This is a fun fantasy novel with a great premise. I like the mixing of our world with another universe, and Portia makes for a most commanding princess. I actually found her to be more believable and three-dimensional than the hero, Robert Temple. Portia has been at school in the United States when she is called back home to her island kingdom of El’Ori, bringing Temple with her. Temple is a graduate student in medieval history and his idea of the medieval world fits pretty closely with the reality of El’Ori.
There is lots of action in this short novel, and it is interesting to see how Temple uses his learning to fashion the Blackthorn Knights, circumventing the laws of the occupying forces. He is able to win the loyalty of his men very quickly and soon he is leading raids against marauding pirates.
I do feel that this novel could definitely use another round of editing. There were enough mistakes that, if the story hadn’t been so engaging, I would have put the book down. And I do wish the author had stated from the beginning that this book was just the first in a series because it came as a surprise to find the cliffhanger ending.
But Blackthorn Knights is fun and the premise is worth pursuing, so readers who enjoy fantasy which take them to parallel worlds will find this to be a nice read.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.