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The best historical books about the Middle Ages: list and review
The best historical books about the Middle Ages: list and review

Books about the Middle Ages can be very diverse. Some authors emphasize the realism of events: they show the spirit of the era of knights, tournaments and constant battles. Others fantasize with magic, mix in the fantasy genre, and eventually get their fans. This article contains the most diverse selection of works about the mentioned era.

Perfect satire

One of the world's most famous books about the Middle Ages is Miguel de Cervantes' two-volume Don Quixote. This masterpiece perfectly satirizes the mores of the era in which all events take place. The plot tells about the man of the same name, who sincerely wished to become a noble knight in a peaceful period. He enlisted the support of his faithful squire Sancho and set off in search of adventure. On the journey, Don Quixote managed to meet many personalities, fight enemies in the form of windmills, and mark himself many more times. The work is incredibly easy to read, despite the impressive number of pages.

The most famous chivalric romance

When it comes to books about the Middle Ages, it is simply impossible not to mention W alter Scott and hislegendary novel Ivanhoe. If the reader wants to plunge headlong into the atmosphere of knightly duels, feel the spirit of the era, then this story is an ideal option. The author skillfully twists the storylines in which he assigns places to a huge number of different characters. The main character in the story does not appear immediately, he is mentioned only on the first ten pages. Then the story picks up pace. All events take place in England, when the Normans began to oppress the Saxons in every possible way. W alter Scott introduces readers to Richard the Lionheart, often mentions King John and the Magna Carta, there was even a place for the famous Robin Hood. The novel is not in vain considered a classic that perfectly demonstrates the Middle Ages. This is how he earned worldwide fame.

books about hitmen in the middle ages

Great story

Books about the Middle Ages were written by a variety of authors at all times, but not every one of them gained worldwide popularity. The novel "White Company" received such an honor, and its author was the master of detectives Arthur Conan Doyle. The creator of Sherlock Holmes also gave the world a great story that will tell all readers about the Hundred Years War between France and England. The author correctly emphasizes that the era of knights in brilliant armor is coming to an end. Swords will be replaced by new, more deadly weapons, because they are already beginning to be used in conflicts. The main character Nigel is a simple archer in his squad. It would seem that fate in a big battle does not depend much on him, but Arthur ConanDoyle refutes this. He shows that even one hero with his skills can change the outcome of history. The writer managed to create a work that is remembered for a long time, and captures after reading the first few pages.

medieval books

History with different accents

The best books about the Middle Ages are only those works that leave a big mark on the reader's soul. The novel The Crusaders by Henryk Sienkiewicz is considered such a masterpiece. It was for this work that he was awarded the Nobel Prize. The author approached writing in an original way. On the one hand, he carefully treated all the details of the era, vividly showed the period when the Poles entered into a confrontation with the knights that had returned from the crusades. The historical trace is visible everywhere, even in small descriptions of details. If you look from a different angle, then Senkevich does not promote this topic in the novel. It shows the love story of a beautiful Polish lady and a knight. The development of their relationship, the vicissitudes of fate and the influence of the family on the couple are emphasized here. That is why the book gained popularity not only among fans of the Middle Ages, but also among fans of romance novels.

best medieval books

The ups and downs with the main character

Historical books about the Middle Ages should not monotonously retell all the main events of the era. For this there is scientific research, and in novels there must be artistic value. Simone Vilar understood this very well when she created her work called “Knight of Light”. The story tells about the mainhero Arthur, who was separated from his beloved girl named Mildred. To meet her again, he decides to take the robe of the knight de Breton, who, by the will of fate, died in his arms. The equipment will help him get to the tournament, where Mildred must be. Only now the prince also wants to get a girl for himself, and his parents have completely different plans in this regard. Arthur will have to hurry, but another serious obstacle appears in the way in the form of the Templars. They consider the protagonist de Breton, to whom they have their own scores. The difficult path to love is described by the author according to all the canons, and the novel has gained great popularity among readers.

medieval fantasy books

World Classics

If the aforementioned books about knights, the Middle Ages, love stories and adventures did not fit, then you can turn your attention to the classics of the genre. William Shakespeare's Hamlet ranks first in this category. Events unfold in that era, but the emphasis here is on the tragedy of a young Danish prince. The plot tells how, due to the intrigues of his uncle, he lost his throne when he arrived from Europe after training. The young Hamlet was filled with progressive ideas about how to make people better. He sincerely wanted to change the whole world, but it was impossible to do so. Step by step, he learned more about the courtiers, their manners, interests, and was amazed at this. Hamlet was tormented by the desire to strive for the ideal and the thirst for revenge against his uncle. The legendary writer William Shakespeare perfectly conveyed this tragedy on the pages of his work. It's writtenso accessible and exciting that it captivates for hours.

medieval fantasy books

An unexpected journey

The authors paid attention not only to realism when writing works about this era. Books about hitmen in the Middle Ages also enjoyed and are very popular. Mark Twain excelled in this genre with his novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The story captivates readers from the first page. The protagonist was an ordinary American citizen until he received a good blow to the head. When he woke up, he was no longer at home. In some unknown way, he was transferred to the era of knights, namely England during the reign of King Arthur. The strangely dressed guy immediately aroused suspicion among the locals. In the very first settlement he is taken into slavery, and in this way he will go straight to the king. Mark Twain perfectly depicted the difference between the eras, and also showed the way of adaptation of the protagonist, who had to experience all the intrigues at the royal court. The work causes genuine delight thanks to an unusual adventure.

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Global popularity

Books about the Middle Ages in the fantasy genre do not always find a reader because of their unusualness, but George Martin, with his A Song of Ice and Fire series, proved the possibility of writing an interesting work. The author created his own universe, which strongly resembles the Middle Ages. Here much attention is paid to realism, but there is also a place for giants, whitewalkers, resurrections, and dragons. All these elements are combined into a single book that evokes a feeling of delight. A Song of Ice and Fire has long been a worldwide masterpiece. Many readers here are attracted not only by the setting, but also by the vicissitudes of the struggle for power. There are many houses in this universe that want to claim the Iron Throne for themselves. The author skillfully binds readers to the characters, but also suddenly takes the characters out of the game. It's done so masterfully that readers can't get away from the incredible plot twists for a long time.

books about the middle ages and magic

A dark world with its own rules

Books about the Middle Ages and magic do not always have to affect the real world. Many authors create their own world, which resembles Europe of the 11th-14th centuries. So did Andrzej Sapkowski with his Witcher series. The story of Ger alt of Rivia, nicknamed the White Wolf, touches to the core. The author masterfully twisted the plot, in which there are no unnecessary details. The story touches on global wars, racial conflicts and shows a huge number of characters with their own characters and experiences. A distinctive feature of the entire Witcher saga is that Sapkowski does not divide everything into good and evil. It shows the real events that take place in that world. Often the hero has to choose between evil and lesser evil. The books also show the influence of Slavic legends and mythology. The author has created an original world, which is interesting to dive headlong and for long hours.

Final list

  1. Don Quixote.
  2. "Ivanhoe".
  3. "Whitesquad.”
  4. Crusaders.
  5. Knight of Light.
  6. "Hamlet".
  7. "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."
  8. A Song of Ice and Fire.
  9. The Witcher.

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