Brought out by crowdfunded publisher Unbound, this is a weird and wonderful book on which no commercial publisher would have taken a punt...In its cheer and twinkle, though, The Black Prince is anything but a grim read. It’s a stylistic pastiche that is far more than a tribute act – as though Roberts has dismantled the clockwork that made Burgess tick and reassembled it in a new form.
In his novel Roberts maintains both the tenor and techniques of Burgess’s screenplay to create an intensely immersive portrayal of medieval tumult in the 14th century...If fault be found, then it is in the unsoundability of his protagonists. The prince remains a cipher: his relationship with his father is hardly touched upon, nor do we learn much about the love he has for his stay-behind wife Joan of Kent. Joan herself is just as much an enigma. The thought that Edward “might die left her feeling unmoved, and the realisation that he was going to live left her feeling unmoved.”