Day 5: Historical Fiction

    Transport yourself back in time with these discounted historical fiction novels.

    If you're a fan of history, but love the storytelling of fiction, then we've got some recommendations for you. Historical fiction offers readers a chance to immerse themselves in another place or time, while providing all the entertainment of fictional characters and plots intertwined with actual events. From James Jones' epic story about the lead up to Pearl Harbor to a fictional tale about Anne Boleyn, these historical fiction novels are guaranteed to hook you.    

    These deals expire at midnight on December 7th! Check out the 12 Days of Deals main page tomorrow for a new day of deals.

    Buy From Here to Eternity at Amazon

    From Here to Eternity

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    James Jones’s epic story of army life in the calm before Pearl Harbor—now with previously censored scenes and dialogue restored

    At the Pearl Harbor army base in 1941, Robert E. Lee Prewitt is Uncle Sam’s finest bugler. A career soldier with no patience for army politics, Prewitt becomes incensed when a commander’s favorite wins the title of First Bugler. His indignation results in a transfer to an infantry unit whose commander is less interested in preparing for war than he is in boxing. But when Prewitt refuses to join the company team, the commander and his sergeant decide to make the bugler’s life hell.

    An American classic now available with scenes and dialogue considered unfit for publication in the 1950s, From Here to Eternity is a stirring picture of army life in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Deal Price: $1.99

    From Here to Eternity

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    Buy A Sport and a Pastime at Amazon

    A Sport and a Pastime

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    Twenty-year-old Yale dropout Phillip Dean is traveling Europe aimlessly in a borrowed car with little money. When he stops for a few days in a church-quiet town near Dijon, he meets Anne-Marie Costallat, a young shop assistant. The two begin an affair both carnal and innocent, and she quickly becomes to him the real France, its beating heart and an object of pure longing.

    James Salter, author of Light Years and the memoir Burning the Days, was an essential voice in the evolution of late twentieth-century prose, a stylist on par with Updike and Roth who won the PEN/Faulkner Award for his collection Dusk and Other Stories. One of the first great American novels to speak frankly of human desire free of guilt and shame, A Sport and a Pastime inspired Reynolds Price to call it “as nearly perfect as any American fiction I know.”

    Deal Price: $1.99

    A Sport and a Pastime

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    Buy Dynasty of Death at Amazon

    Dynasty of Death

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    In 1837, Joseph Barbour, an upper servant in an English village, immigrates with his family to America so he can make his fortune in the nascent artillery business. A man of vision, Joseph foresees a time when wars will not be won with courage and brave hearts but rather by the nations with superior firearms.

    Joseph and his family settle in a rural Pennsylvania village, but his wife, Hilda, is unhappy and longs to return to England. Their shy and sensitive younger son, Martin, is also homesick, but what troubles him most is the cruelty and violence he sees in his older brother, Ernest. Martin’s fears come to fruition when Joseph forms a gunpowder firm with Armand Bouchard, who lives with his wife and three sons down the road from the Barbours.

    As the years pass, Ernest proves himself invaluable to Barbour & Bouchard. Ruthless and ambitious, he takes what he wants. But beautiful Amy Drumhill continues to elude him and becomes the catalyst in a war that will estrange the two brothers and leave Ernest haunted by the blood that will be forever on his hands.

    Deal Price: $1.99

    Buy The Sea Beggars at Amazon

    The Sea Beggars

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    No one was safe from religious persecution in the Dutch Low Countries when the “conqueror king,” Phillip II of Spain, dispatched the Catholic Church’s Inquisition to the Netherlands in the late 1500s. The van Cleef family has suffered mightily, with a father executed by a Spanish hangman and a mother driven into madness. Now their children, Jan and Hanneke, must survive on their own by any means necessary as fate carries them down separate but equally dangerous paths.

    Jan’s destiny is on the high seas—and ultimately in the royal court of England’s Queen Elizabeth—as he and his uncle Pieter boldly retake the old man’s captive ship and join the infamous pirates known as the Sea Beggars in their quest to drive the enemy invaders from Dutch waters.

    Remaining behind in Antwerp, Hanneke, meanwhile, is forced to endure a series of devastating trials that would crush a young woman of weaker spirit and sensibilities. Strong, courageous, and independent, she embarks on a harrowing journey to Germany in the company of refugee ruler William of Orange ahead of the impending terror of Spain’s sadistic Duke of Alva. But young Hanneke soon realizes there can be no escape or safe haven anywhere as long as her country is in chains, and she vows to dedicate her life to the perilous cause of freedom.

    Deal Price: $1.99

    Buy Footprints in the Desert at Amazon

    Footprints in the Desert

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    The second novel from Maha Akhtar weaves a story of espionage, love, courage, and loyalty, told from the perspectives of the revolutionaries who fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia—and the women who gave them strength.

    Salah escapes Turkey, fearing he is about to be unmasked as a spy for the Arab Revolt. Meanwhile, Noura, his best friend’s widow, flees Beirut, and the two find themselves in Cairo. When he’s not carrying out spy missions with the legendary Lawrence of Arabia, Salah is hiding from the Ottoman secret police in the bustling labyrinth of the Khan el-Khalili market. Noura starts over, finding strength and support in new friendships forged at Rania’s Café, where everyone is somehow involved in the struggle for Arab independence.

    But independence comes at a cost. And when Lawrence plans an attack on Aqaba, the price may be very high indeed.

    Deal Price: $1.99

    Footprints in the Desert

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    Buy Doomed Queen Anne at Amazon

    Doomed Queen Anne

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    A complicated and much-hated Tudor queen tells her side of the story in this engaging novel of Anne Boleyn.

