5 Books That Blend Magic and History

If you like your fantasy tinged with a dose of reality or your historical fiction zhushed up for a little pizzazz we’ve got some great reads for you. These fantasy novels all take place amid real historical events that go…a little differently in the book than they did in real life.

The Pomegranate Gate by Ariel Kaplan

With the Spanish Inquisition in full swing Toba and Naftaly are among thousands of Jews fleeing Spain to evade sanctions, but they are the only two who have fled with precious family heirlooms, that the Inquisition is looking for. When they accidentally escape to the mirror realm of Mazik they believe they’re safe, until they realize the Inquisition has followed them and this realm is suffering its own political turmoil. Will Toba and Naftaly be able to restore order to both realms, and will they discover the connection between their treasured possessions and the realm of Mazik in this spellbinding fantasy inspired by Jewish folklore?

The Nightland Express by J.M. Lee

Hop aboard the historic Pony Express and the two teens who have just joined the ranks of these elite riders in the antebellum American west. When Jesse Murphy and Ben Foley are partnered to work on the Nightland Express they are both too grateful for the job and too preoccupied keeping their own secrets to notice the oddness of their new career. But soon they begin to wonder why their horses never tire and the inhuman creatures that watch them on their journey. Having unknowingly taken a job as messengers between our mortal realm and a magical one just beyond our reach, Jesse and Ben will soon be tasked with saving both realms, if they can learn to trust each other first…

Silver Lady by Mary Jo Putney

A dash of magical realism has been sprinkled into this enchanting new Regency romance by the incomparable Mary Jo Putney! Set on the rugged Cornish coast and filled with plenty of swashbuckling adventure. Bran Tremayne is reluctant to venture to Cornwall, abandoned as a baby, learning of his noble family holds no appeal to him, but as a special agent in service of his country he is tasked with taking down a smuggling ring on the coast. For Bran, the best thing about Cornwall is Merryn, the beautiful amnesiac woman with paranormal gifts he saved in the countryside. Neither of them knows Merryn’s real identity, but they do know how they make each other feel, but will their love survive the danger brewing?

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

In this Regency England women hold the power of magic, until they get married that is. Beatrice Clayborn secretly practices magic, hoping to become a full-fledged Magus, but her family has put all they have into making sure she will make an advantageous match to save their family’s disastrous financial situation. When Beatrice finds a grimoire with the key to becoming a Magus she can’t believe her luck, until a rival sorceress steals it. Beatrice’s attempts to regain the tome bring her in contact with the thief’s brother the charming, handsome, and rich Ianthe Lavan. The more she gets to know Ianthe the harder her decision becomes: if she becomes a Magus her family will be left destitute and she will lose the only man she has ever cared for, but if she marries she will lose her magic, a part of her identity. Choosing one path will close the other, so how is Beatrice to decide?

The Spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber

In Gilded Age New York even the underground possesses glamour…Eve Whitby lives a different life than that of the pampered high society women north of 60th Street, but one that possesses its own charm. A gifted medium, she works as an off the books aid in solving the grislier and trickier crimes of the city that never sleeps. But though Eve is used to the morbid and the challenging this newest case has proven more difficult than she could ever imagine. With her trusted ghostly aids disappearing Eve is left to wonder what kind of villain wreaking havoc in the realm of the living also has the ability to banish ghosts.