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5 Books like The Count of Monte Cristo: The Search for Justice

Helen Maloney itcher‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ is an epic adventure full of intrigue, betrayal, treasure and revenge. I have 5 equally adventurous books like ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ to entertain you: crossing the high seas with ‘Mr Midshipman Hornblower’ and surviving the deadly French Revolution with ‘Scaramouche’ and ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’. ~ Helen Maloney

Revenge is Best Served Cold

The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my all-time favourite novels. It has everything you could possibly want; the intricacies Dumas includes, as well as his turn of phrase, just make you want to keep reading and see how it all works out.

Hopefully, the following books will have a similar effect on you and you’ll enjoy the thrilling adventures contained within their pages.


Books Similar to ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’…

‘Scaramouche’ (Sabatini, 1921)

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Andre-Louis witnesses his friend’s murder first-hand as a part of a duel. He, then, vows to follow in his friends’ footsteps. We follow in his amazing journey over the next few years as he transforms from lawyer to actor to expert swordsman and politician.

Set in the dawn of the French Revolution, there’s enough intrigue to keep you interested, even if it’s not quite on Dumas’ level. Sabatini has included many similar themes: the villain is a member of the establishment, our hero is powerless to gain justice through traditional means, and most importantly, an obsession with getting revenge.

Similarity Match: 90%
Like ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, this is very much a revenge and redemption story but it takes place over a much shorter period of time and there is no treasure.

‘Mr Midshipman Hornblower’ (C.S. Forester, 1950)

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Horatio Hornblower is a young 17-year-old, stepping into his first adventure on his first ship. Unfortunately, it is a ship with a terminally-ill captain and cruel or disinterested shipmates. He spends most of time alternating between fear, depression and boredom until he finds himself surviving a duel with his dignity intact and moving to another ship with more opportunities.

This book is addictive as you want to keep reading to find out what happens to Horatio next, especially when he gets into trouble. You have to read it for the incident with the rice.

Similarity Match: 80%
Unlike ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, this isn’t really a story of revenge, yet he must rely on himself and prove himself in a similar way to Dantes, although his has a wealthier background.

‘The Black Count’ (Tom Reiss, 2012)

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This is the true story behind ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, the person who inspired Dumas to write his epic tale – his father, General Alex Dumas. Reiss has written a biography, detailing his search to unveil the hidden truths behind General Dumas’ imprisonment and subsequent death, as well as share details of his life against a meticulously researched historical background.

Even if you’re generally not a fan of biographies, I think you will find this an intriguing look into the men behind the story of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, not to mention a deeper understanding of the historical time period the book is written in. Reading this made me love and appreciate the work of fiction in a new way.

Similarity Match: 70%
While this story is less about revenge after imprisonment, it is about a search for truth and justice, and the ‘Black Count’ is a man as admirable as Dantes’ character.


If You Like ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, You Will Like…

The previous three books like ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ include many of its themes, as do the following two books. However, my next two recommendations have less to do with revenge or justice and more about a man’s, and woman’s, strength and determination in the face of deadly odds.

‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ (Emmunska Orczy, 1905)

Image Source: MRRL

During the French Revolution, the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel dare to defy the French government and steal the lucky aristocrats from under their noses, saving them from the guillotine. The mysterious leader of this band is the most mysterious and cunning of them all, and half of England is in love with him in one way or another.

Marguerite Blakeney finds herself trapped in a plot to catch this elusive man, as the ruthless and merciless French agent Chauvelin holds her beloved brother’s life over her head in return for her help in tracking him down.

I loved this book and I enjoyed reading about this favourite character from a not-too-political perspective: it made it so much more intriguing to follow Marguerite on her voyage of discovery.

As in ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, Marguerite’s journey is equally one about self-discovery but this time it is very much a love story as well as an epic adventure.

‘Sharpe’s Tiger’ (Bernard Cornwell, 1997)

Image Source: Amazon

Sharpe is an illiterate private serving with the British to push the French out of India. He has the chance to earn his sergeant stripes but it means working undercover in the stronghold of the enemy on a dangerous mission.

Stuck between Tippo and his man-eating tigers and the British army, Sharpe must use all his wits, cunning and strength if he is going to foil any traps and survive an attack from his own side.

Both Dantes and Sharpe succeed in a rags-to-riches story where every step forward is a battle, but Sharpe’s journey is focussed during the time of the Napoleonic wars only.


Righting Wrongs

All these stories involve righting wrongs, saving people, destroying enemies or taking revenge; each has its elements of violence, mystery and romance to thrill and enthral as you follow the characters down their dark and dangerous paths towards a hopefully happy ending.

I hope you have enjoyed these books similar to ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ and I would love to hear from you regarding my recommendations or your own suggestions as well.

Hi, I′m Helen, I teach English in the UK and am a book addict (I′m serious - if I go too long without reading I get withdrawal symptoms!). I also love music, films, crafting, corresponding and video games. It is impossible for me to sit still unless I′m eating, holding a book or making something.
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