Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Maid by Kimberly Cutter

Back Cover Blurb:

It is the early part of the fifteenth century and the tumultuous Hundred Years War rages on. The French city of Orleans is under siege, English soldiers tear through the countryside wreaking destruction on all who cross their path, and Charles VII, the uncrowned king, has neither the strength nor the will to rally his army. And in the quiet of her parents’ garden in Domremy, a twelve-year-old peasant girl, Jehanne, hears a voice that will change her life – and the course of European history.

The tale of Jehanne d’Arc, the saint and warrior who believed she had been chosen by God to save France, and who led an army of 10,000 soldiers against the English, has captivated our imagination for centuries. But the story of Jehanne – the girl – whose sister was murdered by the English, who sought an escape from her violent father and a forced marriage, who taught herself to ride, and fight, and lead, and who somehow found the courage and tenacity to convince first one, then two, then tens, then thousands to follow her, is at once thrilling, unexpected and heart-breaking. Sweeping, gripping and rich with intrigue, betrayal, love and valour. The Maid is an unforgettable novel about the power and burden of faith, and the exhilarating and devastating consequences of fame.

Joan of Arc

From Bloomsbury Publishing comes an exceptional novel of the life of Joan of Arc.

Of all the stories I've read and all the movies I've watched about the life of Joan of Arc, this novel is a most superb rendition of her life. The author's strong third person narrative filled with vivid details and emotions, truly gave me an insight into this heroic woman's very soul. Realistic and heart-wrenching, I could not help but savour every page of this fabulously, well-written novel. Although the story is about a Saint who receives messages and hears voices sent from God, the religious/Christian feel was subtle and did not overpower the story.   

The personal willpower and strength of the heroine truly impresses. The author did an exceptional job at depicting Jehanne's convictions despite the prejudices against women during this era. For a young peasant girl to gather an army of military warriors and gain the attention of the king, makes for a poignant story that not only makes the reader rejoice, but grieve at the injustice suffered. 

This book has it all - a beautifully written glorious tale of a courageous young woman facing insurmountable odds and her success with tragic results. A must read!  



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