    Anne Boleyn was born without great beauty, wealth, or title, but she has blossomed into a captivating young woman—and she knows it. Determined to rise to the top, she uses her wiles to win the heart of England’s most powerful man, King Henry VIII. Not satisfied with the king’s heart, however, she persuades Henry to defy everyone—including his own wife—to make her his new queen. But Anne’s ambition would prove to be her fatal flaw.

    Deal Price: $0.99

    Buy The Playmaker at Amazon

    The Playmaker

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    An English lieutenant is ordered to stage a play starring prisoners of the Australian penal colony he supervises in this phantasmagoric historical fiction masterwork from the author of Schindler’s List.

    In the penal colony of Sydney Cove, Australia, at the farthest reaches of the late-nineteenth-century British Empire, Lieutenant Ralph Clark has received a bizarre commission. In honor of the king’s birthday, Clark is charged with staging a production of the George Farquhar comedy The Recruiting Officer using as cast and production crew the highwaymen, whores, cutpurses, killers, and other assorted disreputables exiled there from the British Isles. Pining over the family he left behind, Clark must work miracles with only two printed scripts, a company of unstable and largely illiterate “actors,” and the dubious assistance of his colleagues. But the success—or failure—of the mammoth enterprise rests largely on the shoulders of lead actress Mary Brenham, the mesmerizing and enigmatic female convict to whom Clark finds himself strangely and dangerously attracted.

    Deal Price: $1.99

    Buy Sybille at Amazon

    Sybille

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    In thirteenth-century France, a female poet endures the chaos of the Albigensian Crusade in this novel by the author of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

    A holy war is sweeping France, razing cities and destroying the peaceful lives of those considered heretics.

    Sybille d’Astarac, born to pampered luxury, is a gifted female troubadour. But her poems grow dark as the Catholic crusade seeks to eradicate her sect. In the face of massacre, can Sybille survive the Inquisition? Will her love songs?

    A work of stunning historical fiction, Sybille displays Marion Meade's pitch‑perfect understanding of strong women facing the harsh realities of life in medieval times. As Robin Morgan, author of The Anatomy of Freedom, writes, this book is “an inspiration for women and an illumination for all readers.”

    Deal Price: $2.99

    Buy Very Old Bones at Amazon

    Very Old Bones

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    When it was built, the Phelan mansion was the only home on the block. In the decades since, countless tragedies have swept through its rambling halls, but no matter how many times its foundations have been rocked, the old house still stands. Now, in 1958, its sole occupants are the eccentric old painter Peter Phelan and his illegitimate son, Orson, who sees all—but says nothing. When Peter invites his remaining family to hear him read his will aloud, it forces the Phelan clan to reckon with the most powerful force in Albany: their own tortured history.

    Unveiling a series of portraits inspired by family tragedy, Peter takes the Phelans back into the past, as far as 1887, forcing them to come face-to-face with the origins of the family curse. As the raucous narrative unfolds, Orson does his best to grapple with his roots, and the knowledge that the sins of the past can never truly be washed away.

    Deal Price: $1.99

    Buy Killdeer Mountain at Amazon

    Killdeer Mountain

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    An intrepid reporter’s investigation into the death of a controversial major reveals a surprising story of betrayal and redemption

    It is 1866, and Sam Morrison, reporter for the St. Louis Herald, is aboard a steamer bound for Fort Standish off the coast of Massachusetts, determined to solve a mystery. The fort is about to be renamed in honor of Charles Rawley, a major who recently died in a fire while trying to prevent the escape of a captured Sioux chief. But just who was Rawley? Morrison is told a dizzying host of tales about the man—some call him a despot but others describe him as a martyr. He was a man all too willing to execute a deserter, but one who would spur his troops to do the utmost to ensure the safety of women and children. As the investigation unfolds, Morrison doesn’t know which stories to believe—especially when it comes to the truth about Rawley’s death.

    Deal Price: $1.99

    Buy Young Adolf at Amazon

    Young Adolf

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    A darkly humorous fictionalized account of Adolf Hitler’s alleged stay in England as a young man.

    Before becoming the Führer of the Third Reich, it is said Adolf Hitler was a failed artist who bummed around at his half-brother’s house in Liverpool from 1912 to 1913. Based on the memoir of the future despot’s sister-in-law, Bridget Hitler, Young Adolf is a vivid imagining of this alleged visit to the United Kingdom.

    The story begins with Adolf aboard a ferry, aiming to avoid Austrian military service. At the train station, his brother Alois greets him with outrage. Alois had sent money for their sister Angela to travel to Liverpool, but Adolf stole the funds. Taking refuge on the sofa for days, Adolf makes only one friend: Jewish landlord Mr. Meyer, surprisingly enough. With mutual interests in opera and architecture, the two become close, though Adolf does mention his thoughts on race relations and “contaminated blood.” Eventually, under pressure, Adolf stops loafing and gets a menial job. Most people think he won’t ever amount to much, but it’s clear that Adolf has bigger aspirations.

    Deal Price: $1.99

    Buy Black Flower at Amazon

    Black Flower

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    In 1904, facing war and the loss of their nation, more than a thousand Koreans leave their homes for the promise of land in unknown Mexico. After a long sea voyage, these emigrants — thieves and royals, priests and soldiers, orphans and entire families — discover that they have been sold into indentured servitude.

    Aboard the ship, the orphan Ijeong fell in love with a nobleman’s daughter; separated when the hacendados claim their laborers, he vows to find her. Then, after years of working in the punishing heat of the henequen fields, the Koreans are caught in the midst of a Mexican revolution. A tale of star-crossed love, political turmoil, and the dangers of seeking freedom in a new world, Black Flower is an epic story based on a little-known moment in history.

    Deal Price: $1.99

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