Top Ten Favorite Books with Historical European Settings

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

So, I love to travel. And I love history. Combine those two of you and you have a love for well written historical fiction novels. I want to share with you my top ten favorite books with historical European settings. Because, really, who doesn't love Europe? Even if a lot of these books are set in Europe's darker times.

In no particular order....

1. A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

Not only is this one of my all time favorite sequels ever, but it's set in Paris! I truly felt like I was transported there. Considering the fact that I've never been to Paris and I experience it through books, this is super important to me. Plus, it's got demons raising the dead. How much more awesome can it get?!

2. Venom & Belladonna by Fiona Paul

I love Italy. I took four years of Italian in high school, I'm continuing with it in college, I've been to the country twice, and who doesn't love pizza? So, of course, I love being transported back in time to Renaissance Italy. Renaissance Venice and Renaissance Florence to be precise. And let me tell you, the world-building and imagery in BELLADONNA and Firenze was superb.

3. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

This is set in creep-tastic London, England before it moves to an even creepier Pacific Island. To put it simply, I loved every minute of it. Though only the beginning was set in a historical European country, it undoubtedly deserves a spot on this list because the world-building is superb.

4. The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

This book takes place in a gothic Paris during a time where young girls are getting murdered by the dozens at night while gargoyles run free...even though they're the good guys. I loved the gargoyle aspect of it. It made this dark book all the more darker.

5. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

This takes place in old England, and I really enjoyed this book because it paints England in a rather intriguing manner. All other times that England appears on this list is during dark times, but this is England told through the eyes of a very young teen who is learning to be a proper lady and spy all at once. The biggest issues are the highwayman and their snazzy steampunk floating air balloons!

6. Born Wicked & Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Spotswood covers all parts of England from a tiny town to the big city, convents, schools, homes of the rich, the poor, and the struggling in these two books. It's a time in England where females are being persecuted for witchcraft and those who can actually cast spells must stay in hiding and master their skills in secret or they'll be burned at the stake. The themes in this are so delicious and dark--my favorite witchcraft novel!

7. Incarnation by Emma Cornwall

I think that this is an under appreciated book. Set in England in 1897, it focuses a lot on the night and the illegal happenings because the main character is a vampire. And, well, Stoker somehow relates to a huge part of the plot. Very dark, very intriguing, and the world-building was spectacular. I'm not a vampire fan, but I loved this to bits. I highly recommend it!

8. The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent

This is set in an England where magic and those who know how to wield it are automatically considered evil. It also has hugely awesome steampunk twists. See Big Ben in the background of the cover? It's a chimney blowing smoke! What! Anyway, I really enjoyed this world. While it was a dark version of England, it was not dark in true content and it will actually appeal to younger young adult readers, too!

9. My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

Sixteenth century Florence, Italy?! Sign me up! Hey, there's gotta be some cute, light, fluffy reads on this list and this is one of them. Really great in showing the differences between teenagers now and then. It's rather amazing to see how much society has changed.

10. The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Set in London England on a sprawling manor house, it gives us a glimpse into the craziness of the rick folk in England during a time where they still had immense amounts of land to be wasted. It also has an insane character that made the book all the more interesting. Combine that with the steampunk twist and you've got my attention. Though not for everyone, I certainly recommend it to those who find the concept of insanity totally unique.


  1. Ummm, I'm putting all of the books that are on this list, that I haven't read on my Goodreads, because they all sound awesome! I'm also a huge fan of books that take place in Europe and are historical. Though I doubt you're surprised by any of this!
    My TTT

  2. I've read a lot of European historicals too, though my favorites are a lot older than yours! Of course, my favorite setting is Russia, though I also very much like historicals set in Germany, Spain, and the lesser-represented places like Hungary, Serbia, and Slovenia.

  3. I was way too lazy to do this TTT. I'm not a big setting reader anyway. Though now I wish I had. Any time I don't know what to do for TTT, I see people's posts and regret it. lol.

    Everyone seems to either love or hate the Fiona Paul books, with very little in between.

    Also, how have I only read three of these? HOW?

  4. Wow! Very nice picks! I haven't read a lot of European Historicals but I love Something Strange and Deadly!

    Here's my first TTT.

    Kate @ The Bookaholic Blurbs

  5. So glad to hear A Darkness Strange and Lovely was so good - it's next on my list, and I'm so excited to read it!

    TTT @ Krista's Dust Jacket

  6. Since I don't read historical YA, I've read none of these lol. But out of the list, I'll probably read Venom at some point since people seem to love that series :D

  7. Nice one! I'm always fascinated with European settings, mainly because I live in Asia. I ha e Etiquette and Espionage on my shelf, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. :)
    Top Ten Tuesday
    Giveaways: Paperback of The GAP Club & 5 signed YA books

  8. Oh my goodness, so many of your books are on my TBR list. I have Venom at home right now from the library, I've been Somethign Strange and Deadly on hold, I have a copy of The Beautiful and the Cursed and Etiquette and Espionage and Born Wicked at home. Clearly I need to get craking on these books :)

  9. Great theme. I have Super Sweet Sixteenth on my wish list. Heard great things about it.


  10. Beautiful & The Cursed and Something Strange and Deadly are on my short list to read. Great setting choice!

    Here's my TTT

    Stop by my giveaway if you have a moment!

    Jess @ Such A Novel Idea

  11. there are a couple here that i'm looking forward to reading, especially the first one. great list, a lot are going on my tbr :) ~daphne

  12. I haven't read any of these yet, but I think all of them are on my TBR list, haha! Great setting list.

    My TTT.

  13. Steampunk :) Nice picks, there are some I've read and liked/loved and others I really need to read!

  14. I love historical though I love Europe too. I've never read steampunk, but I definitely need to!

  15. I had the exact same topic (but forgot to hit publish)! There's nothing I love better than historical Europe, especially with a splash of magic!

  16. Historical European! That's very interesting. I've never read any of those, but they're not quite in my genre. It's so fun to join in TTT for the first time!