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I want to read good quality HF, but I'm burning out on all these door stoppers. Can anyone recommend quality HF titles at under 300 pages or thereabouts? I have JR Tomlin's first book in the Black Douglas series, which comes in around this count, and I know about Rosemary Sutcliff, whose novels may fit this bill.
I'm not interested in historical mystery unless it's really well done. I will read YA, if it's good quality. I also enjoy historical fantasy and well-written, well-researched historical romance.
I'm open to all geographies. I prefer medieval time periods, but I also enjoy older and newer works.
Genie, I hate to say it, but so much HF is the door-stopper variety! Even YA novels, ever since Harry Potter, have the go-ahead to stop doors. This one is tough!
For YA, Ann Rinaldi is good (but mostly U.S. history). (Rosemary Sutcliff is excellent, even if the majority of her work is YA also.)
I've enjoyed Cecelia Holland's Until the Sun Sets, The Earl and the Death of Attila. (All under 300 pgs.)
One of my favorites is Graham Shelby, but his books are older and you may have trouble finding them. The Devil is Loose (King John) was so good, as was The Oath and the Sword (Stephen and Matilda).
Gillian Bradshaw's trilogy about Arthur is heavy on the fantasy, IIRC. (Hawk of May, Kingdom of Summer, In Winter's Shadow).
I'll be interested to see what others come up with!
I read a trilogy by Ann Moore about Gracelin O'Malley - the books are all around 400 pages, but the print is fairly large and they are "quick reads". I loved this series about the Irish potato famine and her journey to America.
As luck would have it, I jot down number of pages in my reading journal. Here are some shorter books I enjoyed but they span various time periods.
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander - 229 pp
Vivaldi's Virgins by Barbara Quick - 288 pp (really enjoyable)
City of Thieves by David Benioff - 258 pp (Russia during the seige of Leningrad)
By Fire, By Water by Mitchell Kaplan - 282 pp (Spanish Inquisition)
Queen Hereafter by Susan Fraser - 334 pp (I really liked this one, too)
We Speak No Treason by Rosemary Hawley Jarmen (In two parts, but each part around 260 pages)
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik - 342 pp (fantasy)
A Parachute in the Lime Tree by Annemarie Neary - 242 pp (WWII - loved it)
Youze guize are wonderful! @Deb, I can see the smoke from here.
@Donna, Great minds, and all that. I've read about half on your list. By Fire, By Water sounds interesting. Other than The Religion and Cathedral by the Sea, I haven't read too much HF on the Spanish Inquisition. Both of these latter two are door stoppers, I might add. JS...
Last Edited on: 1/30/13 2:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Seriously, REK. :-) The Graham Shelby book I just received - The Wolf at the Door (about King John) - is also under 300 pages. So maybe some of his other titles will be as well.