30 August 2010

M.K. Hobson is the author of  THE NATIVE STAR, a historical fantasy full of magic, romance, and laced with steampunk elements.  Julia’s review will be up soon, but in the meantime, M.K. is here to share a few "gateway" historicals for urban fantasy junkies.  Plus she’s giving away her book and a couple other goodies. See details below. 


Historical Fantasy for Urban Fantasy Readers
M.K. Hobson

The Native StarIf you're reading this blog, it's likely that you're a fan of urban fantasy. (Gee, Mary, what gave it away?) And maybe, like many voracious readers, you've already discovered how much fun historical fantasy can be. But if you haven't, I'm here to tell you that this rich, up-and-coming subgenre is not just about steampunk (which is not intended to take anything away from undeniably fantastic works in that era such as Gail Carriger's SOULLESS and Cassandra Clare's hotly-anticipated CLOCKWORK ANGEL to name just two.)

Where urban fantasy is often defined by a sense of place—corrupt, big-shouldered locales like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago—historical fantasy is defined by a sense of time. In successful historical fantasy, readers are immersed in a bygone era. When you find books that do both—combine urban intrigues with sweeping historical vistas—the results can be truly spectacular.

The following are a few historicals that I think would be right up the (dark) alley of any hard core reader of urban fantasy. Some of them might already be old favorites, but I hope you'll find something new and tempting.

  1. image The Vampire Files (series), P.N. Elrod. BLOODLIST (the first in the 12-book Vampire Files series) was published in 1990 which makes P.N. Elrod an éminence grise of historical urban fantasy. Set in 1930s Chicago, the books (often described as "vampire-noir") follow ex-reporter (and vampire) Jack Fleming as he navigates his way through a Raymond Chandleresque world of floozies, mob bosses and society dames. If you happen to be a fan of the old soap opera "Dark Shadows" then you must run, not walk, and buy all of these books immediately.
  2. image MOONSHINE, Alaya Dawn Johnson. Set in New York in the roaring '20s, this thrilling novel follows the adventures of social activist (and former demon hunter) Zephyr Hollis as she works with a mysterious stranger to bring down a vampire crime boss. Zephyr is a truly multilayered heroine; while she possesses the standard urban-fantasy "demon-ass-kicking" skills, as a defender of the downtrodden (including the supernatural downtrodden) she's conflicted about using them and prefers more peaceful methods. A perfect mashup of historical and urban fantasy that gives the period term "vamp" a whole new meaning.
  3. image BLOODY GOOD, Georgia Evans. The first in a trilogy set in Britain during World War II, BLOODY GOOD chronicles the adventures of country doctor Alice Doyle who joins forces with a handsome conscientious objector (and pixies) to fight vampire Nazis. I mean, just typing out that plot description makes me happy—and should make you get your hands on a copy if you haven't already.

So there you have it—"gateway" historicals for urban fantasy junkies. I promise, once you've plowed your way through these, you'll find yourself jonesin' for an even harder fix. You'll find yourself mainlining Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Naomi Novik, C.C. Finlay, or Madeleine Robins. Just one word of warning: if anyone tries to offer you some Harry Turtledove, just walk away. That stuff will kill you.

M.K. Hobson's debut novel, THE NATIVE STAR, is a historical fantasy romance set in an alternate 1876 America with magic. In it, a timber camp witch from the Sierra Nevadas and a snooty New York City warlock are thrown together on a journey across the United States by horse, train, and biomechanical flying machine to unlock the secrets of a mysterious artifact. Now available from Spectra at fine retailers nationwide!

Thanks M.K. for stopping by.  Come back anytime.

Visit M.K. online:


Giveaway courtesy of M.K. Hobson

One copy of THE NATIVE STAR by M.K. Hobson, plus a signed bookplate and a lavender sachet.

The Native Star
This title will be published on August 31, 2010

In the tradition of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, this brilliant first novel fuses history, fantasy, and romance. Prepare to be enchanted by M. K. Hobson’s captivating take on the Wild, Wild West.

The year is 1876. In the small Sierra Nevada settlement of Lost Pine, the town witch, Emily Edwards, is being run out of business by an influx of mail-order patent magics. Attempting to solve her problem with a love spell, Emily only makes things worse. But before she can undo the damage, an enchanted artifact falls into her possession—and suddenly Emily must flee for her life, pursued by evil warlocks who want the object for themselves.

Dreadnought Stanton, a warlock from New York City whose personality is as pompous and abrasive as his name, has been exiled to Lost Pine for mysterious reasons. Now he finds himself involuntarily allied with Emily in a race against time—and across the United States by horse, train, and biomechanical flying machine—in quest of the great Professor Mirabilis, who alone can unlock the secret of the coveted artifact. But along the way, Emily and Stanton will be forced to contend with the most powerful and unpredictable magic of all—the magic of the human heart.

Giveaway Guidelines

  1. Open to US only
  2. Leave a comment that includes:
    1. Your favorite historical fantasy or a comment for M.K.
    2. A way to contact you if you win
  3. Entries must be received by Midnight MST on October 12th.

