What are the best books on the 'middle ages'?

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#1

What do readers say about The Pillars of the Earth?

medieval historical saga long and very detailed

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Oprah's Book Club Selection

The "extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece" (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett's already phenomenal career-and begins where its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, ended.... More details on The Pillars of the Earth

The walls were already three feet high and rising fast. The two masons Tom had engaged were working steadily in the sunshine, their trowels going scrape, slap and then tap, tap while their laborer swe...
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#2

What do readers say about The Name of the Rose?

a series of murders an ode to ignorance

An international sensation and winner of the Premio Strega and the Prix Médicis Etranger awards, this enthralling medieval murder mystery is "a brilliant deconstruction of the traditional crime novel" (Iain Rankin).

The year is 1327. Benedictines in ... More details on The Name of the Rose

ON AUGUST 16, 1968, I WAS HANDED A BOOK WRITTEN BY A CERTAIN Abbé Vallet, Le Manuscrit de Dom Adson de Melk, traduit en français d’après l’édition de Dom J. Mabillon (Aux Presses de l’Abbaye de la Sou...
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#3

What do readers say about The Winter King?

attention to detail a man's book

It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it. With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write: t... More details on The Winter King

ONCE UPON A TIME, in a land that was called Britain, these things happened. Bishop Sansum, whom God must bless above all the saints living and dead, says these memories should be cast into the bottoml...
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#4

What do readers say about Doomsday Book?

dark and sad science fiction/historical fiction

Five years in the writing by one of science fiction's most honored authors, Doomsday Book is a storytelling triumph. Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and... More details on Doomsday Book

Mary shook her head. “All you’ve missed is Gilchrist’s speech.” She leaned back in her chair to let Dunworthy squeeze past her into the narrow observation area. She had taken off her coat and wool hat...
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#5

What do readers say about The Last Kingdom?

good plot twists action historical fiction

The first installment of Bernard Cornwell's New York Times bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, "like Game of Thrones, but real" (The Observer, London)-the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit Netflix series.

In the ... More details on The Last Kingdom

The Danes were clever that day. They had made new walls inside the city, invited our men into the streets, trapped them between the new walls, surrounded them, and killed them. They did not kill all t...
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#6

What do readers say about The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England?

ligththearted and fairly informative popular social history

Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the 14th century. This text sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking the reader to the Middle Ages, and showing everything from the horrors of lepros... More details on The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England

It is the cathedral that you will see first. As you journey along the road you come to a break in the trees and there it is, massive and magnificent, cresting the hilltop in the morning sun. Despite t...
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#7

What do readers say about A Morbid Taste for Bones?

fast paced and intriguing medieval murder mystery

The ambitious head of Shrewsbury Abbey wants to acquire Saint Winifred's sacred remains for his Benedictine order. And when the ensuing controversy leads to murder, Brother Cadfael investigates.... More details on A Morbid Taste for Bones

ON THE FINE, BRIGHT MORNING IN EARLY MAY when the whole sensational affair of the Gwytherin relics may properly be considered to have begun, Brother Cadfael had been up long before Prime, pricking out...
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#8

What do readers say about Matrix?

good world building complex female relationships

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2021

Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, NPR, The Financial Times, Good Ho... More details on Matrix

It is 1158 and the world bears the weariness of late Lent. Soon it will be Easter, which arrives early this year. In the fields, the seeds uncurl in the dark cold soil, ready to punch into the freer a...
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#9

What do readers say about A Distant Mirror?

weighty, detailed history narrative history style

A "marvelous history"* of medieval Europe, from the bubonic plague and the Papal Schism to the Hundred Years' War, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Guns of August

*Lawrence Wright, author of The End of October, in The Wall Street Journal

... More details on A Distant Mirror

Formidable and grand on a hilltop in Picardy, the five-towered castle of Coucy dominated the approach to Paris from the north, but whether as guardian or as challenger of the monarchy in the capital w...
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#10

What do readers say about Year of Wonders?

spare and simple gut-wrenching plot twists

"Plague stories remind us that we cannot manage without community . . . Year of Wonders is a testament to that very notion." - The Washington Post

An unforgettable tale, set in 17th century England, of a village that quarantines itself to arrest the ... More details on Year of Wonders

I USED TO LOVE this season. The wood stacked by the door, the tang of its sap still speaking of forest. The hay made, all golden in the low afternoon light. The rumble of the apples tumbling into the ...
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