My Favorite Reads of 2013

I didn't do as much reading in 2013 as I should have. Nonetheless, here are my three favorite historical novels that I read last year.

River God by Wilbur Smith. I didn't expect to like this novel as much as I did. In places it is very historically inaccurate, and the violence is extremely graphic. Still, it was very entertaining and reminded me of a 1950s ancient epic. Despite the aforementioned problems, I give this book five stars and recommend it to anyone with a strong stomach and a fondness for old historical films.

The Mammoth Book of Egyptian Whodunnits edited by Mike Ashley. This is a collection of short stories that is sadly out of print. Most of them take place in ancient Egypt, though a few at the end take place in the 19th and 20th centuries. The authors range from unknowns to experienced writers of historical fiction and mystery, including the late grande dame of Egyptological mysteries, Elizabeth Peters. Even the lesser stories in this book merit a solid three stars, and most are fours and fives. Get your hands on this book if you can.

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. I've had this book for so long that it has a Borders sticker on the back. I read it as part of a resolution to read my existing stash before buying any more books. I don't know much about imperial Rome, but Quinn makes the era come alive. This is another one that reminds me of the old epic films. I did feel that the motives of the main character's nemesis could have been clearer, but I still give it four stars and my recommendation. I'm reading the prequel, Daughters of Rome, and so far I'm enjoying it as well.

What were your favorite reads of 2013?

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