Interested in guest blogging on All Things Urban Fantasy?  CONTACT ME


  1. This seems like a very different take on the typical urban fantasy setting, and I really would love to read it!!!

    jlelliott08 [at] gmail [dot] com

  2. Hummm I am pleased to see such a mix of genres come together Ubran fantasy and Historical Fantasy as my own writing tends to be a bit of both at present. Previously I've tagged it as Magical Realism as it all happens in the present day like Urban Fantasy but as it isn't all set in the great city of York I haven't fully given it to Urban Fantasy yet but when you mention the words Historical Fantasy well - I've kind of turned it on its head with my writing as I do involve locations from certain historical events but as previously mentioned the entire book is set in present day and of course as I'm deadling with gods new and old, souls, afterlife and death there is a big dollop of fantasy involved. But as fantasy is developing so many sub-genres I don't think one has developed to capture mine just yet.
    Thanks for an interested read, some books that I might add to my christmas list there.

  3. Thanks for a fabulous giveaway! "The Native Star" is quite intriguing! I am a true, lifelong fan of "Dark Shadows"! "The Wild, Wild West" is the original Steampunk! Such a innovative, imaginative TV show--so very clever! Robert Conrad as James West--ummm--hmmm! My favorite secret agent! No government man ever looked so good in a suit--and those suits fit to a "T"! Ross Martin was great as Artemis Gordon--the master of all disguises!

    Urban Fantasy is based on a harsher, darker world with escalated drama and violence. The heightened tension leads to more intense sensual situations. All of these elements combine for a knockout punch, but they have to handled just right to avoid overkill and remain readable. One feature of Urban Fantasy that really appeals to me is the natural evolution of strong, kick-booty female characters!

  4. I've never read a historical fantasy, this one sounds wonderful. And witches are one of my favorite paranormal characters. I would love to read your book.

  5. I'm always looking for new authors and series to read, sounds good!

  6. Ooh..every now and again a good UF Historical is fun. I really liked Moonshine, but a good one are those parasol protectorate novels. I think the first one is Changeless. I get all my titles mixed up. But that is also a good transition into Steampunk along with Historical.

    I don't think I've ever read a Wild West historical though. Interesting. I'm intrigued. Nice to meet you Ms. Hobson.

    parajunkee at gmail.com XOXO

  7. Native Star sounds fantastic.

    The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason was one of the better urban historicals I've read.


  8. Native Star sounds very interesting. I'm not sure I've actually read a historical fantasy but since it does combine two of my favorite genres, I definitely want to check it out.

    angela.donner (at) gmail.com

  9. This sounds good! I haven't read too many historical fantasies but I love them. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Soulless by Gail Carriger are my favorites!


  10. I can't wait to read Native Star- I've read werewolf historical romances(NIGHT OF THE WOLF by Elaine Barbieri)-I would love to have a copy of Native Star

  11. Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series I love! Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan too =). And Philip Pullman's Ruby in the Smoke.


  12. I haven't read a lot of what I would consider historical fantasy. I like romances set in historical periods laced with legends and beliefs from ancient cultures, but I'm not sure that's the same thing. M.K. is there a difference between what I'm describing and what you consider historical fantasy?

    Please enter me in the giveaway.


  13. Aloha M.K.

    I don't think I have read historical fantasy yet but I am eager. Quoting above: "magic, romance, and laced with steampunk elements." Yes, I would love to read that. In fact, I recently read my first Steampunk romance and I am BLOWN away at how much I loved it.
    With that said, I've TBR'd The Native Star on my goodreads account so when I seen this post I had to read it and enter!=)

    Thank you for coming by and sharing the recommendations.

    lllinthe808 at gmail dot com

  14. Hi everyone!

    Justpeachy36, I'd say that what you're describing is historical fantasy if those legends and beliefs from ancient cultures have some actual truth or power to them--that is, if there is some kind of supernatural power present that doesn't exist in our real world. If there's no magic, then I'd call it pure historical romance.

  15. This sounds right up my alley. Sounds really good. If I don't win, I'll be looking for this one to buy, anyway.

    Very interesting trailer.

    My favorite historical fantasy to this point must be "The Historian" by Elisabeth Kostova. I read it three times.


  16. So far, my favorite historical fantasy is the Soulless series by Gail Carriger. I love those books!

    rosie0512 @ hotmail . com

  17. My historical fantasy addiction began back in high school with Katharine Kerr's Deverry series. Or is that more high fantasy than historical fantasy?

    Currently I'm a big fan of the steampunk subgenre - namely Gail Carriger.

    cass at feministdracona dot net

  18. I have never read historical fantasy, what a fun idea. I will have add some to my pile!


  19. I love fantasy and historical fiction, so this book sounds great. Not sure if this counts under 'historical fantasy' but I really enjoyed Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

    Thanks for the chance to win!


  20. Can't say that a historical fantasy title immediately pops into mind, but I did like Descent into Dust by Jacqueline Lepore. It had a gothic feel that I really enjoyed.

    patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

  21. I'm surprised that this book has not come to my attention sooner! The story sounds fascinating! I'm a Gail Carriger fan as well. When I first read Soulless, I didn't know if was considered Steampunk, I just thought it was a cool alternate universe!

