Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince” as Want to Read:
I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  427 Ratings  ·  43 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
Paperback, 372 pages
Published June 6th 2009 by Anno Domini
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.

Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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. A pleasant surprise, as I tend to steer clear of books set in this period written by Americans generally, as they tend to not only be biased, but also present a hideously stereotyped view of the English and others, and an inaccurate and oversimplified view of events.

I Serve was not in this mould, it was critical of my country folk at times and somet
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
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
Sep 12, 2016 rated it liked it
A knight, Sir John Potenhale, seeks out the widow of a French knight, Sir Geoffroi, and at her request, tells her his story, starting with his knighting by the Black Prince, his years as one of the prince's men-at-arms, his meeting her husband, who had been his captive, then friend, and how influential Sir Geoffroi has been on his life. He fights in the Hundred Years' War and witnesses the Plague. A good evocation of this historical period. The subtitle was a bit misleading; although a major cha ...more
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
The title is the motto of adopted by Edward of Woodstock, to which he lived, he did serve his king and father faithfully. This story touches interesting aspects like the black prince and Geoffroi de Charny. The various campaigns in France that king Edward III overtook to lay claim to the lands he was entitled to by inheritance. The founding of the order of the Garter in honor of Saint George by Edward III.
The qualities of the knight, the values and service this gentleman should provide are rules
C.A. Gray
I just couldn't get into this one--it was a lot of action but I didn't ever get to the point where I knew or cared about the characters (I was about 3.5 hours in.)
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: celia-can-read
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
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-fic
I really enjoy reading this book, I can't believe I have never read anything about the Black Prince and/or Edward III. How I have managed to miss this time in history I do not know, for I have heard a lot about Crecy and Poitiers but never anything directly about the King and his son who ruled England at the time.

I went into this book expecting to learn about the Hundred Years War and to be entertained. This story managed to do one of these things. John Potenhale is telling a very lengthy tale to the widow of a French knight who he met and admired. The entire book is told in a kind of flowery language that makes me think of the great King Arthur stories or Chaucer’s tales. Such manner of telling a tale works good for a Shakespearean play but was rather tiring for a 10+ hour long novel.

I did like that set
Lilly Charysma
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked it and I liked it a lot! I mean… the descriptions, the characters, the history are all there! These elements, together with a great narration, make this audiobook a success. There are many themes mixed in here, but the one that stands out is by far life during the Hundred Years’ War between England and France and all the historical aspects of the time. I am not complaining, I like history!

We have as hero and voice of the story John Potenhale, a man that becomes a knight after his heroic
Benjamin  Thomas
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like the historic backdrop of this book and the story of Sir John Potenhale. It was eye-opening to see the effects of the Black plague upon London and its inhabitants. This book is very rich in its historical detail, settings and dialogue giving it an authentic feel. I only wish his point of view were deeper. That would've made the book a lot better in my opinion. The narrative was rich and informative, but tend to get lost at times. At any rate, it was fascinating and kept me listening to fin ...more
Ana T.
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plantagenets
While I did enjoy the novel, the title is misleading. The Black Prince is a major character, but the novel is really about Sir John Potenhale, a knight in the Prince's service (who apparently was a real person?) It recounts his years in the prince's service, as told to the widow of his friend and onetime captive Sir Geoffroi de Charny (who was also a real person that wrote a book on knighthood.) Apparently it is Christian fiction, but I wouldn't have known that if some of the reviews here hadn't ...more
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, fiction
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
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
May 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this novel and found the main character of John Potenhale to be a believable character representing the mid 1300's.
The historical accuracy of events, attitudes, and impact of Christian beliefs on people's behavior were impressive - having studied medieval art history for a number of years, this a time I was familiar with especially the all pervading influence of Christianity on all aspects of culture. The author also gave excellent descriptions of the battles at Crecy and Poitiers.
Hanley5545 Hanley
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I first visited the cenotaph of the Black Prince at the Cathedral of Canterbury I realized how little I knew about this noble warrior prince and Prince of Wales. This book is a fictionalized biography but is a bit richer and more suitably complex than most in that the story line/battle scenes and the interplay between the characters, and their King, Edward lll is well told and comes to credible life.
I'm currently finishing a different version of the same tale centering on the Battle of Poi
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: losers
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.   (Super Easy. Barely An Inconvenience.)
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.
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
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."
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Keith Leydon
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Treason
  • Within the Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History
  • The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy, #1)
  • The People's Queen
  • The White Boar (Lovell Duo, #1)
  • Hugh and Bess: A Love Story
  • Within the Fetterlock
  • The Seventh Son
  • Devil's Lair
  • Harlot Queen
  • I Am the Chosen King (Saxon #1)
  • The Conquest
  • Crown in Candlelight
  • Lady of the Roses
  • Reluctant Queen (Marguerite de Valois #2)
  • A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury
  • The Uncrowned Queen
  • The Needle in the Blood
Rosanne E. Lortz ("Rose") loves the blend of history, fiction, romance, and mystery. She lives near Portland, Oregon with her husband and four boys. When she's not writing, she teaches Latin and English composition and works as an editor at Madison Street Publishing.
More about Rosanne E. Lortz

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Weight of Ink
    $10.99 $2.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Take Two (Above the Line, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lisette's List
    $11.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.20
  • Oceans Apart
    $7.99 $1.99
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Where We Belong
    $5.99 $1.49
  • Cashelmara
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Covenant
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
    $11.99 $12.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In Between Days
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Patriots
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Food of Love
    $3.99 $1.99
  • So Long, See You Tomorrow
    $11.99 $2.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Gates of Rome (Emperor, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99