I've just discovered an author called Lian Hearn (that is a pseudonym).
She writes in a genre that she calls historical fantasy. Like historical fiction it is based in a historic period where the geography, technology and culture are all realistic. Unlike standard historical fiction however that explores real events and tends to follow the achievements of a historical figure (although often told through the eyes of a fictional character - think the Sharpe series - it tells the story of the historical Duke of Wellington but through the eyes of the fictional Sharpe) all her characters are completely fictional.
Anyway I picked up book 1 of a series that is based in medieval Japan. So its about samurai and ninja's etc but with entirely fictional characters! I'll be posting back later to let you know what I thought of it!
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela