Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Gillian Bradshaw is the very best —

When it comes to historicals, especially impeccably researched historicals with a strong romance subplot.

So pleased to see that Maureen has started reading Bradshaw’s backlist. Yay! Such a pleasure when you get to watch someone discover a favorite author.

My own Bradshaw list:

Fighting it out for top place:

A Beacon at Alexandria
Island of Ghosts
Cleopatra’s Heir
The Sand-Reckoner

Also very good:

Render Unto Caesar
The Bearkeeper’s Daughter
Imperial Purple
The Sun’s Bride
Wolf Hunt

Not as good imo:

Dark North — I’d almost put this in the set above, though
London in Chains
Horses of Heaven
The Arthurian trilogy

The ones I haven’t read:

Her science fiction (I have one on my Kindle, though)
Her children’s books

If you’ve already read a lot of Bradshaw’s list, which ones are on the top for you? And do you think there is a bottom to her list? I have no impulse to re-read the Arthurian trilogy, but then for me Mary Stewart wrote the definitive Arthurian series.

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9 Comments Gillian Bradshaw is the very best —

  1. Mary Beth

    I love, love, LOVE Bradshaw. BEACON and ISLAND are at the top for me but HORSES is the only one I never really liked. (Admittedly I haven’t read the Civil War books or her science fiction). I think you’d really like her children’s book BEHIND THE NORTH WIND. It has fantastic griffins.

  2. Elaine T

    Oh yes, there are griffins in the North Wind one.

    I’d put BEAR-KEEPER’s DAUGHTER at the top – which is unexpected as I didn’t think I liked it when I first read it, but I keep going back to it in a way I don’t with the others – ISLAND OF GHOSTS, WOLF HUNT, BEACON, SAND-RECKONER, CLEOPATRA’s HEIR & KINGDOM OF SUMMER WRONG REFLECTION all very close behind. The rest somewhere below, with HORSES OF HEAVEN at the bottom.

    Which SF do you have on your Kindle? And she’s got an e-book only fantasy trilogy, which IMO is ok, but I can kinda see why she wound up self-publishing it. Not that it’s bad, but it lacked something. A bit like the LONDON IN CHAINS books (there’s at least one sequel) – they just don’t grab me. Good characters, though, she can always do that.

    Maureen, do you want to swat the characters of HORSES, too? Or haul them off to a marriage counselor? Both?

  3. Maureen E

    I haven’t read HORSES yet, actually! Just finished the first in the Arthurian trilogy and I think I’ll read the next two and then decide where to go from there. The nice thing about discovering a new author with such a long publishing history is having all the possibilities laid out in front of you.

  4. Rachel

    Oh, forgot to say, Elaine, but the Bradshaw SF I have on my Kindle is MAGIC’S POISON. If you’ve read it, what did you think?

  5. SarahP

    So here’s a cool thing. I’m a huge HUGE fan of hers (Island of Ghosts and Bearkeeper’s Daughter are at the top, with Hawk of May and The Sand Reckoner a close second).

    Recently she self-published a fantasy trilogy starting with Magic’s Poison. It wasn’t available on the Nook, so I emailed her to ask if she had plans to make it Nook-available. She wrote the nicest email back, said no, but offered to send an e-copy of the trilogy. I said YOU BETCHA and she did, and I had my UK publisher send her copies of my books as a fair exchange. Win!

  6. Elaine T

    MAgics Poison is her self-published fantasy series of four books. I liked them, but overall thought they were middling Bradshaw. I’ve reread them, though.

    I haven’t read all her SF, as some of it came out when we were living on unemployment, and I haven’t gotten around to finding copies since then. I greatly enjoyed THE WRONG REFLECTION, with a major character who is clearly related to your Tehre and Bradshaw’s Archimedes. Many people like DANGEROUS NOTES better, but I’ve only read it once. Same with THE SOMERS TREATMENT, which I remember strongly reminding me of something else by Nancy Werlin. And the two I haven’t read are ELIXER OF YOUTH and BLOODWOOD.

    They aren’t on Kindle or other e-books, AFAICT, drat it.

  7. Rachel

    Oh, I guess I didn’t realize what categories everything fell in — hmm. I DEFINITELY will be looking up The Wrong Reflection because obviously I really loved Bradshaw’s Archimedes, who was definitely my inspiration for Lady Tehre.

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