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The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc

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3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  1,537 ratings  ·  310 reviews
It is the fifteenth century, and the tumultuous Hundred Years' War rages on. France is under siege, English soldiers tear through the countryside destroying 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 Domrémy, a peasant girl sees a spangle of light and hea ...more
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Published November 28th 2011 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jenn (Booksessed)
I was initially really excited about this title because I love historical fiction and can still remember an episode of Wishbone dealing with Joan of Arc. (Please tell me there is at least one person who remembers Wishbone, the cute little dog that imagines himself the main character in classic literature? I got a Jack Russell because of Wishbone.)

However, once I started this title, it became very apparent that it wasn’t for me. There were several instances of child abuse and even a moment where
...more
Misfit
2.5 stars

Author Kimberly Cutter recounts the short life of Jeanne d'Arc (Jehanne here), The Maid of Orléans and later canonized as Saint Joan of Arc. This is one of those too complicated bits of history to try to explain in a review, and Wik can most definitely do it better than I can.

Joan's history is a fascinating one, and I've been eyeing novels on her for some time, so I was thrilled when this showed up on Net Galley. However, the book I read was very dry and the history itself is hard to fo
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Heather
I went into The Maid knowing the Jehanne d’Arc story mostly from high school history class – and Luc Besson’s movie, The Messenger. I assumed this book would be a guilty pleasure – not necessarily something I’d want to read again, but fun, and hopefully only mildly irritating in its anachronism. After all, it’s hard to find a novel about a great woman in history that doesn’t insert modern sensibilities into the character’s mind, so I was bracing myself for a feminist re-write that down played Jo ...more
Erik
The Maid was one of my spontenious book-buys. Saw it on a bookshelf in Heathrow Airport, realised it was a book about Joan of Arc, thought to myself that I knew less than I would like about her life and work and thus concluded that I should buy it.
It is a very readable book, written with the simplicity which is so characteristic of novels sold in airports during summer months. This simplicity, however, does not appear to effect the story itself, something which I personally felt was more the res
...more
Savonarola
There's no reason on the surface for me to love "The Maid": I'm not a huge fan of Joan of Arc, I'm not a woman, I don't know a whole lot about the history of the period. But I think this is a novel that transcends all of the usual categories through the sheer power of its writing and the way it brings Jehanne, the illiterate peasant girl who changed history, to indelible life. The prose is clean, clear and lyrical in a way that you don't often see in historical fiction. It's not larded down with ...more
Suzanne
May 21, 2011 Suzanne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked "Blood Royal"/"The Queen's Lover" by Vanora Bennett
3.5 stars for this nice debut.

A very interesting read about Joanne of Arc, which mostly comes across as well researched.
(Having been to both Chinon and Loches myself I was excited to read about these places, though the descriptions of them were not very detailed which left me wondering if the author ever visited.)

The chapters are really short, which some people object to, but which I always kinda like, as it makes the book seem like a box of candy.
I've noticed another thing some people object to
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Sharon
Those who are seeking a tidied-up, romanticized tale of Jean d'Arc and the 100 Years' War would be well-advised to look elsewhere.

Kimberly Cutter brings us a gritty, realistic story about medieval warfare as she brings Jehanne, a young girl from Domremy (in the Lorraine) to life. Starting with Jehanne's childhood (including her sister's murder by the English), Cutter brings readers straight up through brutal battles, political intrigue both for and against Jehanne, and the girl's eventual execut
...more
Tamora Pierce
I approached this book with some trepidation, since the only works about Joan I'd read (except Shaw's and Twain's) left me unhappy. I don't like anything that takes Joan's saints away from her, and one deep, abiding question I have--the question of Gilles de Rais, one of her great generals, later one of the most infamous mass murderers of children and the foundation for Bluebeard, burned at the stake himself for witchcraft and heresy--is never addressed in other works.

The story starts at the end
...more
Siobian
Set in the fifteenth century during the Hundred Years War, The Maid tells the story of Jehanne d'Arc (later known as Joan of Arc) as she sets out to fulfill her destiny. Jehanne has grown up in the French countryside and watched as English soldiers tear the country apart. When she is young, she begins hearing voices and seeing angels that tell her that she is the one who will save the France and return the exiled Dauphin to his throne. After overcoming enormous obstacles, she does just this but ...more
April Hochstrasser
l liked the quick pace and the short chapters. The author had access to a lot of research and the book could have become bogged down with historical detail and background, instead I got the sense of being in Jehanne's head, seeing and feeling what she did, understanding how everyone and everything looked to her.

