Here is an archive of my historical fiction book reviews. Although I read broadly, I primarily enjoy reading historical fiction that is set in a period over 50-100 years ago. The traditional “cut off” point for historical fiction is 50 years or more, but to me, “historical” fiction should be older than I am.
The historical fiction novel Sic Parvis Magna is the coming of age story of Francis Drake—a farm boy before his notoriety as a pirate who spectacularly raided the Spanish Main, or his fame as a circumnavigator and bold admiral who “singed Phillip’s beard.”
“Je suis Guy Alphonse Guichenot, Comte de Montreuil. Capitaine du Hailaetus.” He executed a hand flourish, but without a bow.
The Pirate / Privateer Captain Guichenot walks onto the page of the historical fiction novel Sic Parvis Magna.
In Tudor England, could an abandoned, noble bastard become a murderous, thieving criminal?
Explore this character sketch of James Reynard, a villain of the historical fiction novel Sic Parvis Magna.
Had nothing happened, the 8-year-old, ruddy-haired Francis might have followed 300 years of family tradition. He lived in Tavistock, a small village in southwest England. He might have become a tenant farmer, tending to the land and husbanding the animals, or would have followed his father’s footsteps, becoming a preacher, living out his life in quietude and never venturing outside of the village. And history would not have taken a second glance.
But as it pleased the Almighty, the events of 1548 thrust his life in a very different direction. Little did he know that in mere six years, he would be on his way to become one of the greatest mariners, a legendary English admiral, and a feared pirate ‘El Draque,’ the sworn enemy of the Spanish Crown.
The historical fiction novel Sic Parvis Magna introduces us to a very young Francis Drake—long before his pirate raids in the Caribbean, his circumnavigation of the world, Cadiz, the Spanish Armada, and the fame (or perhaps infamy) that those actions brought him. This character sketch is part of the research for the book. While I base it on history, this is not a historical retelling. I attempt to imagine Drake’s early formative experiences to understand what he may think and do, as well as why. I then incorporated this research to carry forward the story, both in the novel Sic Parvis Magna and the rest of the naval historical fiction series Adventures of Francis Drake.
A historical fiction book allows the reader to experience what it could have been like “back then.” Vivid descriptions are one way to start this experience for the reader. Theme-appropriate artwork is another. Read about the artwork in the historical fiction short story Retribution.
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