I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince
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I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince

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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  227 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A Tale of Arms, of Death, of Love, and of Honor.

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...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published June 6th 2009 by Anno Domini
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Jerelyn
Feb 07, 2011 Jerelyn rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: dnf
I was asked if I had gotten through I Serve, I am afraid I didn't. Unfortunately I was turned off for one really silly reason. It is Christian fiction. I just think it takes a really good author to serve two masters as it were. I just don't have the patients to listen to someone else's agenda. It is too bad really because the subject matter would make a great book but IMO she fails on multiple levels. I quit about page 75 just wasn't my cuppa.

anna
Personally, I found it quite a welcome change to discover a book written by an American set during the Hundred Year War which was not anti-English. I Serve was that book, it was critical of my country folk at times and sometimes perhaps a little uncritical of the French, but generally presented a balanced and detailed representation of the period. Replete with realistic battle scenes, romance, and the life experiences of a young man at arms the service of his lord.
The style appeared to be emulat...more
Lauren
I usually lump historical fiction into two categories: the kind that is mostly fiction with very little history, and the kind that is mostly history with very little fiction. I Serve falls in between these two categories, leaning slightly more towards mostly history. It's this tendency, I think, that made I Serve a very enjoyable read.

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 of Wales. T...more
Dave
The historical novel follows the rise of the squire John Pottenhale from a squire with a humble background to a knight and confidant of Edward, the Black Prince. I am no expert, but the historical facts and details seemed well researched and used, although at some points I had the feeling that scenes wee added to paint a full historical picture at the expense of the flow of the story.

The development of Pottenhale is interesting, although the story suffered from the narrative style. At the start...more
Laurie
This book is considered Christian fiction, but I was surprised to see that this turned one reviewer off and prevented her from reading the whole book. I have read many books over the years that were not touted as Christian fiction that had a much greater emphasis on Christianity than this book does. (At several times while reading, I even wondered if it was in error that this title turned up in my search for Christian fiction.)

The author did her homework and her historical depiction of this era...more
Robin
I really struggled to get into this, so much so I gave up after only about 10%. I usually try to give a book more of a chance than that but when I’m having to force myself to read it, why bother? Maybe it’s just because I started this right off the back of finishing SKP’s Here be Dragons - a hard act to follow!

There was also something that didn’t seem accurate to me. While explaining his family background, the protagonist says about his father “The young king Edward soon paid heed to his wife’s...more
Jennifer
From My Blog...[return]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...more
Samantha
The title of this book is somewhat misleading. "A Novel of the Black Prince" could just as accurately read "A Novel of Geoffroi de Charny" or "Story of a Chivalrous Knight." The story is not really about Edward of Woodstock and does not cover the entirety of his life, though he is a character. That being said, I did enjoy this novel and found John Potenhale to be a believable man of his times (mid 1300's). In fact, the historical accuracy of events, attitudes, and impact of Christian beliefs on...more
Celia
Storyline: The book is taken straight from the pages of history and concern a portion of the 100 years war between England and France. Historical fiction is a fascinating genre and one that is often overlooked in fad and fashion as far as fictional topics are concerned. I Serve, A Novel of the Black Prince is one of those stories that cries out for more. The story relates the developing relationship between Prince Edward, the Black Prince of Wales, as the Prince comes of age fighting in a war he...more
Ana T.
I had no idea, when I was offered this book for review, of what was in store for me while reading it. But it was a medieval, my favourite period, and it was about the Black Prince, about whom I've had a long lasting curiosity, so it really was inevitable that I should start it as soon as it arrived.


The story opens with Sir John Potenhale on a quest to find a woman, the widow of a man he fought in battle, whith whom he shared some time and who teached quite a few things. And it is at he request...more
Renee
As a historian I love to read fiction that has strong historical basis and I Serve is definitely one of those novels. While American history is my forte and I don't know a lot about European history, I Serve was a very interesting and entertaining read. I really appreciated the bibliography in the back of the book too for the researcher in me who likes to look things up!

