I love a good novel in verse, and I’d heard chatter about Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc and so when I discovered it on my library shelves the other day, I picked it up. I ultimately really liked the artistic decisions made with the book, but I don’t really feel more connected to the story now like I usually do after reading books in verse.
Voices tells the story of Joan of Arc through her own voice and the voices of…objects around her. Yes, it’s kind of as weird as it sounds. We hear from the fire that will burn her, and the stake, and some items of her clothing, and a weapon and the tower she’s imprisoned in. There’s also snippets from the historical record and things from Saints, all that jazz. It’s a weird concept, yes, but what I liked was the way the author used different poetic styles throughout, instead of just sticking with blank verse.
While I liked the idea behind this book, and think the story of Joan of Arc is really interesting, this book just…didn’t connect with me that well. I liked the poetry, but the story just…fell flat. I didn’t feel like I knew Joan of Arc better through this story and by calling the “voices” as those coming from inanimate objects, kind of…cheapens the story. It’s weird, I don’t know how to explain it, but I think it’s an interesting quick read even if I don’t know if I’ll ever read it again.
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