Child of Vengeance by David Kirk
Years ago, Bennosuke’s father, the renowned warrior Munisai, abandoned his home for the battlefield. Although his uncle (and guardian), the monk Dorinbo, nudges Bennosuke towards the religious life, the 13-year-old wants nothing more than to follow in his father’s footsteps. When Munisai returns, Bennosuke learns the terrible truth behind his father’s departure — and strengthens his resolve to become a true samurai. Based on the life of 17th-century warrior-poet Musashi Miyamoto, whose achievements include creating the two-bladed sword technique of kenjutsu and authoring The Book of the Five Rings, this gripping biographical novel skillfully evokes a time, place, and way of life that should appeal to fans of historical fiction set in feudal Japan, such as James Clavell’s Shogun.
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh is a national hero who has just completed his famous trans-Atlantic flight. Since he could have any girl, shy Anne Morrow is astonished when the dashing aviator invites her to go flying with him and, after a whirlwind courtship, proposes marriage. But the glamorous couple’s jet-setting life veers violently off-course after the abduction and murder of their infant son. Hounded by the press, the Lindberghs flee to Germany just as Hitler comes to power. As domineering Charles strives to mold Anne into a docile helpmeet, Anne attempts to assert her independence, instigating a battle of wills. But the specter of World War II soon dwarfs their domestic troubles. Booklist, in a starred review, calls The Aviator’s Wife “fictional biography at its finest.”
The Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell
Shipped across the Narrow Sea in 1001 C.E. to marry the much-older King Æthelred of England, 15-year-old Emma of Normandy has little idea of what awaits her in her new home — and, when she arrives, does not like what she finds. Her husband neither loves nor trusts her, his inner circle plots against her, and both her Norman nationality and her Danish ancestry fuel suspicion among her new subjects, especially as Æthelred’s army battles the invading forces of Swein Forkbeard, King of the Danes, for control of England. Based on events from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, this 1st book in a planned trilogy follows the life of a spirited girl as she learns to be a queen.