Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott
Review: Since hearing about that this year 2019, we would be getting two young adult novels about Joan of ARC. I was excited. I had heard a little about her, outside of religion (not one to read that kind of lit or classes). But it seems that she is gaining popularity because she was a strong young woman in her time, and as it is now. Women are the future and the power as of late (lots going on people), also she is a role model to some (not the dying part). Anyway, there isn’t many books, especially YA on Joan of ARC, till now apparently (there’s two coming out this year, including this one).
Voices is hard to get into and never really finds a rhythm, at least to me. I had to keep pushing my way through the book and the poetry. Now, I am a big fan of poetry. But some of these poems didn’t feel necessary or really adding much of anything to the story of Joan. There were a lot of inanimate objects that were in the point of view of the poetry talking about Joan, which did seem a bit strange. There is also a running dialogue of the fire that will eventually kill Joan, and the poems of it talking about her-longing for her. The rest of the poems are of Joan going through her journey, being accused by others and more inanimate objects talking about her (such as her hair).
I felt let down that there was not more to Joan (which could have been just been her own actual history) and her story, the only thing she thought of was her king and the gods that talked to her. There were also a couple of font size changes that didn’t fit with the rest, this could just be an ARC mishap (I just noticed it).
The top two things that were basically the only things that I found I liked were the cover, done by the artist Charlie Bowater. And there was also the poems that were shaped and formed into different things.
I was a snake
that would not strike,
a fawning tiger,
a blunted pike,
I was hunger,
a ripened bud
a belfry unerected.
She was ice.
she was flame.
she was goodness.
she was my shame,
I am a wonder. I am ease.
I’m an avowal: I do what I
please. A fearless day aborning.
I am a helmet on a strange head.
I am a word that won’t be said,
a triumph, and a warning.
Would I? Reread? No. Buy finished copy? No. Recommend to others? Only if they are interested in Joan of ARC and poetry.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Edition: I received this book as an ARC from ALAMW19, in return for an honest and true review. Hardcover, 208 pages.
Young Adult. Poetry. Historical Fiction. Poetry. Retelling.
Expected publication: March 26th 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers.
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.
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). Along the way it explores 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.
-Summary from GoodReads.com