This author seems to know her stuff! Not only is the book rich in detail it also has a bit of romance, faith and incredible bat...more
Leslie
Mar 18, 2011 Leslie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who liked the movie "A knights Tale" with Heath Ledger
Great book about the Black Prince and England during the time of Edward the Third. I found myself really enjoying the story and the history and learning things about a period I was previously unaware of. People who are fans of the movie "A Knights Tale" (with Heath Ledger) will really enjoy this book set around the same time period and get a kick out of recognizing names of characters from both. I also enjoyed that it was a historical fiction (complete with love story) that did not get lewd... s...more
Gail
Oct 12, 2011 Gail rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: done-reading, e-book
This book is absolutely amazing, I couldn't put it down. If gives alot of information of King Edward's son called the Black Prince. It really is a story of one of his knights and his rise to Knighthood. His encounters with life and his doughts, and loyality.
All I can say it its very different in the way its presented, and I will read it again.
Thank you Rosanne E Lortz. You have outdone alot of stories that I have read and has given me more insite as what went on during battle. Don't groan beca...more
Jack
This book made my day...... If! And only if. If I could give it half a star .

The protagonist was given good things, fantastic things in fact, but he just wasted them. He got his head beaten, and then I got bored. Well not bored actually..... Anyway, it was written poorly and readers will find themselves willing themselves or racing to finish this little horror, all warmed up to give some unsuspecting victims---- a terrible shock.
L.
It was an easy read, but that could also be interpreted as a forgetteable read. You skim through the basic life story of Englishman John Potenhale as he becomes a knight, has an all-to-brief crisis of faith, which I didn't buy at all, and follows the Black Prince all around France. I'd consider this a beach read for the historical fiction fans. Something to pass the time away with without getting too involved in the story.
Cheryl
I just never got into the groove with this one. I seemed kind of dry and I was a little bored with the sole plot line being the latest battle. I'm a girl -- I need relationships to be part of the story and they're really not prominent at all in this. And quite frankly, if I hadn't read that this was "Christian fiction" I wouldn't have known ... if it is, then it's "Christian very light."
Shani
Apr 20, 2011 Shani rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I thought this was a good novel about a timeframe I'm fairly familiar with, and showed me some aspects of the history I was not already versant with, such as the code of chivalry by Geoffroi de Charny. I liked the story and thought the plot was believable. A little too intellectual to be a beach book or a sick day book but I enjoyed it on the level I expected to enjoy it.
Rebecca
This was one of those books that made me curious. I kept looking up various people that are referenced here including the Black Prince, Edward III, John Chandos and Geoffroi de Charny. I need books like this to justiy my purchasing regular history books! I would buy another book by this author especially if she wrote another book that focused on this time period.
Kyra
Should be 3.5. Easy reading, detailed "life in . . ." kind of account, as described by others. Enjoyed. There seems no more religious in content than appropriate for an accurate portrayal of the times and the character she is describing. No more soul searching than Anthony Adverse, for example, just a different time and place.
Bill
A real pleasure to read. Well written story, historically accurate, everything you want in a historical novel. I especially appreciate that the characters are true to 14th century personalities and beliefs, and do not have the modern sensibilities that so many authors graft onto characters. I look forward to reading more of Lortz' work.
Keith Leydon
A very enjoyable and historically satisfying read. Well written, except for the odd murder of the English language. On page 1 our hero
"led no packhorse". How do you lead no packhorse? Maybe drag a rope on the ground behind you. Other than my disappointment of the trivial, it was a book I would recommend to anyone.
Susan
There was way too much historical narrative (which seemed well researched) and not enough of a plot, setting, and details to make me feel like I was in the 1300s.
Debbie
It was interesting but quite a dry read from a 14th Century knight's (narrow) point of view. It finished most abruptly.....is a sequel planned perhaps?
Nanci de Suffren
An enormous amount of English/French history is packed into this book. It proved to be a very interesting read.
Rebecca Wood
The battle scenes are gripping . . . the writing captivating. I loved it, can't wait until she writes another.
Jen
loved this!! a rich, robust fabric of historical detail, and so winningly written. thank you, rose!
Kris Olsen
I enjoyed this book immensely. It is historically accurate and highlights virtues I hold dear.
Douglas Hayes
Rose is a friend of mine and has given a wonderful tale of medieval life.
Lisa
This book was very well researched and well written, I enjoyed it immensely.
Mlperkins38
Pretty good story....not one of the best, but kept me reading....
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Rosanne E. Lortz "Rose" is a medieval enthusiast, a book addict, a mom to two twin boys, and a native of Portland, Oregon. She graduated from New St. Andrews College in 2005 with a B. A. in Liberal Arts and Culture and worked as a high school teacher for several years teaching classes in English, history, literature, and music. She and her husband David Spears have three boys with one more on the...more
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