YA Historical Fiction for Downton Abbey Fans

YA Historical Fiction for Downton Abbey Fans

Posted by: Lisa Parkin October 30, 2013 4 Comments

Although the U.S. premiere of Downton Abbey Season 4 isn’t until January 5, 2014, period drama fans can enjoy some YA historical fiction to tide you over in the mean time.

YA Historical Fiction for Downton Abbey Fans


Aristocratic England

  • Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed – I adored this YA version of Downton Abbey (a tagline for the book is “At Somerton”). It’s probably the closest YA fans will get to reliving a Downton Abbey type time and period setting.
  • Gilt by Katherine Longshore – Fans of the Tudor era, will love this take on King Henry VIII’s court. Oh the intrigue!!
  • The Season by Sarah MacLean – Full of coming out parties and tons of frilly dresses, The Season is set in Regency England. If you’re needing an aristocratic fix, then check it out.

The 20s


  • The Diviners by Libba Bray – There is so much sass in this New York City set 20s book. The era-specific sayings and the spunk of the main character Evie will make you think you’ve accidentally slipped into a speakeasy.
  • Born of Illusion by Teri Brown – Absolutely loved this book. Harry Houdini, spooky seances and jazz music create a gorgeous backdrop for the mystery and magic in this YA historical fiction novel.
  • Vixen by Jillian Larkin- Channeling The Great Gatsby to the max, Vixed follows three girls’ lives as they deftly navigate their way during the Roaring 20s. Cigarettes and bobbed hair included.

Historical Fantasy

  • Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers – This book is set in a sort of medieval England (I think…) and places the characters beside the gloomy and ancient convent of St. Mortain. Definitely an atmospheric read.
  • Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard – It’s late 1800s in Philadelphia. And zombies are loose in the city. The historical landmarks in the city are fun to pick out…amongst all the eating of brains.
  • Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield – Set in England during the 1600s, Chantress is about the Lucy’s powerful and magical ability to sing and ensnare. Some reviews says this is more of a middle grade reading age, so make sure you’re ok with that before jumping in.

Set in Paris

  • The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan – This is a gorgeous tale of gargoyles and ancient vows, all set in the city of lights. I didn’t realize how many YA historical fiction books were set in Paris, but I’m SO THANKFUL!
  • The Académie by Susanne Dunlap – Set with some real historical depth, this book is set in Paris around the time of the French Revolution. Exciting and deadly.
  • Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross – This book combines intrigue and friendship amid the trappings of finery and danger of gossip in France.

What are your favorite YA historical fiction books??