YA historical fiction is a book genre in which the story is set up in the past, but made relatable for a young adult in today’s modern era. Such books capture the details of the past in an accurate manner to portray authenticity. Details about traditions, customs, and social norms are included. Some of the books like renaissance romance novels give a glimpse of how love was portrayed back then. We have gathered a list of six enjoyable historical fiction books below.

Journeys, by Jeanne Roland

Set during the 14th century in medieval Belgium, Journeys accounts Marieke’s journey. A girl who is disguising herself as a boy in a boys’ only barracks. Marieke doesn’t think about herself as much of a girl after her face was left scarred by a mule’s kick with ruined marriage prospects too.

Forced to leave behind her former life, she flees to the St. Sebastian’s guild to seek refuge. No women are allowed in there. But this may be her only chance to discover her father’s past and prevent a murderous plot. Tristan takes her as his squire and she must stay.

It will be tough not to reveal her identity and live amongst gorgeous boys. But the most difficult thing of all will be keeping her own vow; seeing Tristan become a Guardsman without him getting to know she is a girl and in love with him.

The Master’s Apprentice, by Oliver Pötzsch

 The Master’s Apprentice is a YA historical fiction book with adventure and intrigue alongside trickery, manipulation and love. It is the 15th century and the only beings curious about the universe are heretics.

Johann’s fate is greatness. He was born under a rare star alignment and he is thought of as his mother’s “lucky one.” But his studies and wonder make him a suspect. Particularly, during child disappearances that leave the locals terrified and his one true love in catatonic fear. The only words she utters are that she has seen the devil.

When Johann is banished from Knittlingen on a curse account, he meets Tonio del Moravia, a fortune teller and an arcane arts master. He recognizes something unique in Johann and takes him under his wing, promising a whole different world of sensations and knowledge. However, there will be deception and a disturbing prophecy.

The Poison Keeper, by Deborah Swift

This is a story about hidden familial secrets and how love and being courageous can triumph over vengeance. It gives an account of Giulia Tofana and how she is persecuted by the Duke of Verdi.

Giulia yearns to do more in her mother’s apothecary, which is both an official and under-the-counter business. When her mother is arrested for poisoning the Duke, Giulia flees to her courtesan aunt Isabetta in Naples.

After hearing about her mother’s cruel execution, she swears to wreak revenge on the Duke. But, the Duke's brother together with the mafia controls the Naples. Even worse, Giulia’s aunt is under the Duke’s brother’s thrall and insists that Giulia should be his associate.

In this world, the powerless and women especially, are not safe. Will Giulia find the revenge she is seeking and most importantly, will she and her dear ones survive?

Scarlet Princess, by Robin D. Mahle & Elle Madison

All her life, Rowan has known her worldly role and that she is a Lochlann princess. All this is true until several missteps cause her to encounter her enemies. Rowan is witty, feisty, and very prone to trouble, especially when around her cousin Davin.

Becoming an outsider, she will be forced to reconceive all that she thinks she knows. When Rowan and her captor's relationship takes an unforeseen turn, she will have to make a tough decision. She will have to figure out if the animosity between the two lands is bigger than what they can overcome. Or, if she can be accepted by the Socairans.

Theodore, the Socairan Lord has also found a soft spot for Rowan. If she is not careful enough, her choices may as well result in war among the people she is meant to protect. This book is one of the best YA historical fiction on the market.

The Scandalous Vixen, by Tracy Summer

 The Scandalous Vixen is an enemies-to-lovers romance between a bold lady and a cruel duke. They will discover that they need to agree about a desirous alliance to achieve what they want.

Helena Astley’s plan is to take control of her father’s shipping business and live as per her rules. This plan is free from inconveniences until an ill-advised kiss welcomes the duke into her life. She doesn’t want him but neither can she resist him.

Roan Darlington doesn’t care for anyone and he is not even looking to find himself a duchess. The only one who will challenge him is Helena. She is the woman he has not managed to forget.

Getting caught up in a disastrous situation, he offers Helena an alternative; a false engagement that she is free to call off once Christmas is over. They both will discover a world of prohibited pleasure and face tough decisions.

Anna of Kleve, by Alison Weir

This is a riveting historical book that you will resonate with even after the last page.

King Henry VIII is newly widowed with an infant son and realizes he needs to remarry for the royal succession. He is unhealthy and even eligible princesses reject him. However, Anna of Kleve has a secret she wants to remain hidden.

When Henry commissions Anna’s portrait, he is enthralled by her lovely image. It was painted in a flattering perspective. However, when she comes to England and Henry sees the real her, he is sure he will never love her.

An awkward royal union follows. Henry will be captivated by one of Anna’s maids-of-honor even as he warms up to her. Might he accuse her of adultery and have her taken to the scaffold? Or, will he send her back to Germany with a divorce disgrace?


YA historical fiction books are excellent reads for fans. If you are a young adult who loves the genre, be sure to check out our recommended books above. If you are more into sci-fi and dystopian novels, here are the best historical science fiction novels for you.

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