the Sword
by Rebecca Tingle
YA F TINGLE
Aethelflaed, daughter of King Alfred of West Saxony, must assume new responsibilities sooner than expected when she is betrothed to Ethelred of Mercia to strengthen a strategic alliance. 277 pages

Far Traveler
by Rebecca Tingle
YA F TINGLE
After the death of her mother, Aethelflaed flees imprisonment by King Edward and, in the guise of a bard, plays a part in resolving the political enmities of 10th-century Britain. 228 pages

France

Blue Flame
by K.M. Grant
YA F GRANT
In 1242 France, Parsifal, having been charged to guard a religious relic, befriends a young couple on opposite sides of the escalating conflict between the Catholics and the Cathars. 246 pages

Germany

The Silver Cup
by Constance Leeds
YA F LEEDS
In 1096, Catholic Anna and Jewish Leah strike up a friendship and make surprising discoveries about each other. 212 pages

Ireland

Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale
by Donna Jo Napoli
YA F NAPOLI
An Irish princess kidnapped by Russian slave traders learns to survive and challenges her captors’ brutality. 308 pages

Italy

The Falconer's Knot
by Mary Hoffman
YA F HOFFMAN
Silvano and Chiara, teens sent to live in a friary and a nunnery in Italy, are drawn to one another, but when murders are committed in the friary, they must find the murderer before they can realize their love.  297 pages

Scotland

The King's Swift Rider
by Mollie Hunter
YA F HUNTER
Unwilling to fight but feeling a sense of duty, 16-year-old Martin joins Scotland’s army as a master of espionage. 239 pages

Lady Macbeth's Daughter
by Lisa M. Klein
YA F KLEIN
Lady Macbeth tries to bear a son and win Scotland’s throne for her husband, while Albia, banished from birth, falls in love, learns of her parentage, and seeks to free Scotland from tyranny. 291 pages

The Wager
by Donna Jo Napoli
YA F NAPOLI
Having lost everything in a tidal wave, Don Giovanni makes a wager with the devil, but, while desperate enough to surrender his pride and good looks, he won’t give up his soul. 262 pages

Girl in a Cage
by Jane Yolen
YA F YOLEN
As English armies invade Scotland in 1306, Princess Marjorie, daughter of the newly crowned Scottish king is captured by England’s king and held in a cage on public display. 234 pages

Renaissance (1420 to 1600 AD)

Denmark

Ophelia
by Lisa M. Klein
YA F KLEIN
Ophelia tells of her life in the court at Elsinore, her love for Hamlet, and her escape from the violence in Denmark. 328 pages

England

The Shakespeare Stealer
by Gary L. Blackwood
YA F BLACKWOOD
A young orphan boy is ordered to infiltrate Shakespeare’s acting troupe in order to steal the script of “Hamlet,” but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty. 216 pages

VIII
by H.M. Castor
YA F CASTOR
Haunted by his family’s violent past, Hal embarks on a journey that leads to absolute power and brings him face to face with his demons as he grows to become Henry VIII. 432 pages

The Stolen One
by Suzanne Carlisle Crowley
YA F CROWLEY
After the death of her foster mother, Kat goes to London to seek the answers to her parentage, and surprisingly finds herself invited into Queen Elizabeth’s court. 405 pages

The Other Countess
by Eve Edwards
YA F EDWARDS
In the court of Queen Elizabeth I in 1582, Eleanor Hutton, an alchemist’s daughter, and William Lacey, the financially ruined Earl of Dorset, fall in love just as Will is supposed to be courting a rich and socially acceptable heiress. 335 pages

The Red Queen’s Daughter
by Jacqueline Kolosov
YA F KOLOSOV
Mary, the orphaned daughter of Katherine Parr and Henry VIII, vies to gain acceptance and fend off her jealous relatives and castle-mates as she enters into Elizabeth’s court. 399 pages

A Sweet Disorder
by Jacqueline Kolosov
YA F KOLOSOV
After her father’s death, Miranda’s relatives wish to marry her off, but her seamstress skills place her at the queen’s court and provide an opportunity for independence. 418 pages

Brazen
by Katherine Longshore
YA F LONGSHOR
Mary Howard, always in the shadow of her powerful family, marries Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Fitz, but their carefree life unravels as Queen Anne Boleyn falls out of favor and they are implicated in horrible rumors. 528 pages

Loving Will Shakespeare
by Carolyn Meyer
YA F MEYER
Anne Hathaway suffers her stepmother’s cruelty and yearns for love and escape, finally finding it in the arms of William Shakespeare. 265 pages

