Sunday, 26 August 2018

Of Faith And Fidelity by Evan Ostryzniuk

Of Faith And Fidelity by Evan Ostryzniuk
First published in June 2011. Republished by Endeavour Press in December 2016.

One of my August Authorfest reads

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : unavailable
Wordery : unavailable

As the papal wars of the Western Schism rage across Europe, a young man takes his first step on the journey of a lifetime. 

Geoffrey Hotspur dreams of knighthood. As an English orphan-squire bonded to the court of Sir John of Gaunt, uncle of the English King Richard II, his prospects are few. An inveterate gambler already deep in debt, young Geoffrey eagerly accepts an invitation to participate in a raid on French lands. However, his plans go awry after a deadly street brawl results in his banishment from court. As further punishment, he is ordered to join a royal commission bound for Florence. 

Accompanied by Jean Lagoustine, a mysterious Frenchman whose intentions towards the young squire are not all they appear to be, the ship upon which they journey is waylaid by corsairs. Barely escaping with their lives, Geoffrey and Jean find themselves forming part of a company of Catalonian crossbowmen en route to enlist with the Roman papal army. The unlikely duo must navigate the war-torn lands of the Patrimony and the intricacies of honour and allegiance. Intrigue and betrayal dominate the war between the two popes, and the young squire's understanding of faith and fidelity are soon challenged. The need to do right inspires Geoffrey to take a personal stake in the outcome of the conflict. With little more than his wits and a sword, the young squire must find a way to fulfill his duty to his lord, to his faith and to himself. 

As the war culminates in an epic final battle for the throne of St. Peter, will Geoffrey find that a knighthood is worth the risk to his honour? 

Oh dear, the second of two DNFs for me this month! I read sixty pages before concluding that I couldn't care less whether Geoffrey ever got to be a Knight. If you like your historical fiction to be lots of brawls and battle action interspersed with underhand political shenanigans, you might well enjoy this novel. Personally I needed far more in the way of character creation in order to distinguish between the large cast. Ostryzniuk switches between each man so quickly that, other than Geoffrey and Jean, I kept failing to remember who was who from one chapter to the next. I also wanted more sense of Ostryzniuk's medieval world. He gives lots of political information and in depth details of a dice game for example, but I felt I was already expected to have a good understanding of this historical period - and I don't!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Evan Ostryzniuk / Historical fiction / Books from Canada


  1. Sad to know you couldn't enjoy IT :( Sounds very complicated & boring! :/

  2. Sorry to hear you didn't like it more. It happens.

    1. At least I'm getting better at Not ploughing on regardless!

  3. Lack of character development is a tough one for me to overcome and finish a book, too. Too bad. The blurb sounds great.

    1. It did sound good, but didn't work out well for me

  4. Ugh sorry to hear you had to DNF, but it freed you up to find something better definitely. You definitely need good character development in any good book.

    Tori @ In Tori Lex

    1. Good character development is probably the most important part of a book for me