11 Best Historical Fantasy Romance Books
Everyone has pictured themselves living in different times. What would it be like if you lived 500 years ago? Whether it comes to being a prince, saving a princess, becoming a queen or finding true love, historical fantasy romance books can trigger a plethora of different feelings in a reader. First, you have the historical setting, which takes you back in time. Then, you have romance, not to mention the fantastic story line.
There are plenty of such books out there. In fact, pretty much everything involving princes and princesses can do with a bit of romance. But then, some books stand out in the crowd. Whether it is the unique setting, an exquisite story that will hook you in or a love story with plenty of plot twists, here are some of the best historical fantasy romance stories out there, as well as a few things to know before reading them – no major spoilers.
The Rock of Achill, by Jim Sheehan
Whether you are familiar with Irish stories or this is the first time you explore such things, this one has never been told before. It is a unique story that will twist you over and over again with its exquisite line. The story takes place ages ago, in the last days of a mythical Ireland. This age is close to an end and a collision between two different generations is about to turn everything into a disaster.
Donn has a simple mission. He is a young teenager, but he needs to secure the funds and save the land of his family. In order to do so, he needs to join a gang. He finds a crew of both rebels and knights who work together with one and only purpose – to bring back an ancient kingdom to love. His love Bridget is left behind on the Achill Island. However, he plans to propose to her once he gets back.
Donn faces a series of challenges in this adventure, including incredible creatures. It is a weird time for Europe, as the continent is struggling for liberty. It takes Donn years to complete his mission, but he is never 100% sure of the outcome. Moreover, he hopes his love is still waiting for him, rather than marry another man.
Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
This is the first book in the series with the same name and sets the scenario for the upcoming novels. It obviously pays off starting with this release in order to become familiar with the characters, their stories and plots. All in all, the action is not too far back in history – it all begins in 1945. Claire is a former combat nurse and has just returned from the war. She is back with her family now.
Her husband had been waiting for her and the couple decided to take a second honeymoon to celebrate their love. The couple hangs around some British aisles, relaxes and admires historical buildings, until one day… Claire finds some standing stones in an ancient circle and walks through one. Everything changes as she becomes an outlander. Everything is different now…
Clare is now in Scotland and back in time – 1743. Scotland is torn apart by war. She cannot really understand what has happened and she does not know anyone around there. Eventually, she meets James. He shows her a different kind of love. Claire wants to be faithful to her husband, but the desire she experiences could be beyond her force. She is torn between two men in two different worlds.
The Winter King, by C. L. Wilson
The Winter King is the first book in the Weathermages of Mistral series. It sets the scenario and helps you get ready for the upcoming releases in the series. The action takes place in a land torn by war. After three harsh years, Wynter finally gets some vengeance on Summerlea’s king by taking one of his daughters as his bride. It is finally peace, but Wynter has an issue that will not let him settle.
In order to avenge his brother’s death, he had to join the Ice Heart, a killing power. This power is now craving for more. On the other hand, Khamsin is a princess in Summerlea. She has spent her entire life exiled in the palace. Her father believed marrying Wynter would be a punishment, but instead, she has finally discovered the taste of freedom for the first time in her life.
Khamsin is impressed by Wynter, but she wants more than just pure passion. She wants love and this is what she craves for. However, the Ice Heart is constantly growing and less likely to let him discover love. A sudden plot twist changes everything and the couple must face life or death in the ultimate challenge. Will they succeed? Will she manage to settle on that icy heart?
Kiss of the Highlander, by Karen Marie Moning
The fourth book in the Highlander series has often been described to be among the best historical fantasy romance books out there. Sure, while you can go through it without reading the previous releases, becoming familiar with the characters’ stories would definitely help. Drustan has spent the last five centuries in a cave under a powerful spell, until one day…
A savior awakens him and everything changes. This lady is from the future. She is gentle and loving. She has unusual clothes and she talks like no one else. Drustan knows that his people are more important though. He needs to get back to his time. But on the other hand, he is charmed by this unusual lady and he definitely wants her by his side. Plus, how is he going to get back in time anyway?
Meanwhile, Gwen has just moved to Scotland for a new beginning, but also to find a husband. She ended up exploring a cave and finding the most attractive man she has ever seen. The passion is stronger than ever and Gwen decides to follow Drustan back into his time. The two end up in the 16th century, in a world with wars and all kinds of enemies.
Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas
The third book in the Throne of Glass series is by far the most exciting one – more action and plot twists than in any other release. Going through the previous books will help you understand the characters better, but it is not mandatory. All in all, the story follows Celaena and her incredible story. She has been through anything you can think of and she has managed to succeed every single time.
Celaena has been through a few deadly contests, but she has also had her heart broken. She has moved on with her life, growing stronger than ever. Her adventure is slightly different in this release. In order to confront the truth, she has to travel to an unknown land. The truth relates to her history, her heritage. Knowing who she is could change everything about her identity, as well as her future.
But this challenge is different from others. This is the type of action she has never had to deal with before. She is going to face incredible forces in the attempt to survive. Not only does she fight her inner demons, but there are creatures out there gathering together in order to enslave her world, so the adventure is more challenging than ever.
The City of Brass, by S. A. Chakraborty
Nahri believes magic is nothing but a game. She does not believe in actual magic, but illusionism and tricks. She does have some skills though. Struggling to survive in Cairo in the 18th century, she is one of the most respected con women out there. She reads palms, heals people and so on. However, she knows that these things are nothing but money making ideas. She does not believe in any of them.
