If You Like….

If you like historical adventure series, you’ll probably like….

— Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe series, starting with Sharpe’s Rifles, in which our hero rises from the ranks to fight Napoleon on a number of fronts, capturing Imperial Eagles and thwarting French baddies (not to mention that he’s played by Sean Bean in the mini-series);

— George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman series, in which our eponymous hero (I use the term hero loosely; he’s a cad, a rogue and a bounder) carouses from Afghanistan to Harper’s Ferry, always managing to be there at just the crucial historical moment, getting himself both into trouble and out of it again (my favorite is Royal Flash, Fraser’s Prisoner of Zenda send-up);

— William Dietrich’s Ethan Gage series, starting with Napoleon’s Pyramids, following the fortunes of American adventurer and former Benjamin Franklin protege Ethan Gage as he careens around the Napoleonic world, in search of mysterious ancient artifacts;

— C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series and Patrick O’Brien’s Master and Commander (I’m lumping these together because they’re both nautical and Napoleonic);

— and, of course, how could one leave out Dumas’ Three Musketeers? And their thrilling further adventures: Twenty Years After, The Vicomte De Bragelonne, Louise de la Valliere, and The Man in the Iron Mask?

Which adventure series am I leaving out?


  1. Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm on March 12, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles? They aren’t precisely adventure novels per se, but there is a lot of adventure in them… plus Lymond is such an irresistible chameleon of a character.

  2. Sheila on March 13, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Lauren, youo already named my 2 favorites, Sharpe and Flashman. Of course Rhett Butler is an adorable rogue, and although it is only one book, it is almost long enough to be a series. And what’s not tol ove about Gable’s portryal? Just like Sean Bean and Sharpe, made for the role.

  3. Steph on March 13, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Arturo Perez-Reverte’s Captain Alatriste series, which is pretty much Dumas set in Spain under Philip IV. Loads of sword fights, appearances from historical figures from the period, a sinister priest and a femme fatale for the hero’s sidekick to pine after!

  4. Nicole N on March 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    It’s YA, and only two books, but Avi’s Beyond the Western Sea is a delightful series about a brother and sister fleeing Famine Ireland and stowing their landlord’s runaway son on board a ship to Boston.

  5. SusanN on March 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Oooh, great topic. I’ve read most of these, including the Musketeers series. But I’ve been putting off Flashman until they’re release as Kindle ebooks. I keep checking. . .

    Series? That knocks out some of my favorite adventure standalones (Rafael Sabatini, Samuel Shellabarger, R.L. Stevenson, etc.). But what about the following authors/books?

    –H. Rider Haggard (Alan Quartermain)
    –David Wood (Dane Maddock)
    –James Rollins (I prefer his standalones, but many people like the Sigma Force Books)
    –Patrick Robinson (Admiral Arnold Morgan)
    –Preston/Child (Agent Pendergast)
    –Clive Cussler (I’ve never read any of his books, but had to toss this in since I have acquaintances who love him)
    –Dewey Lambdin (Alan Lewrie)—and there are tons of other naval adventure series
    –Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody)—would these count? How about Diana Gabaldon?

    There are tons of science fiction and fantasy series that are adventure-oriented, but that may be another post.

  6. jeffrey on March 14, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Hmmmmm….My English Son-In-Law has the entire Master and Commander collection!

  7. Amy N. on March 14, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    The Ethan Gage series sounds interesting. There’s more Three Musketeers than just THE book? Seriously? Anyone else read them? Darn, I’m still stuck in the Pirates book with Madame Tussaud and Pauline Bonaparte waiting on the pile. I’ve got to hurry up and get out from under this rock… If only I could read for a living.

  8. Amy N. on March 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Holy Cow, Lauren! “Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) began to focus on historical novels after twenty successful years as a playwright. During his most productive period, from 1841 to 1850, he wrote forty-one novels, twenty-three plays, seven historical novels, and a dozen travel books.”

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