Whether re-telling or riffing on the experiences of female leaders of the ancient world, or reimagining the courts of figures like Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great and Queen Victoria, novelists have long found inspiration in the extraordinary lives of majestic matriarchs, empresses and queens. This collection of books that boss it like a queen covers that richness, alongside a clutch of contemporary fantasy novels that have queens at their core.
When it comes to novels set in the distant past, this collection includes stories about Nefertiti and Cleopatra, and Pat Barker’s remarkable account of a queen during the Trojan War, The Silence of the Girls.
Moving on in time, we have Manda Scott’s Boadicea novels, books about queens of the crusades, and female figures from Tudor times, including novels by Philippa Gregory, who might be described as the Queen of Tudor fiction, and whose writing boasts tremendous atmosphere, detail and page-turning pace.
But the queenly theme isn’t confined to historic novels. Sarah J Maas’ epic Throne of Glass novels reel with royal court intrigue, betrayals and romance, and we also recommend Rebecca Ross’ The Queen's Rising YA fantasy. And, in ones to watch out for, Juno Dawson’s Her Majesty’s Royal Coven promises supernatural sovereign shenanigans with witchy bite.
Read on to discover some right royal reads for every mood.