Title: The Maid and the Queen
Author: Nancy Goldstone
Publication Date: 26 March 2013
Format: E-Book - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction / History
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Joan of Arc, the brave
peasant girl who heard the voices of angels and helped restore her king
to the throne of France, astonished her contemporaries and continues to
fascinate us today. Until now, though, her relationship with Yolande of
Aragon, the ambitious and beautiful queen of Sicily—mother-in-law to the
dauphin—has been little known. In a stunning work filled with intrigue,
madness, and mysticism, Nancy Goldstone solves the thrilling mystery by
showing that if you pry open the Queen's secrets, you will find the
Maid's. Caught in the complex dynastic battle of the Hundred Years War,
Yolande of Aragon championed the dauphin's cause. As French hopes
dimmed, a courageous young woman arrived from the farthest recesses of
the kingdom. But how did she gain an audience with a king? Was it only
God's hand that moved Joan of Arc—or was it also Yolande of Aragon's?(Goodreads Synopsis)
The Maid and the Queen was a very enjoyable and informative read. I have read books about Joan before, but what made this one stand out was the inclusion of the history of Yolande and the background of the war, the relationships of the protagonists etc.
Goldstone's prose is easy going with just the right balance between telling the tale and offering a high level of details and annotation. You do not get sucked too deeply into academia, but instead can follow the story as it unfolds.
This is a book that will appeal to history buffs and an interested novice alike - a delightful piece of research and writing. I give it four stars because, if you are looking for a history of Joan of Arc, this book does not have that focus, but it is a great read alongside other biographies.