Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc
Elliott’s Voices is written with eloquence and a great amount of detail. This book portrays the last few day’s of Joan of Arc’s life and the two pivotal trials, Trial of Condemnation and Trial of Nullification, which give us insight before and after her death. In the Trial of Condemnation, the readers see Joan answering questions in her own words that her accusers are asking her; however, since the Trial of Nullification took place about twenty-four years after Joan’s death, the readers understand her story from the perspective of many witnesses.
I really enjoyed the unique perspective of Joan’s story being told from objects like a sword, candle, knife, and dress. Additionally, I thought it was both clever and creative how the poems were shaped in the object or theme that the content of the poem covers. This adds a fun and engaging quality to the reading because it is abstract and often not seen in other stories told in the form of poetry. Another aspect of the book I loved is the amount of history the reader can grasp from what felt like such a fun, innovative, and easy to read novel. When I first received Voices, I expected that some of the history about Joan of Arc would get lost because it is hard to write eloquently in poetry verse, while trying to maintain the rhyme scheme, but also including as much detail about the trials as possible. I thought that with trying to keep the word choice on point, I would not get a good entire history of the St. Joan of Arc, so I read about her in advance. However, I was pleasantly surprised about how much I learned about Joan from David Elliott and it made reading the poems more enjoyable because it did not feel like a history lesson, but instead a fun and breezy read.
Furthermore, when I revisited the cover of the book, every piece of the puzzle finally fell into place. The title cleverly indicates the voices that navigated the readers through Joan’s journey and it alludes to the characters that we hear from and how they heighten and elaborate about Joan’s personality.
Finally, I was very happy that the illustrator drew Joan in such a prominent and bold way. On the cover, Joan looks like a true fighter and hero because of what looks like a spotlight shining on her face. I was also pleasantly surprised by this because during the Medieval Ages, women were at the bottom of the hierarchy and had almost no rights, however, this cover seems to prove quite the opposite.
This was a wonderful read and I was so happy with many aspects of Voices – The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend or family member anyone who wants to learn history in a fun way because I believe it was written with such talent and expertise.