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Voices : The Final Hours of Joan of Arc
2019
Availability
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Joan of Arc (Female), French, Devout, Her life story told from the perspective of Joan of Arc, people and objects in her life
Genre
Fiction
Biographical
Christian
Historical
Young adult
Topics
Joan of Arc
Visions
Gender roles
Social classes
Faith
Life choices
Setting
France - Europe
Time Period
1400s -- 15th century
Large Cover Image
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  Publishers Weekly Review

This collection of poems, each told from the perspective of Joan of Arc and the people and objects central to her life, creates a remarkable portrait of a person whose legend continues to fascinate. The narrative begins from Joan's perspective as she stands bound to the pyre, awaiting her death: "And I will burn. But I have always/ been afire. With youth. With faith. With/ truth. And with desire." Employing poetic forms prevalent during Joan's era-ballades, rondels, sestinas, and villanelles among them-Elliott (Bull) builds the story of her visions and mission "to lift the siege at Orléans," reactions to her wearing men's clothing ("I was, they said, an/ aberration"), and sentencing. Concrete poems voiced by inanimate objects-candle, needle, sword, tunic, fire-reflect their speakers' physical shapes. Also included are the voices of Joan's accusers and defenders in direct quotes from the transcripts of her two trials: the first, in 1431, which found her guilty of heresy, and the second, which revoked that verdict more than two decades after her death. With stunning lyricism, these poems fashion an enlivened, gripping narrative that addresses themes of gender identity, class and vocation, and innocence and culpability, bringing fresh nuance to an oft-told story. Ages 14-up. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Bestselling author David Elliott explores how Joan of Arc changed the course of history and remains a figure of fascination centuries after her extraordinary life and death. Joan of Arc gets the Hamilton treatment in this evocative novel. <br> <br> Told through medieval poetic forms and in the voices of the people and objects in Joan of Arc's life, (including her family and even the trees, clothes, cows, and candles of her childhood), Voices offers an unforgettable perspective on an extraordinary young woman. Along the way it explores timely issues such as gender, misogyny, and the peril of speaking truth to power. Before Joan of Arc became a saint, she was a girl inspired. It is that girl we come to know in Voices .
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