So historical fiction is my third genre but it is often solely neglected because: 1) I just haven’t really found a comfort author to stick to and for the majority of my life, I have been sticking to comfort authors; 2) I don’t have a personal interest in history so much. Rather, I feel history fiction has a similar draw of fantasy to me, by bringing me into a different ‘world’. But nevertheless, here is a post devoted to my history with this particular genre.
My first historical fiction was the Taiko by Eiji Yoshikawa, the English version of it which had been translated into totally beautiful prose. Plus it is an epic story so it wooed me off my feet and I have acquired it for my personal shelf. It also helps that I was very familiar with the series of Koei PC strategy games by the same name to the book which contain snippets of historical events here and there via cut scenes. But long story short, that seemed to have been a once-off for me. I wasn’t interested in Musashi, the other celebrated work by the same Japanese author at all.
Some time later, I found Ellis Peters and Peter Tremayne. But in truth, I was more into them for the mystery angle as opposed to historical. My next serious foray into historical fiction was really Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick, a coming of age story.
But now along comes Guy Gavriel Kay (he’s a serious historical fantasy writer as far as I can tell so it’s not his fault that I’m bypassing the history due to my own personal interest, again) and I’m actually liking his style very much. For me, his works have a strong epic fantasy vibe in that he tells multifaceted stories like a tapestry woven by multiple shimmering threads that you can follow separately as well as together. So I’ve been following him ever since River of Stars. My library only has the Fionavar Tapestry in audiobook formats and now that I’ve had a positive experience with audiobooks I see I will definitely get into this series this year.