I love making soundtracks to books! The right music can immerse me in a whole other world. Whether I’m reading an epic fantasy, a historical novel, or a gritty thriller, a playlist can add to the escapism. And when I’m writing, it keeps me focused and inspires me. Have you tried this? You might like it!

I mentioned before that my new writing project has elements of medieval England, so I’ve been doing some reading in that vein as well–books by Tamara Leigh and Hannah Howell. So the playlist below is my current jam. It might also be appropriate if you’re reading or writing a sword-and-sorcery type fantasy that takes inspiration from medieval Britain, in the tradition of Patricia McKillip, Katharine Kerr, Robin Hobb, and Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Of course, the Middle Ages didn’t only happen in the British Isles, and this song collection isn’t meant to suggest that. And most of the songs here are not actually medieval! I just think the mood is right.

Here’s the playlist! The darker titles are links to either soundcloud or youtube–click on them if you want to listen.

Reading and Writing PLAYLIST: Music for Medieval European and Fantasy Novels

“Samadhi – Prelude,” Epica


“Indigo,” Epica

Magical and mysterious.

“Feint,” Epica

“I Lie,” David Lang

“Heart of Courage,” Two Steps From Hell

Sounds like a pre-battle song. Note that on Spotify, songs from the group Two Steps from Hell are  under the name of Thomas Bergersen, who is half of the group.

“Protectors of the Earth,” Two Steps From Hell

Also sounds like a pre-battle song.

“Strength of a Thousand Men,” Two Steps From Hell

This sounds more like the middle of the battle.

“Black Blade,” Two Steps From Hell

You lost the battle. You are a prisoner of war now. Sorry.

“La Messe de Nostre Dame: I. Kyrie,” Lege Arts Chamber Choir

Church music!

“The Dragon’s Breath,” David Arkenstone

Celtic mysticism.

“The Fairies Dance,” David Arkenstone

W.B. Yeats would approve.

“The Girl With The Midnight Hair,” David Arkenstone

Dreamy harps.

“Ecci Mundi Gaudium,” Mediaeval Baebes

Could this group have any more vowels in their name? I think they are great. This song, weirdly enough, is an earworm for me.

“Love Me Broughte,” Mediaeval Baebes

“Waylaway,” Mediaeval Baebes

More magic harp action here, if you’re into that kind of thing. (I am into that kind of thing.) This one is also a bit creepy.

“Pearl,” Mediaeval Baebes

“Songs From the Wood,” Jethro Tull

I know this because of my dad. 🙂

“Tower Prayers,” James Newton Howard

Ominous! This one and the next two are from the Snow White and The Huntsman soundtrack.

“Sanctuary,” James Newton Howard

“Coronation,” James Newton Howard

“Helas tant vi de male eure,” Anonymous 4

“La Mule,” Malicorne

Pretty sure this song is about a mule.

“J’ai vu le loup, le renard et la belette,” Malicorne

And this one is about a wolf, a fox, and a weasel. Anyway, it’s instrumental.

“Crusaders,” Harry Gregson-Williams

This one and the next two are from the soundtrack of Kingdom of Heaven, a movie I really liked.

“Ibelin,” Harry Gregson-Williams

“Swordplay,” Harry Gregson-Williams

“Arthur and Knight Valiant,” Rob Lane

This one and the next two are from Merlin, a show that starts out very cute and then destroys you.

“Breaking the Spell,” Rob Lane

“The Witch’s Aria,” Rob Lane


 That’s it! Hope you find some songs here to take you to another time and place! I’d love to hear other suggestions, too.