Monday 18 March 2013

The Maid and the Queen by Nancy Goldstone - Book Review

Title: The Maid and the Queen 
Author: Nancy Goldstone  
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 26 March 2013
Pages: 320
Format: E-Book - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction / History
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment