Fiction Forecast 2010: Ancient World Historical Fiction

Here is a list of novels being published in 2010 that either are set in the ancient world or have something to do with the ancient world (e.g., archaeology). The list isn't comprehensive but hopefully it will keep you busy reading throughout this year. I selected the books from a list by the Historical Novel Society. All release dates are tentative.

  • Tyrant: Funeral Games by Christian Cameron. Latest in Cameron's Alexander the Great series, this novel is the story of Satyrus and Melitta, twin heirs to a wealthy kingdom, who must flee when their warrior-princess is betrayed and murdered. The twins pursue and dangerous journey westward to find protection with the army of their father's friend Diodorus. Diodorus, however, is caught up in the power struggles following the death of Alexander the Great. Once Satyrus and Melitta arrive, they must decide which side they are on. Release date: January 20, 2010.
  • Alcestis by Katharine Beutner. In Greek mythology, Alcestis was the wife so faithful that she died in her husband's place and went to the underworld for him, and was rescued from there by Hercules three days later. This novel is Alcestis' story told in first person by Alcestis herself. We hear the story of her motherless childhood, her marriage to a man she barely knows, and the truth of what happened during the three days she spent in the underworld. Release date: January 31, 2010.
  • The Prophetess by Mary Rourke. I wasn't able to find an page for this, and the page doesn't say anything about it. All I have been able to find out is that it is about the prophet Isaiah and his wife Jael. I don't think that Isaiah's wife is named in the Bible, but she is referred to in Isaiah 8 as a prophetess. Release date: February 2010.
  • Abigail: A Novel by Jill Eileen Smith. This novel, the second in Smith's Wives of David series, is the story of King David's second wife Abigail. Abigail is excited to be marrying her handsome betrothed Nabal, but very shortly after the ceremony he reveals himself to be an abusive brute. Abigail tries nonetheless to be a good and honorable wife. When Nabal's unexpected death widows her, she is free to marry David, but faces another marital problem: how can she stand to share her beloved husband with his other wives? Release date: February 2010.
  • A Darker God by Barbara Cleverly. Aspiring archaeologist Laeticia "Letty" Talbot is watching an ancient Greek tragedy in the theater of Dionysos in Athens in 1928. But the dagger and the blood onstage turn out to be very, very real. Letty must decipher the clues and discover the killer's identity - before she is killed herself. Release date: March 23, 2010.
  • The Mask of Troy by David Gibbins. This is another one I couldn't find an page for. It's an adventure novel about Schliemann's excavation of Troy and a discovery he made there. Schliemann is determined to keep the find a secret and carries it with him to the grave. What follows is a suspenseful adventure tale taking place in 1871, 1945, and the present day. Release date: March 2010.
  • Ruso and the Root of All Evils by R.S. Downie. The third in a series about a Roman detective named Ruso. Release date: April 2010.
  • A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters. All I know about this one is that it's the next Amelia Peabody mystery. Amelia Peabody, for those of you who don't know, is a Victorian lady Egyptologist with a knack for attracting and solving mysteries. The series currently has eighteen books, the last of which is Tomb of the Golden Bird, but Peters left several gaps in the chronology, so A River in the Sky will be a mystery that takes place during one of these "lost years." Of all the historical novels that are coming out in 2010, this is the one I'm looking forward to the most! Release date: April 6, 2010.
  • Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. Thea, a musically talented slave girl from Judea, is purchased by spoiled and spiteful rich girl Lepida Pollia. Lepida and Thea become rivals for the affections of Rome's newest gladiator star Arius the Barbarian, and when Arius falls in love with Thea, Lepida rips them apart. Thea becomes a singer for aristocratic Romans and soon attracts the interest of the charismatic but paranoid Emperor Domitian. Release date: April 2010.
  • Arrows of Fury by Anthony Riches. The Battle of the Lost Eagle has saved Hadrian's Wall, but now the rebellious northern tribes must be defeated. The centurion Marcus must train his men, defeat barbarians, and keep his enemies from discovering a secret he hides. Release date: April 2010.
  • The Philosopher Prince by Paul Walters. In 335 AD, two young Romans, Drusus and Marcellus, have fallen afoul of the British authority and ally themselves with young Julian, the imperial prince, who has a few enemies of his own. Release date: April 2010.
  • The Blood of Alexandria by Richard Blake. In 612 AD, Aelric, British-clerk-turned-Roman-senator, goes to Alexandria to send the Egyptian harvest to Constantinople and force the viceroy to cede the peasants its land. But Alexandria, divided by language and culture and rife with conspirators, is continually defeating him. And the arrival of an old enemy, supposedly searching for religious relics, means that Aelric must watch his back. Release date: June 2010
  • Nemesis by Lindsey Davis. Roman mystery that takes place in 77 AD. Release date: July 2010.
  • Warrior of Rome III: Lion of the Sun by Harry Sidebottom. In 260 AD, the emperor of Rome has been captured by the Sassanids. Ballista, warrior of Rome, swears that he will seek revenge on those who brought the Roman empire to this.

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