The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (I usually prefer historical non-fiction because I get annoyed with the liberties historical fiction writers take. Even though the inaccuracies of this book were glaringly obvious this is still one of the best historical fiction books I've ever read. I read it at least once a year.)
NPR's list of the year's best historical fiction: To bring the past to life and make it matter, historical fiction must do more than conjure up an exotic backdrop for a conventional story. NPR Books has picked six books this year that challenge our preconceptions and help show how the past shaped the world we live in today.