The Black Prince and the Capture of a King: Poitiers, 1356 Book Review

Book: The Black Prince and the Capture of a King: Poitiers, 1356
Author: Morgan Witzel and Marilyn Livingstone
Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Castmate UK, for providing me with this ARC.

Sighs….Let me start out by saying that I love the Middle Ages and reading about the Black Prince. With that being said, I do actually know a lot about the subject and when that happens, I do tend to be really, really picky on books. I will admit that I do tend to nitpick when that happens.

So, I find the Hundred Year war to be a very exciting and interesting time in history. So much happens and there are so many key players. There are battles, social changes, and more; so any book about this war should be very exciting. Well, not here. There was no excitement, no nothing. While reading, it really did feel like the authors were just spitting out facts with no passion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that they are very passionate about the subject, but that passion just not come across the page. It was dull and very textbook like, which is something that is getting to be more and more frowned on in nonfiction.

I also thought that the book wasn’t very organized. There was too much opinion writing and too many referrals to go back to other chapters or jump to this chapter to read more about an event. I don’t mind opinion writing, but I mostly see it in memoirs, autobiographies, and biographies-all of which are supported by known fact. Here, it just seemed to kind of mender and was more based on “supposedly” than what we actually know about the Battle of Poitiers. Again, it’s okay, but it just wasn’t well presented here. The referring to other chapters really bothered me the most. It’s just sloppy and really shouldn’t be done in books.


I did like the focus on the day to day life of the army. However, it focused on the nobles and not the common soldiers. I know that most of what we know about the Middle Ages is based on the nobles, but there is information out that. It really did feel like the authors just focused on a few sources instead of taking the time to really dive into the events. Trust me, I have been researching the Middle Ages and I know there is information out there on the “little people.”

Now, this is a short read, so if you are looking for something quick, then this may be the book for you. However, just be aware that it does have issues-at least if you are picky on nonfiction.
This book comes out July 31, 2018. If you can’t wait until then to read it, head on over to Netgalley and see if you can get an ARC.