One day, she accidentally summons a djinn warrior to her side. It was a mistake, but this mistake convinces her that magic is actually real. Everything in her world changes. The warrior tells her a different story and mentions things that Nahri has only heard about in bedtime stories. Everything is real and most of these things lead to a legendary city of brass.
The city is covered in brass walls and hides a series of things. There are more gates and each of them is guarded by a tribe of djinn warriors. Nahri is fascinated by this world and decides to join it. She realizes that magic is the actual power in the world, rather than brute force. She ends up in court and discovers that sometimes, you actually get what you wish for and it is not always nice.
The Duke and I, by Julia Quinn
The Duke and I is the first book in the Bridgertons series. The series has been so successful that it has also made it to the television world. All in all, this is the book that lays everything out and prepares you for an exciting story of love and intrigue – everything takes place in the Regency era. There are loads of rules everywhere and everyone is trying to impress with style.
Daphne Bridgerton has always been different. While aristocrats’ children learn how to behave and dress from an early age, she is far from being the amiable lady every man would like. She has become friends with more men around London. While everyone likes her for her kindness, no one really wants her as a partner or a wife. She is simply not up for those classic romantic games.
But then, a local duke – Simon – shares similar values. He is not too amiable, but quite rude. He has just returned to England and he intends to get married. He meets his best friend, as well as his sister – this is when everything changes. Simon and Daphne come up with an agreement that no one should know about. Everything seems to work perfectly, until the plan falls apart – love does not follow any rules.
Heart’s Blood, by Juliet Marillier
This is one of the most straightforward and direct historical fantasy romance books out there. It does not drag and the ending is hard to anticipate – what else can you ask for? All in all, the action takes place in Whistling Tor. This place is not like others. There are secrets and mysteries everywhere, as well as a dark past associated with a chieftain who no one truly likes.
Then, the action moves on to Anluan’s family. A curse has come upon this family and everyone is touched. Every whisper in these woods holds some secrets and threatens the community. The curse is impossible to break and no one wants to get the spirits angry by even trying to untie it or mention it. Most people are aware of it, but everyone acts like it does not exist.
Then, the action moves on to Caitrin. For Caitrin, this place is a safe heaven. She is a scribe. In her world, this is the type of place that no one really wants to leave. However, Caitrin has her own demons to battle too. As she gets to know Anluan, she realizes that deep feelings, love and commitment are the only tools she needs in order to break the curse and set everyone free.
Caller of Light, by T. J. Shaw
Carina has a bit of a different life. She is considered an outsider, yet she does have royal blood. One of her parents was part of her royal family. However, she is not considered noble. But on the same note, she is not a servant either. Her life is quite boring and she only finds joy in watching critons protect her homeland – a bunch of fire breathing monsters that look after the people in the kingdom.
Things change to 180 degrees one day, when she meets King Marek – and this is when the story becomes one of the most exciting historical fantasy romance books. It was a random encounter. Marek spotted Carina while leaving to a distant kingdom. He is a strong man and not the type to fall for a woman too easily, but she is incredibly beautiful – her willfulness is just as attractive.
He realizes that she is not a noble lady, but he also finds out about lords and other royalty trying to enslave her. Surprisingly for him as well, he is willing to endure a lot in order to protect her. Their love keeps growing and together, they realize that a powerful love and commitment can help them overcome any type of obstacle. There is only one condition – they have to follow their hearts.
Blade & Rose, by Miranda Honfleur
Blade & Rose is the first book in the series with the same name and sets the scenario for an incredible story. Long story short, she has to make a decision. Her kingdom is not doing very well, but she also loves a man. She will have to choose between saving the kingdom and finding forever love. What is she going to go for? The story follows elementalist Rielle and her struggle to do what is good for everyone.
She has not heard from her best friend in a very long time. But then, Olivia’s silence is overlooked by everyone else. There is a curtain of mystery around the capital and Rielle decides to investigate. But before moving on with this plan, she has a mission – she needs to escort Jon across the kingdom. Meanwhile, there are rumors that mercenaries might have killed the king and taken the capital over.
Rielle cannot leave Olivia behind, but at the same time, Jon is being hunted by dangerous assassins. She cannot leave him behind, especially as she starts to fall for him. Going for Olivia could mean ignoring her mission, as well as the man who is more than just a mission now. There are plenty of plot twists to keep you entertained, as well as a story that will convince you to go through the whole series.
Enchant, by Demelza Carlton
The first book in the Romance a Medieval Fairytale series tells the story of a beast prince and a stunning beauty. It all starts with King Thorn. He gets in touch with Zuleika and asks her to cast a deadly curse – not what she wanted though.
Her life was all about doing good. She used to travel the world in order to help people who needed magic. But when she starts searching for her lost father, she ends up on an unusual island. This is where she meets prince Vardan.
Vardan was under a curse – a curse that Zuleika had to deal with ages ago. She is not sure she can break the curse, but she wants to try. After all, a prince who fights pirates cannot be a bad person, regardless of his appearance.
Bottom line, these are some of the most exciting historical fantasy romance books out there. While the list can definitely be longer, some of the above-mentioned titles are part of longer series that can easily hook you in and satisfy your hunger for fantasy romance.