Arthur Conan Doyle
you can't go holmes again
The whole world knows of Arthur Conan Doyle, author--or, as some would have it, editor--of the Sherlock Holmes stories. But Doyle himself regarded Holmes as the least of his creations, and was always distressed that less attention was paid to his historical novels, of which The White Company is the best known. I'd heard of this book from a number of sources, and was curious enough to downloud a copy to read on my PalmPilot (I've never seen a paper version of the book), and I was instantly enchanted.
Of all the books I've ever read, The White Company best evokes the literary ideal of knights in armor, and chivalry, and all that--the whole thing about castles, and drawbridges, and jousting, and so forth that we all imbibed with our Saturday morning cartoons. I'd looked for it in various books of Arthurian legend, and not found quite what I was after. I'd looked in various works of modern fantasy, and not found it there, either. And then I read The White Company and thought to myself, "The folks who made all those old movies and cartoons with knights in armor--this is the book they read when they were kids."