The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell
If you like historical fiction based in the medieval England this is a must read. While a work of fiction based on actual facts this book opened my eyes to what England must have been a thousand years ago. A beautiful brutal land in constant conflict between the Saxons and the Danes. The book recounts how at one point England almost become Daneland, had it not been for the tireless and ingenious maneuverings done by one lord. This lord decides to side with the overwhelmingly Christian Saxons despite his legacy and faith in the old Norse gods. Initially outcast by the Christians for killing a priest who dared oppose him the tables turn when the former realize that prayer alone is not enough to cull the Danish horde. What I find incredibly compelling about Cornwell’s writing in this book is his ability to transport you into the fighting scenes. He recounts in intricate detail the lord’s sword-fights which elevate his persona from that of simple hardened general to that of a legendary warrior who fights for what he believes is right.