This book was a perfect intro to a complex historical figure. I got a feeling for the limited ways women could be in that era. Jehanne was such a departure from the norm that she really s
...more
Merredith
I was almost hesitant to read this book because of some of the bad reviews. I'm confused as to those, because this was a great book! It's about Joan of Arc, called Jehanne, from when she starts hearing voices till she's executed. This is a sad story, but definitely leaves me wanting to research more about this remarkable woman. Even in present day, a poor woman with no education wouldn't be able to rise up and lead armies, but back then, when it was an executionable offense just for a woman to w ...more
Literary  Chanteuse
There were sections that dragged slightly with a little too much war and bickering(of course that is expected)yet other sections completely grabbed my attention. After recently reading a very thorough non-fiction about Joan this book felt like it was well researched. The closer look at her life from a personal point of view, emotions etc. was nicely done and overall worth reading even for those who are not a particular fan of Joan of Ark. For those who are what a delight!

I received a copy in exc
...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Joan of Arc is a far-famed and widely recognized name, especially if you're a. Catholic or b. French. As a rebel, as a saint, and even as a peasant, this young girl captivated an entire country, following her 'voices' and fighting the English for freedom. Taglined with "the girl who led an army, the peasant who crowned a King, the maid who became a legend," Cutter sets the stage for her version of the world famous knight right from the get-go. I did
...more
Dione Sage
Found through Libboo The Maid ...The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc is in my opinion an excellent historical fiction with plenty of actual historical facts in it. Author Kimberly Cutter did a phenomenal job and capturing the story of the peasant girl, Jehanne d’Arc’s beautiful struggle. A woman would not have been treated with any real respect or dignity when it came to affairs that were considered a man’s work in the 1400’s but for a 17 yr old girl to leave all she knows because she truly believ ...more
Diana
The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc by Kimberly Cutter is an intimate portrayal of Joan of Arc’s rise and fall from her pivotal role in the Hundred Years War. It begins with Jehanne d’Arc as a twelve year old girl from Domremy, France, whose father is the tax collector and king of the peasants, so to speak. Life at home is difficult for her; Jehanne, her mother, and brothers have to endure the patriarch’s violent outbursts. Her beautiful sister Catherine had been murdered, which is the possible cat ...more
Jo Barton
This is an interesting, and well written debut book, which focuses on the life of Jehanne d’Arc. The story begins, when as a child, Jehanne bewilders her peasant family by her religious zeal, and her ability to communicate directly with saints. Guided by her religious voices, Jehanne sets out to change the focus of European history, when, convinced that God has chosen her to restore power to the French, she embarks on a brutal, and courageous fight for glory.
Startlingly honest in its narrative,
...more
Karen morsecode
She looked up at her saints in the stained-glass windows, Saint Catherine, Saint Margaret, Saint Clare... those tall, sad, lovely women illuminated by the sun. She though of their enormous love for God, their heroic lives, their miracles. How they'd found a way to be bigger, better, to do good, fight evil, escape the mud, the smallness of life. She thought they were the luckiest people in the world. (32)

I've been fascinated by Joan of Arc since I first heard her story so I was quite excited to r
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Bonnie
I think I found the wikipedia article on Joan of Arc more exciting than this book. It is far too modern in its speech/behaviors and the characters are far too flat.

It doesn't help that I just finished (finally) A Game of Thrones, and this book absolutely pales in comparison. This is almost a real-life version of Game of Thrones: different kings vying for the same throne, a child leading armies, massive intrigue and brutal deaths.

The real-life people of this story are as compelling and deep as a
...more
Victoria Costello
Kimberly Cutter convincingly gets into Joan of Arc's head in this portrayal of her life from preteen to war hero to victim of the Inquisition and finally sainthood. I haven't read detailed accounts of her life before so I can't speak comparatively but I found myself surprised by the amount of detailed factual information available to Cutter which she explains in her epilogue she used faithfully as would a nonfiction author like Eric Larson (of In the Garden of the Beasts). I also found myself th ...more
Colleen Turner
I reviewed this book for luxuryreading.com.

I think it’s fair to assume that most people have at least heard of Joan of Arc (or Jeanne d’Arc). We’ve read of or seen the movies depicting Jeanne on her divine mission to rid France of the invading English and put the rightful King on the throne. However I, for one, did not know the full story of where she came from and how she ended up a martyred saint of France.

The Maid by Kimberly Cutter has done a wonderful job of bringing Jeanne to life and givi
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Kim
I didn't know much about Joan of Arc, so it was an interesting read. The author includes in the end what is true and what is fiction. Other than a little graphic, which it would be, it was written pretty well and very interesting. I couldn't help wanting a different ending for her.

In the end of the book, the author says that some think instead of hearing from her voices and dreams, she had epilepsy or schizophrenia. I can't speak to schizophrenia, but I can speak for epilepsy or migraines. My si
...more
Katie
First, I want to start off by saying that Joan of Arc is my patron saint and has been a symbol of inspiration and hope for me throughout my entire life. I really loved this book for it's accurate portrayal. I've seen a lot of negative reviews on here saying that her character was annoying, etc. I think the problem here is that today, we simply look at the fact that she is a saint. The truth is, she was a human being. She did in fact have a mission from God, however she was born a human and died ...more
Aimee
The Maid is the story of Joan of Arc, set in the 15th century during the 100 years war. Joan is born a peasant girl in the French country side. Throughout her years of growing up she watches the English murder and pillage and slowly destroy her country. As she gets older she begins to here voices and have visions. She is convinced she is supposed to save her country from the English and spends the rest of her days trying to fulfill her destiny.

I was really excited to read this book. I have never
...more
Cynthia Archer
This book was very good; it was actually better than I anticipated. I knew the rough tale of Joan of Arc, but it really came alive as the author used factual information and expanding it into a marvelous work of historic fiction. She used some interesting techniques in writing that I appreciated. One was breaking the book into many short chapters. For me this made the action move faster and kept the story from dragging with too much verbiage. She also chose to add the thoughts of Joan, or Jehann ...more
Christy B
A decent fiction novel about Joan of Arc (known here as Jehanne d'Arc). The writing flowed easily, and the descriptions were quite nice.

I liked the way 'the voices' that Joan heard were handled. It was conveyed that Joan was not off her rocker, and indeed heard what she thought were voices telling her to take up an army and take back her country. Despite the religious themes, the story wasn't preachy, which I appreciated.

Morbid as it may sound, my favorite part was the end. Thankfully, it does
...more
Penelope
I really enjoyed this historical re-telling of Joan of Arc's campaign against the English in 15th century France. Whilst sticking to what we actually know about Joan - or Jehanne - Cutter weaves a compelling tale of the peasant girl stricken with religious conviction. The depiction of religious experience is especially good - a combination of extreme joy and pain as she is caught up in 'the vision glorious', yet has to return to ordinary life:
"She doesn't know how long it lasted. It felt like a
...more
Shelly
It's the fifteenth century during the Hundred Years War and Jehanne d'Arc is a dirty abused daughter of a farmer in Domremy France who is spoken to by God and the archangel Micheal and the saints Catherine and Margeret. She is instructed to drive the English from French soil and restore the rightful heir to the French crown to King Charles VII. We all know that Jehanne or "Joan", as we know of her, succeeds in her mission from God but how she gets there had me spellbound in this delightful graph ...more
Ruthie
Many reviewers did not like aspects of the author's writing style, but l liked the quick pace and the short chapters. The author had access to a lot of research and the book could have become bogged down with historical detail and background, instead I get the sense of being in Jehane's head, seeing and feeling what she did, understanding how everyone and everything looked to her.

I really enjoyed this book and I feel it was a perfect "intro" to a complex historical figure/time/event.
Audrey
If high school history presented the past through stories instead of memorizing dates and places, I might have learned more. The author stuck close to know facts and minimized story telling. Amazing story and an amazing woman. Interesting parallel to religious wars throughout history and current times. Does God really ask people to go to war?
Jennifer
Loved this book!!!! I didn't know a whole lot about Joan of Arc before I read this but really enjoyed it. It was so interesting to read her perspective on how she felt to be called by God to lead a massive French Army. Very good read.
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“Most of [her ashes] fell into the river in a long gray curtain. But some was caught by the wind and blown upward toward the blue spring sky where it swirled a moment in the air, before dissolving into sunlight.” 4 likes
“...because who in the throes of love can ever remember the gray, lonesome days, and who among us does not hope with all their hearts that somehow, by some miracle, such love might go on forever?” 2 likes
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