I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince

Roseanne E. Lortz,
Narrator: James Young

HISTORICAL:  From squire to knight, Sir John Potenhale, loyal servant to the Black Prince, narrates a tale that intertwines with the conflicts between England and France from the 1340s onwards. A mere squire at the Battle of Crecy, Potenhale earns his spurs and enters the command of Prince Edward, eldest son of King Edward III. Potenhale stays by the prince's side through battles, the plague, and even court machinations. His belief in chivalry is strong, but struggles with the demands of proper devotion to the Lord. A chance meeting on the field with a French knight changes Potenhale and teaches him the true meaning of service.

Ms. Lortz expertly weaves events from history together with the fictional account of a young man granted the opportunity to become a loyal servant and friend of the prince. There is a certain romanticized feel to many of the events, given that the tale's narrator is a knight who owes much to his former master and to his current master, which readers will easily forgive. 

James Young offers a professional rendition, flawlessly pronouncing the various French names of characters, cities and towns that are sprinkled through the tale. At times, it felt as if the pace could have picked up, but it's a rich narrative, and Mr. Young performs it well. For listeners with a deep love of medieval history, “I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince” will not disappoint.

Tricia Hill