I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
If you are interested in historical fiction at all, read this book.
It is gorgeously written, set in Medieval England, covering the "history" of a powerful woman, St. Hilda of Whitby. There was very little factual information on Hild available in contemporary records, so the author immersed herself in the documents and research of the period and created this authentic-feeling back story for the saint.
Highly engaging and easy to immerse oneself in, extremely well written. The names of a number of characters are a bit challenging for those of us unfamiliar with Celtic names and there is a bit of Old English terminology to deal with, but neither of those factors impacted the pure enjoyment of a tale well told.
I understand there is a second book on the way and I have to say that it cannot come soon enough for me.