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07 May 2010

Book Review: I Serve by Roseanne E. Lortz

Title: I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince
Author: Roseanne E. Lortz
Publisher: Anno Domini
Publication Date: June 6, 2009
Paperback: 372 pages
ISBN: 978-0979214547
Genre: Historical Fiction


About the Novel:

Set against the turbulent backdrop of the Hundred Years' War, I Serve chronicles the story of Sir John Potenhale. A young Englishman of lowly birth, Potenhale wins his way to knighthood on the fields of France. He enters the service of Edward, the Black Prince of Wales, and immerses himself in a stormy world of war, politics, and romantic intrigue.

While campaigning in France, Potenhale develops an interest in Margery, a spirited lady-in-waiting with a close-kept secret. He soon learns that Sir Thomas Holland, a crass and calculating baron, holds the key to unlock Margery’s mystery and possesses the power to overturn all of his hopes.

When the Black Death strikes Europe, however, Potenhale realizes that the fiercest enemy does not always appear in human form. Seeing the pestilence as a punishment for the sins of his generation, he questions his calling as a knight and considers entering the cloister. Margery or the monastery? Torn between losing his soul and losing the love of his life, he finds friendship with a French knight who might—just possibly—help him save both.

My Review:

I adore historical fiction and I am delighted to come across a novel set in the medieval era. I Serve by Roseanne Lortz does not disappoint, she brilliantly captures the era and offers up an intriguing look at Edward, Prince of Wales, also known as the Black Prince, eldest son of King Edward III and Sir John Potenhale. Written in a manner that takes the reader back to the 1300s and the Hundred Year War, I Serve, offers the reader a fast paced historical novel replete with chivalry, honour, war, and the dreaded plague. As the novel proceeds, the reader learns more about the time period, the codes of chivalry, the toll the war takes and the struggles faced by many, especially Sir John Potenhale, as to where their allegiance should be placed. Lortz writes a superb novel with vivid imagery, wonderful characters, as well as descriptive and distinct time period prose. The inner struggle of the characters, especially that of John Potenhale, are masterfully written and one can understand and sympathise with his inner turmoil. I highly recommend I Serve to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or who is new to historical fiction.

To learn about the author, more about the novel, other writings and much more, please visit her website.

I received a complimentary copy of I Serve by Roseanne E. Lortz from David Spears for review. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Jan von Harz said...

High praise. I agree that historical fiction is great when it uses the back drop of an era to provide a fast-paced story with characters who are sympathetic with. Thanks for such a wonderful review.

Natalie W said...

Sounds like a wonderful read! I'll have to check it out.
Natalie :0)

Six Feet Under Blog said...

This sounds like a good read. Ive never read a historical fiction before. Interesting!