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The Maid's War

(Kingfountain #0.5)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  3,702 ratings  ·  193 reviews
What if you knew a story that you could tell no one-except one person?

The Duke of La Marche is being held prisoner in a tower over a friendship he never tried to hide. As confidant to the famous Maid of Donremy, the duke should have been a hero. Instead, he was locked up by his king and called a traitor.

But this betrayal no longer matters to the duke. What does matter is a
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by Amberlin (first published December 31st 2016)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  3,702 ratings  ·  193 reviews

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Jonathan Donihue
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, that was unexpected.

The Maid's War is a prequel to the Kingfountain series, on which I've recently been binging. This is the second series that I've genuinely devoured by Mr Wheeler, and I found The Maid's War to be a worthy prequel.

It's actually a retelling of the story of Jean d'Arc which has, for years, been one of my favorite magical myths. There were, of course, several differences, as this was an adaptation and not a literal retelling of Ms d'Arc's story. One thing I really appreci
Sana Zameer
I like Jeff Wheeler's writing style. It's fluent and the world building is fabulous. This prequel to the Kingfountain series is based on the fabled Joan of Arc. Told from Ankarette Tryneowy-The infamous Queen's Poisoner and the Duke of La Marche- Alensson's perspective. The world of Kingfountain is rich and magical. It's full of political maneuverings and deceit and I was immediately attracted towards the duke's character. What let me down was the Maid of Donremy. Her character was bland and und ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

I enjoyed this prequel as it gives us backstory not only on Ankarette and her ties to this part of history, but also the full story about "The Maid of Donremy," that has been hinted at in the first three books so far. The sword of King Andrew and the scabbard that made an appearance in the previous books are all part of this story. Alensson, duke of La Marche plays a pivotal role as the tale is told from his point of view. "The Maid's War" is a beautiful ode to the story of Joan of Arc. H
Sheila Lewis
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. You can read my full review on Audible. I highly recommend the entire Kingfountain series.

"How her notes of encouragement comforted me. I grew to love her more in those years of prevation than many husbands ever love their wives. Troubles are the furnace, my dear, troubles and heat. Troubles and heat. Does not a baker need fire to stiffen the dough? For every kind of pie there is a proper time in the ovens. The Fountain has a purpose, nay, a recipe, for each of us. If we endur
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a prequel to the KINGFOUNTAIN series, though I think it makes more sense having read the other books first.

While I've thoroughly enjoyed books 1-5, this one was surprisingly flat, mostly because I wasn't drawn to the Maid of Donremy as a character. Wheeler freely admits to basing her on Joan of Arc, which isn't a problem for me, but somehow this maid felt lacking, underdeveloped, uninspiring. A disappointment, because I've been so engrossed by previous stories.

It does provide some intere
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this series. The Maid of Donremy features strongly in the entire series, so reading this prequel has me wanting to go back and re-read the series.

I did find it hard to keep the countries separated during the reading of the series, but I let that go and had a great time. Plus, in political battles, the boundaries always shift anyway. If you want to stay true to this part of the series though, you may find it helpful to read the author's inspiration for the series, and use that as part of th
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a very well done prequel for the series.
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Review to come...
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was as enjoyable as the rest of the series. I found it interesting that the author based so much of this story on Joan of Arc. I love learning about Joan of Arc, so this was a fun read and actually quite accurate to her life.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This review pretty much says exactly what I was thinking.

I had a hard time getting into the book an didn't feel it was as good as the first 3 in the Kingfountain series - especially The King's Traitor which I just finished before picking up this one. I loved that one. But, I kept reading, and it did get a bit better as the story picked up. It filled in some holes, so that was good, but as the review I linked to mentioned - I may not have felt a need to continue the series if this had been the fi
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As always very imaginative

Jeff Wheeler does it again! Each book in this series is full of twists and unseen turns! You will never be bored. As always an excellent read!
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I loved the original Kingfountain trilogy and remember thinking this Maid chick must have been a super bad-ass back in her day. When I heard Mr. Wheeler was writing a prequel centered on that character, I knew I had to get it. I waited quite a while, hoping I'd forget a lot of the details and could soak up the story with a fresh perspective. Having read it, I think the myth was more interesting than the story.

This book is still better than a lot of other fantasy books, I just wasn't all
Brittney Tyler
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Jeff Wheeler!!!!!!
Star Rating: 5 stars

Note: This is the 2nd prequel novel to the Kingfountain series and intended to be read after book 3, The King’s Traitor, according the author’s own reading order so this will not be an in-depth review.

As I have probably stated before, one of my goals this year is to finish reading some of the more prolific writers on my TBR. (Robin Hobb, Terry Brooks, and Jeff Wheeler in case you were wondering!!!!!!!) With that being said, I recently finished the Kingfountain series by Jeff
Chandra Rogers
May 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
After reading the previous books in the series, I found this one very disappointing. The previous books held respect for others, compassion and doing the right thing as standards for the protagonists. The Maid of Donremy was written as a person of great compassion and goodness. In this tale as we finally learn about the Maid, she repeatedly harassed and drove out camp followers aka prostitutes. As someone who is supposed to be some paragon of The Fountain, which clearly is a metaphor for Christi ...more
Thomas S. Medford
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great story worth reading...a real gem!

This story is so we'll written it actually comes alive in your mind. You will actually see it come alive in the stage of your mind... totally unbidden by you. I believe that all excellent storytellers have this gift as does Jeff Wheeler. I read this prequel after I read the first five books of his Kingfountain series. Now I am ready to start reading book six. To date, I have read almost twenty of his books which are well crafted memorable stories really abo
Iryna Paprotska
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic-shelf
I liked the Maid in the story, this was the main line for me in the book to follow. You do not really need to read the author's note to know that Jean d'Arc was behind the character of the Maid. The Maid was strong and passionate and it is a story about honor and belief. She was everything the story of Jean d'Arc is: compassion, confidence, and courage.

I am reading Jeff Wheeler's books in the order advanced by the author himself in his blog. And I should say, so far it is the right order. Meetin
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This prequel tells the story of the Maid of Donremy - a semi-mythological figure in the later Kingfountain series - and explains how she prophesies Ankarette's pivotal role in the birth of Owen Kiskaddon. The book alternates between the Maid's story, as told by the disgraced Duke of La Marche who fought alongside her, and the story of Ankarette's attempt to rescue the Duke from imprisonment late in his life.

