“Was she a saint or a witch? A visionary or a madwoman? Or an extraordinary peasant girl who, at God’s bidding, led an army, saved France, and paid the price by burning alive? . . . Kimberly Cutter’s portrait of ‘Jehanne’ as a strange, gritty teenage tomboy and true believer is compelling.” —USA Today
It is the fifteenth century, and the tumultuous Hundred Years’ War rages on. France is under siege, English soldiers tear through the countryside destroying all who cross their paths, and Charles VII, the uncrowned king, has neither the strength nor the will to rally his army. And in the quiet of her parents’ garden in Domrémy, a peasant girl sees a spangle of light and hears a powerful voice speak her name: Jehanne.
The story of Jehanne d’Arc, the visionary and saint who believed she had been chosen by God, who led an army and saved her country, has captivated our imaginations for centuries. But the story of Jehanne—the girl whose sister was murdered by the English, who sought an escape from a violent father and a forced marriage, who taught herself to ride and to fight, and who somehow found the courage and tenacity to persuade first one, then two, then thousands to follow her—is at once thrilling, unexpected, and heartbreaking. Rich with unspoken love and battlefield valor, The Maid is a novel about the power and uncertainty of faith and the exhilarating and devastating consequences of fame.
“Impressive . . . Cutter evokes the novel’s medieval world with striking details.” —New York Times Book Review
“Joan of Arc, the teenage peasant girl who commanded a French army, was burned at the stake, and eventually declared a saint, exists in our collective imagination as more myth than human being . . . Cutter strips away the romanticism in favor of a more complex portrayal that raises some provocative questions.” —O Magazine
""The Maid sheds new light on a legend from the past and ultimately succeeds in illuminating the present.""— The Washington Post
""Was Joan of Arc a messenger from God, a lunatic, or just a petulant kid? She's a little of each in this beautifully written novel, which follows Jehanne from her girlhood to the Hundred Years' War . . . to her death at 19, burned at the stake in the Rouen marketplace. Cutter presents Jehanne as part mystic, but also part mascot used by France to rally support from the peasants. In The Maid's best scenes, she couldn't be more human."" — Entertainment Weekly
""Was she a saint or a witch? A visionary or a madwoman? Or an extraordinary peasant girl who, at God's bidding, led an army, saved France and paid the price by burning alive? . . .Kimberly Cutter's portrait of 'Jehanne' as a strange, gritty teenage tomboy and true believer is compelling."" -- USA Today
""Cutter brings Jehanne d'Arc to life, complete with the visions, voices, courage, and superpowers she used to persuade thousands to follow her into battle to save her beloved France from the English army. Cutter's Joan is conflicted [and] the battles are gory. . ."" -- Daily Candy
""Joan of Arc, the teenage peasant girl who commanded a French army, was burned at the stake, and eventually declared a saint, exists in our collective imagination as more myth than human being. . . Cutter strips away the romanticism in favor of a more complex portrayal that raises some provocative questions."" -- O Magazine
""No one has ever written a fictional treatment of Joan of Arc that encompasses 'The Maid of Orleans' the way Kimberly Cutter has. From Jehanne's poverty-stricken upbringing, to her peculiar relationship with France's Dauphin, to her bloodthirsty battle actions and finally, to her sad last days, this book brings a misunderstood figure to blazing life."" -- Minneapolis Star-Tribune
""Cutter evokes the novel's medieval world with striking details. Wounds are dressed in olive oil and cotton, and stork is eaten for dinner. King Charles appears 'in his white nightdress, hair trailing down his back in thin, oiled tentacles,' and a starving, naked woman stuffs dirt in her mouth 'greedily, as if it were a butter tart.'"" -- The New York Times Book Review
""A fiery portrait of one of history's most exalted heroines. Cutter's lavish imagery is outstanding and her dynamic characters are truly absorbing. The Maid is a triumphant re-imagining of a courageous, faithful and remarkably resilient woman."" — Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana and A World on Fire
""Cutter brings fresh insight to the story of Joan of Arc in this dynamic page-turner...The exhilaration of her many triumphs on the battlefield, the bloody combat, the deadly jealousies and political machinations that begin her undoing, and her tragic end are portrayed with vivid imagination and brio. In this stunning debut, Cutter pays vibrant homage to this legendary woman."" — Publishers Weekly, starred review ""The Maid is a brilliant portrait of Joan of Arc that peels away the layers of myth to reveal the inner world of an astonishing human being. Cutter has given new life to one of the most incredible women of all time."" — Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology