Joan: A Novel by Katherine J. Chen
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction
No. of Pages: 353
Date of Publication: 5 July, 2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
Katherine J. Chen can really write wildly engaging novels. After being offered an advance copy of Joan, I accepted because I enjoyed her Mary B novel so much. I'm glad that I did because this pulled me in from the very beginning and didn't let go until I finished the last page.
This isn’t the Joan of Arc you’re going to read about in a history book, but that doesn’t make this any less enjoyable (I hope that makes sense) as the story and writing are solid and you’re with this Joan, eager to see more behind the sainthood.
I really was drawn into this and fully enjoyed it, even though it didn’t tick all my boxes for historical fiction about real people. I’m glad I read this and am absolutely looking forward to reading more by Ms. Chen.
eARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley. Opinions shared are my own.
Girl. Warrior. Heretic. Saint? From the acclaimed author of Mary B comes a stunning, secular reimagining of the epic life of Joan of Arc.
1412. France is mired in a losing war against England. Its people are starving. Its king is in hiding. From this chaos emerges a teenage girl who will turn the tide of battle and lead the French to victory, becoming an unlikely hero whose name will echo across the centuries.
In Katherine J. Chen’s hands, the myth and legend of Joan of Arc is transformed into a flesh-and-blood young woman: reckless, steel-willed, and brilliant. This meticulously researched novel is a sweeping narrative of her life, from a childhood steeped in both joy and violence, to her meteoric rise to fame at the head of the French army, where she navigates the perils of the battlefield and the equally treacherous politics of the royal court. Many are threatened by a woman who leads, and Joan draws wrath and suspicion from all corners, while her first taste of fame and glory leaves her vulnerable to her own powerful ambition.
With unforgettably vivid characters, transporting settings, and action-packed storytelling, Joan is a thrilling epic, a triumph of historical fiction, as well as a feminist celebration of one remarkable—and remarkably real—woman who left an indelible mark on history.
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