Like all Wheeler's novels, this one is well-written and provides plenty of (fictional) hi
Troy Jeffers
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very solid book. It reads easy and quickly and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. I read it in the order the author suggested and they may be where any heartburn comes in. After reading so much about the "current" state of the kingdoms, it was hard to put myself in the past with this. It also caused me to have even more questions about the current, which may or may not be answered in the next trilogy. I have yet to get that far. Besides that though, the book is still very good. ...more
Michael Long
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a nice prequel about the Maid of Donremy. It had a bit of a rough start by introducing a lot of characters who I neither knew nor cared about. However, once I got into the book, I found the two main characters (Alan and Jenette) to be pretty interesting and I found the story pretty compelling. It didn't really center on Ankarette at all...she was merely a plot device to let Alan tell his story. The book centered a lot on the sacrifices of following the fountain and giving up one's own d ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I appreciated the backstory that Wheeler provides here to give additional context for the Kingfountain series book and events mentioned there. This wasn't a required story to understand the others, because those are well written and contain themselves nicely, but I enjoyed learning more about it. However, parts of the story seemed too simplistic compared to the other Kingfountain books. The character development here wasn't as deep and almost relied on an understanding of the story in the Kingfo ...more
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wheeler only improves the Kingfountain series with every book he adds to it. The Maid's War is a fascinating combination of frame story and flashback. The modern frame story features Ankarette Tryneowy, before she became the Queen's Poisoner, seeking a sword for her king. It is a flashback for the Gentle Duke (whom Ankarette seeks to find the sword) who remembers The Maid of Donremy. In obedience to the Maid, he tells Ankarette her story. This tale develops more depth of Ankarette's already comp ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
These books are not "life-altering" not do I come out of them "a better person" so I have a hard time giving them 5 stars, but I sure do enjoy them!!! This was a prequel to the Kingfountain series, but it was a full-size novel. The book takes place a few decades before the first book in the series begins. There were a lot of new characters (so that took some time to get used to) but there were some familiar names as well. This book introduced two characters that quickly became favorites. It was ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
For some reason, I had a hard time connecting with this one. That's why it took me in excess of six months to finish it. I enjoyed seeing more of Ankarette, but I just couldn't empathize with the Maid of Donremy or her gentle friend. As someone who has been consistently wowed by Wheeler's KINGFOUNTAIN books, I was surprised. For me, it didn't have the same heart as the "main" books in the series. Not a bad book by any means, and the main series is a bit richer having read this, just not my cup o ...more
Joy Ramlogan
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Much as I have been enjoying the series, this is an example of stretching the story too far. I like the characters and the perspectives of Trynne and the changes in other characters. And the introduction of a massive empire waging war. However, the conclusion to the war was too pat, too unbelievable and not understandable. This is a plot hole, contrived and transparently so. I still want to read the next book, because I am compulsive that way, just hope it reaches up to the wonder and solidity o ...more
Jenny Leiva
Dec 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I read two other books in the middle of reading this one, which I think says two things. One, I was more interested in the other books than I was in this one, but two, I was interested enough in this one to come back to it after two different breaks. If you’ve read the Kingfountain series first, you’ll know the basic storyline behind this book, but Wheeler does a good job of making the story still feel fresh and interesting. It would not be the book to start with for his series, but it’s a nice ...more
Michele Hermansen
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, 2017
He does it again!

Jeff Wheeler has written interesting character, The Maid, who is based on the fascinating Joan of Arc, and ties her story into the Kingfountain world. Exceptionally well written. Ankorette, featured in the early Kingfountain books as well, helps link everything together. I would love to see Ankorette in a stand-alone book or in a Kingfountain trilogy of her own. Wheeler makes characters to care about with ease.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
I didn't even finish reading the book, and is not exactly because the story was bad, it's just that is a copy of Joan of Arc, and if I wanted to read about her, I would (and have) read a book about her. It feels like the author took a book about Joan of Arc and replaced her name with the Maid, references of God and replaced them for the Fountain. I got bored really fast because many of the scenes were a replay of things I have already read when reading about Joan of Arc, and it got frustrating r ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great prequel to the Kingfountain series. At last we know who "The Maid" is--a person referred to but not explained in the first three Kingfountain novels. The author reveals her story, filled with interesting details of her character and her wars. If I hadn't already read the first three novels before this one was published, I would have read this one first. Still, it didn't contain spoilers of what's to come in the rest of the series; it filled in some gaps to help complete the tale. ...more
Denise McLachlan
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
As with his other books, Jeff Wheeler's writing is excellent, he keeps you interested. I only gave a 4 star review for this book because it was mainly details about battle, which is not interesting to me. That doesn't mean that you won't like it. I learned the background to some of the references in the Kingfountain series. This has been a wonderful series and I can't wait for the last book to be published. ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!

I loved it! All of Jeff Wheeler’s books are amazing and so well written. It’s always like an emotional rollercoaster ride and reminds me, teaches me and helps me remember all the good there is despite the bad. It also helps me remember all things are meant to work together for our good.

If you haven't read this book or any book by Jeff Wheeler, go read all his books now!
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Jeff took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, a devout member of his church, and is occasionally spotted roaming hills with oak trees and granite boulders in California or in any number of the state's majestic redwood groves. He is also one of the founders of Deep Magic: the E-zine of Clean Fantasy and Sc ...more

Other books in the series

Kingfountain (6 books)
  • The Queen's Poisoner (Kingfountain, #1)
  • The Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2)
  • The King's Traitor (Kingfountain, #3)
  • The Hollow Crown (Kingfountain #4)
  • The Silent Shield (Kingfountain #5)
  • The Forsaken Throne (Kingfountain #6)

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