Topic: Bernard Cornwell
If you're into history and good story telling, Bernard Cornwell might be the most accomplished author in the Historical Fiction genre today. I've read almost everything the man has written and am particularly enamored of the Saxon Novels about Utred of Babbenburg and Alfred the Great.
One of the peculiarities of Cornwell's writing is that he tells you a story you already know, but with a twist. For example in his stories of King Arthur he refers to Arthur as "The Enemy of God" and reduces Lancelot to basically a coward who gets in good with the press. In his book about the Battle of Agincourt, Cornwell tells the story of the battle from the perspective of a lowly archer in Henry V's army and Cornwell incorporates the latest studies of the Agincourt field and points to the crowd dynamics as the source of the English victory as opposed to the dreaded English longbow.
Here is his commercial for the book Agincourt. In his pitch you get the tenor and a flavor of how he tells a story; always with good pacing and never bogging down in details. They are the kind of books that once you start reading them you won't want to put them down.
If you haven't tried him out yet, I highly recommend his books. I know Cesca enjoys them as much as I do. He has dabbled in American History as well with stories of Redcoats in the Revolution. Always ripping stuff. Check it out.