I Serve

I Serve

A Novel of the Black Prince

by Rosanne E. Lortz
Publisher: Anno Domini
Trade Paperback, 372 pages
List Price: $16.95 Sale Price: $14.41

Historical Setting: England & France, 1346-1360

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.

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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Fighting/violence
Summary: Potenhale enters the service of the Black Prince during the Hundred Years war.

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  I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince
L.M. Shearer, 2/22/2011
I Serve tells the story of a young squire named John Potenhale who is knighted on a battlefield in France and becomes the attendant of the Black Prince. The story is set in the 1300's during the reign of Edward III of England. At that time England was involved in the Hundred year's war with France.

I Serve would be an excellent resource for those interested in studying the Hundred Years' War or the Black Death, but it also stands by itself as a novel. Some of the rich descriptions thrust you straight into the action.
Take, for example, the battle of Crecy:

"It was no easy matter to reach Warwick. The slope of the hill had liquefied from the rain and blood. I slipped several times in the mud as I dodged here and there to avoid encountering the enemy. One little man-at-arms gave chase, and I was forced to delay my mission to parry his blows... His legs lost footing, and I drove my sword into the joints of his armor, right where the breastplate meets the helmet."

One of the things I appreciated most about this novel was that Potenhale was a very convincing character. He had fears, joys and desires that I could identify with, but he was also historically appropriate. Too often in historical fiction the main character has a modern mind-set. With Sir John Potenhale, this was not the case.

If you want to learn more about the Black Prince, the Hundred Year's war, or the Black Death, then I Serve will provide you with a unique and unforgettable way to see these events. Or, if you're just looking for a good book to read - well, what better way to spend an afternoon then to journey back to 13th century England for a little while?