Mary, Bloody Mary
by Carolyn Meyer
YA F MEYER
Mary Tudor, who would reign briefly as Queen of England during the mid-16th century, tells the story of her troubled childhood as daughter of King Henry VIII. 227 pages

The Perilous Gard
by Elizabeth Marie Pope
YA F POPE
In 1558 while imprisoned in a castle, a young girl becomes involved in a series of events that leads to an underground labyrinth peopled by the last practitioners of druidic magic. 280 pages

The Fool’s Girl
by Celia Rees
YA F REES
Violetta and Feste have come to London to rescue a holy relic taken from a church in Illyria by the evil Malvolio, and once there, they tell their story to playwright William Shakespeare. 297 pages

The Redheaded Princess
by Ann Rinaldi
YA F RINALDI
In 1542, Elizabeth strives to get into the good graces of her father, King Henry VIII, and as the years pass, she faces his death and those of other close relatives until she finds herself next in line to ascend the throne of England in 1558. 214 pages  

The Secret of the Rose
by Sarah L. Thomson
YA F THOMSON
When her father is imprisoned in 1592 England for being Catholic, Rosalind disguises herself as a boy and finds a dangerous job as servant to playwright Christopher Marlowe. 296 pages

Queen’s Own Fool
by Jane Yolen
YA F YOLEN
When Nicola leaves Troupe Brufort and serves as the fool for Mary, Queen of Scots, she experiences the political and religious upheavals in both France and Scotland. 390 pages

Italy

Midnight Magic
by Avi
YA F AVI
In Italy in 1491, Mangus the magician and his apprentice are summoned to the castle of Duke Claudio to determine if his daughter is being haunted by a ghost. 249 pages

Primavera
by Mary Jane Beaufrand
YA F BEAUFRAN
Growing up in Italy, Flora sees her family’s fortunes ebb, but encounters with the artist Botticelli and the guidance of her nurse teach her to look past the material world to the beauty already in her life. 272 pages

Prince of Shadows
by Rachel Caine
YA F CAINE
Romeo’s cousin, Benvolio, a thief known as the Prince of Shadows, tells the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet. 354 pages

Cross My Heart
by Sasha Gould
YA F GOULD
When Laura Della Scala’s older sister drowns, Laura leaves the shelter of the convent where she has spent the last six years and enters the upper echelons of 16th-century Venetian society, while she searches for the truth about what happened to her sister. 272 pages

Heart of Glass
by Sasha Gould
YA F GOULD
In Renaissance Venice, Laura’s marriage to Roberto is thrown into chaos when he is accused of murder, while the Segreta are under threat from the Doge’s army, and loyalties are sorely tested. 240 pages

David
by Mary Hoffman
YA F HOFFMAN
An 18-year-old stonecutter who is caught in the middle of political conflict in Florence, Italy, in the early 1500s, must flee for his life in disguise because his has become the best-known face and figure in Florence. 260 pages

Venom
by Fiona Paul
YA F PAUL
In Renaissance Venice, orphaned Cassandra Caravello is one of the elite but feels trapped until she stumbles upon a murdered woman and is drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, grave robbers, and secret societies. 448 pages

Passion Blue
by Victoria Strauss
YA F STRAUSS
In 15th-century Italy, 17-year-old Giulia, a Count’s illegitimate daughter, hopes to avoid life in a convent, but once there she begins to learn the painter’s craft, including how to make the coveted paint, Passion blue, and to question her true heart’s desire. 346 pages

Duchessina, a Novel of Catherine de Medici
by Carolyn Meyer
YA F MEYER
While her tyrannical family is out of favor in Italy, young Catherine de Medici is raised in convents, until her uncle, Pope Clement VII, arranges for her marriage to prince Henri of France. 261 pages

The Smile
by Donna Jo Napoli
YA F NAPOLI
When Leonardo da Vinci introduces Elizabetta to Guiliano de Medici, whose family rules Florence, she has no inkling of the romance—and sorrow—that will ensue. 260 pages

A Golden Web
by Barbara Quick
YA F QUICK
In 14th-century Bologna, Alessandra Giliani, a brilliant young girl, defies convention and risks death in order to attend medical school at the university so that she can study anatomy. 266 pages

Scotland

The Wild Queen
by Carolyn Meyer
YA F MEYER
While awaiting her execution in 1587, Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland, recounts her life story, including becoming a widow at age eighteen and her brutal campaign to regain her sovereignty after being stripped of her throne. 432 pages