    Thanks for the contest! sgalley65 at yahoo

  22. I would choose Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series as my favorite historical fantasy. I've been wanting to read Georgia Evans' Bloody Good and the rest of the trilogy for some time, but haven't had a chance to yet.
    Native Star sounds fantastic and I'm looking forward to reading it.


  23. I was wondering if this could be considered alternate history? My son(who has many disabilities) makes beautiful alternate history maps. It is how I was first introduced to it and steampunk. I never knew anything about this genre. I will have to put all these books on my TBR list. They all sound really good.

  24. @Lorelei: I haven't read "The Historian" yet, but it's in my to-read pile! I'll have to push it up in the queue.

    @Scoot: I'd call "Leviathan" steampunk alt history ... a great book by a great writer!

    @Everyone: the thing I like most about Gail Carriger's books is the humor. How she manages to be silly, romantic, fun, & suspenseful all at the same time is incredible!

  25. Sounds awesome thanks for taking the time to guest blog and for the giveaway!!


  26. Even though I read Guy Gavriel Kay's The Lions of Al Rassan awhile ago, I still keep thinking about it and how awesome it was!

  27. That sounds like a awesome book!
    Even if I don't win it will be on my Christmas list!

    My favorite historical fantasy is "The Historian" by Elisabeth Kostova. My mom gave it to me about a year ago and it's what got me really into historical fantasy.


  28. Hmmm, historical fantasy? Aren't they all *winks*. Does the Outlander series count?

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  29. I love Dark Shadows also. I loved Titanic. I am a follower. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  30. Just added two authors to my Wanton Wantin' Book List. Thanks! I have read the series by Georgia Evans and had a good time with it.
    Really looking forward to reading your book, M.K.

    VWinship at aol dot com

  31. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's books (specifically Hotel Transylvania) are what first introduced me to vampires and are still some of my favorites. This book sounds great and very original. Can't wait to read it.

    jen at delux dot com

  32. Thanks for the contest.
    This book sounds very interesting!


  33. Hi

    Thanks for the contest, My fav. historical fantasy[solo] would be Lion of Macedon by David Gemmell & series would be The Troy Trilogy by DG.

    Why have I chosen both titles by DG, simply put he has taken the story roots and given a rather incredible twist to come up with tales of his own which will a bit similar to the original still are vibrant to read.


  34. i loved georgia evans' bloody series, and i'm loving p.n. elrod's series (though i have a long way to go), so i'll have to hunt down moonshine! i'm a huge steampunk fan as well (gail carriger is awesome!) i can't wait to read the native star - it sounds delightful! adding to my list....

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  35. My favorite Historical Fantasy is the Temeraire Series from Naomi Novik. I can't wait to see what that dragon is going to get them into next.
    linda at gordonvalley dot com

  36. I have to say Gail Carriger's series - I do have The Historian on my TBR. Thanks for hosting. Native Star sounds like a great read.
    Please enter me - I am a follower.


  37. I really liked Steelflower by Lilith Saintcrow, The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs and The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill. I think these can be considered historical fantasy, or maybe they are just fantasy, hmm...

    linaramz at yahoo dot com

  38. Not sure if these would be considered historical fantasies but I really liked Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld and Soulless by Gail Carriger.
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  39. I don't know that I have read many historical fantasies other than time travel ones.

    giveawaymommy at yahoo.com

  40. My favorite historical fantasy is Soulless.

  41. You know, I don't think I've ever read a historical fantasy because I can only recall historical fiction but none with fantasy elements :-o
    I'd love to start with
    The Native Star though, it sounds wonderful! Great post MK, thanks for enlightening me on a new subgenre :)
    bells DOT franco AT gmail DOT com

  42. Great list, M.K.! I think "New Blood" by Gail Dayton will make a good addition, as well as Libba Bray's 'Gemma Doyle' series and Patricia Wrede's 'Cecilia and Kate' series. Oo, and "Whitechapel Gods" by S.M. Peters :)


  43. OMG I have to read Bloody Good because it has vampire Nazis!!!!!!!!!

    Your book sounds incredible too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. I'm really looking forward to reading Native Star. :)

    My other favorite historical fantasies? The Golden Compass novels just rock. :) My absolute favorite, to be sure. But other than that, herm...in the historical fantasy vein? Michael Moorcock's Von Bek series hands down. (The Warhound and The World's Pain, City in the Autumn Stars, Blood, Fabulous Harbours, War Amongst the Angels &c...) They're really hard to find these days, but very, very good.

    my email: sistertyme-at-yahoo.com

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Thanks for the giveaway. Mm.. historic fantasy, not sure I have read one before so this sounds really good.


  47. This sounds like a lovely book, I think the closest to a historical fantasy I've read is the People of the Wolf (First North American Series).


  48. I'm not sure about a favorite historic fantasy novel, but I really like manga that features the idea xDD

  49. I don't think I've read any Historical fiction yet, but I have a couple of them in my TBR pile, and I would love to read some, as I love both historical fiction and fantasy.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com



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