I am happy I decided to read 1356 by Bernard Cornwell. Normally I don't do book reviews on historical fiction but I can tell you that anyone interested in medieval fiction and the fantasy genre will enjoy books by Bernard Cornwell.
Thomas of Hookton is a fantastic lead character with tons of character and personality. He leads a group of mercenaries who are storming a castle in order to bring an unfaithful wife back to her noble husband. However, her husband is a real scumbag and decides to short Thomas and his crew the money they are owed when they bring his wife back to him. Thomas and his crew don't take kindly to this and attack and kill the noble's guards and capture him in order to ransom him and get the money they initially earned. Thomas then rescues his wife and brings her with him.
The main plot of the book then follows Thomas, and English prince, a Scottish noble's son, and a French knight as they each play their roles in a major battle based on the actual historical Battle of Poitiers between the French and the English. Check out the link below to find out who won.
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars because of the excellent characterization Mr. Cornwell creates. There is also plenty of action and enjoyable descriptions regarding the making of arrows, the strength of the English archers, and the use of actual strategies to win the battle. You don't have to worry about the historical component if you don't want to and instead can enjoy a great medieval story full of action and interesting characters.