During 2014, there were 105 reviews of 65 books labelled as Historical Fiction linked to the AWW challenge. This represents 7% of the total number of reviews, and included Adult, Young Adult (YA) and children’s fiction. (Note: these stats may not reflect the total number of books reviewed in this category, as some novels combine contemporary characters with flashbacks to earlier times and may have been labelled General Fiction.)
While contributing editor Marg wrote round-ups for January and February and a three-month wrap up in June, there were no AWW roundups for Historical Fiction for the latter half of 2014. We hope to improve on that for 2015.
There were two titles that share the honour of “most reviewed book for 2014”, both with nine reviews:
- Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites, reviewed by Carpe Librum, David Golding, Whispering Gums, Mr P R Plover, Tarla Kramer, Chris White, Dark Matter Zine, and
- Amanda Curtin’s Elemental (2013), reviewed by Sonja Porter, Angela Savage, Monique at Write Note Reviews, Danielle, Bernadette at Reactions to Reading, Natalia Clara, and Jane Rawson.
Kent’s book needs no introduction. Amanda Curtin, on the other hand, is an ongoing contributor to the challenge, so we’re thrilled that Elemental is achieving recognition from our book-blogging community. Congratulations, Amanda!
While these were our most popularly reviewed books, there were four novels that each attracted three reviews; three of these were new releases for 2014:
- Nicole Alexander’s The Great Plains (2014), reviewed by Rochelle, Shelleyrae and Marcia
- M L Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans (2012), Louise Allan, Kate and Shannon
- Kim Kelly’s The Blue Mile (2014), Brenda, Shelleyrae and Emily Paull
- Christine Piper’s After Darkness (2014), Jo at Booklover Book Reviews, Linda Funnell and Jane Rawson
A total of 12 books attracted two reviews each; eight of these were released in 2014:
- Karen Brooks’ The Brewer’s Tale (2014)
- Kylie Fornasier’s Masquerade (2014, YA)
- Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens (2012)
- Anna Funder’s All that I Am (2012)
- Justine Larbalestier’s Razorhurst (2014, YA)
- Joan London’s Gilgamesh (2002)
- Isolde Martyn’s The Golden Widows (2014)
- Fiona McIntosh’s Nightingale (2014)
- Moira McKinnon’s Cicada (2014)
- Gillian Mears’ Foal’s Bread (2011)
- Dominique Wilson’s The Yellow Papers (2014)
- Suzy Zail’s Alexander Altman A10567 (2014; children’s)
The complete list of books reviewed in this category for the challenge in 2014 can be found on the AWW Weebly site here.
So what books should we be looking out for in 2015?
Published poet and debut novelist Robyn Cadwallader’s historical novel, The Anchoress, has created a lot of buzz and is due out in March with Fourth Estate. Lisa Chaplin, multi-published in another genre, is making her debut as a historical fiction novelist with The Tide Watchers, to be released in July by HarperCollins. New books are also expected later in the year by award-winning writers Isolde Martyn and Geraldine Brooks.
When I asked in the Historical Novel Society of Australasia Facebook group the other day, I discovered the following authors also have books due out this year: Sulari Gentill, Pamela Rushby, Kim Kelly, Lucinda Brant, Juliette Marillier, Wendy James, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, Téa Cooper, Sherryl Clark (children’s) and Sophie Masson.
Which historical fiction novels are you looking forward to reading this year?