Twistory: History with a Twist
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Twistory: History with a Twist

‘The past is in the past’ is a saying that, presumably at some point in the past, was said by somebody. But the past isn’t just in the past—not really. It’s also in a space outside of time, and even outside of actual space. It’s in books, and ironically, it’s not pre-written.

Novels twist the past into new stories, and we’ve got a list of great ones right here.


Kinningkinning by nisi shawl by Nisi Shawl

In her novel Everfair, Nisi Shawl imagined a new history, where technological innovations in the Congo gave a fledgling nation the resources and strength to challenge the tyrant Leopold II, a Belgian monarch and one of history’s bloodiest colonizers. In an alternate world where barkcloth airships soar through the sky, the nation of Everfair grapples with its identity in the wake of the Great War. Kinning chronicles the fight for the soul of Everfair to remain a beacon of hope and progress in the face of resistance both external and internal.


She Who Became the Sunshe who became the sun by shelley parker-chan by Shelley Parker-Chan

A reimagining of the rise of the Ming Dynasty, She Who Became the Sun follows a young girl whose brother is destined for greatness. Her brother is also dead, so in defiance of fate, she steals his identity, and his destiny. This is a story of betrayal, destiny, love, and lots and lots of betrayal. In the previous sentence, betrayal was mentioned twice. That was not a mistake. It’s the only way to properly evoke the potency of this book.


The First Bright Thingthe first bright thing by j r dawson by J. R. Dawson

Rin is a professional ringmaster who can jump through time, and her circus is a haven for the outcast and the magical. In the aftermath of World War I, times are tough, and the Circus of the Fantasticals is a welcome respite to audiences across the American midwest.But the present is not safe: There’s war in the future and Rin’s past stalks them in the form of a malevolent shadow circus.


Trouble the Saintstrouble the saints by alaya dawn johnson by Alaya Dawn Johnson

“Juju assassins, alternate history, a gritty New York crime story…in a word: awesome.” — N.K. Jemisin, New York Times bestselling author of The Fifth Season

In the dark glamor of New York city, an assassin tries to change her fate on the cusp of World War II. She was drawn from Harlem, bringing her knives to glittering Manhattan for work. She fell in love. She gave up on everything. The ghosts of the past never leave her side.

Ten years later, they show up on her doorstep.


The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval Englandthe frugal wizard's handbook for surviving medieval england by brandon sanderson by Brandon Sanderson

Hard to twist history more than dropping a cost-conscious magic-user into the medieval past.

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