Friday, October 28, 2011

The Maid

The Maid by Kimberly Cutter

Statue of Joan of Arc in Paris from wikipedia:
(of gilt bronze)

A powerful and beautifully scripted story
of Joan of Arc. Magnificent in its scope
and also an inspirational story of an inspirational
young woman who inspired thousands of soldiers
to follow her.

I enjoyed reading this book. It is as though the reader
travels with Joan of Arc through her tumultuous life,
relating to her sadness and also her joy of life.

This book is descriptive and evokes a time in France of
the early fifteenth century when life was very different with
the English and Burgundy in opposition to the Holy Kingdom
of France, as Joan of Arc at the time believed the kingdom was
and that she had been sent on a holy mission from God to
free France and crown the king, Charles VII, at Reims Cathedral,
where all previous kings had been crowned.

The story is quite extraordinary as Joan of Arc was a young peasant
girl without material support or influence initially,
but who showed true faith, strength in opposition and determination.

Unfortunately, there are also gruesome battle accounts in the story
however the author does portray the times authentically and is most
likely reflecting the harsh reality of some of those more distant battles
in the past. Also, sometimes perhaps the harshness of life.

The sword of Charles Martel, who had freed France from the Saracens
was also carried by Joan of Arc. In her magnificent armour and splendid
war horse she must have presented quite a spectacle, a radiant vision, leading her soldiers on to
battle and riding with the wind across the beautiful fields of France holding her
white satin banner aloft with the inscription of Jesu Maria on both sides
and a picture of Jesus on the globe and two winged angels with golden lilies
in the background and was also trimmed with golden fringe.
Joan of Arc showed bravery and was a fearless
warrior. She also had many loyal supporters. She became quite the heroine
after the siege of Orleans.

This book gives an incentive to
Joan of Arc. There is a site “Maid of Heaven” of poetry written by a
contemporary poet of the time, Christine de Pisan who wrote of Joan of Arc.

“The Maid” is a wonderful story to read with magnificent settings in the Valley
of the Loire and the castles where Joan of Arc often stayed with the king and
his courtiers.
The depiction of the characters surrounding Joan of Arc, her supporters and fellow
soldiers, including the The Duc D'Alencon, who had been a prisoner of the English
for five years, gives a personal perspective.
The dialogue is crisp and clear and the story flows from the pages.
A wonderful story to behold! Beautiful.

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