The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined

The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined

The Language of Fire is a lyrical, dark, and moving look at the life of Joan of Arc, who as a teen girl in the fifteenth century commanded an army and helped crown a king of France.This extraordinary verse novel from award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill dares to imagine how an ordinary girl became a great leader, and ultimately saved a nation.Jehanne was an illiterate p...

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Title:The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined
Author:Stephanie Hemphill
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Edition Language:English

The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined Reviews

  • Amanda

    While there are a few historical inaccuracies in this novel, it is, overall, true to the central story of Joan of Arc. This book really brought Joan to life with the beautiful verse. She came alive on the page, and I really felt for her. Her story is a powerful one, and this is a great novel to read to gain an understanding of that story. This is a great read!

  • Katherine

    is Joan of Arc's story from her own perspective, told in verse. The poems easily flow from one to the next, making a timeline of Joan's life from her childhood and first encounters with the voice of God, to her finals days and execution. In terms of structure, this was very similar to another book I've read,

    . I love seeing these new ways of telling stories becoming more popular. I think it adds a new element to them, especially stories like Joan's that ar

    is Joan of Arc's story from her own perspective, told in verse. The poems easily flow from one to the next, making a timeline of Joan's life from her childhood and first encounters with the voice of God, to her finals days and execution. In terms of structure, this was very similar to another book I've read,

    . I love seeing these new ways of telling stories becoming more popular. I think it adds a new element to them, especially stories like Joan's that are widely known. Thanks to Edelweiss+ and Balzer + Bray for the eArc.

  • Tamara

    is a fascinating novel. It recounts Joan of Arc's life from her childhood to her early death and fills this myth of a girl with so much life and detail.

    It does all that in verse form which is a fascinating writing style in itself and which works beautifully in this context.

    Though the plot sometimes drags and the battles and journeys weren't as interesting to me as I would have liked,

    is a fascinating novel. It recounts Joan of Arc's life from her childhood to her early death and fills this myth of a girl with so much life and detail.

    It does all that in verse form which is a fascinating writing style in itself and which works beautifully in this context.

    Though the plot sometimes drags and the battles and journeys weren't as interesting to me as I would have liked, the story is still incredibly unique and teaches the reader about Joan/Jehanne and her life as well as the situation France was in at the time.

    Verse form is perfect to visualise her prayers/conversations with God and herself and while I'm not religious myself and never felt any connection to that topic I found Jehanne's thoughts deeply relatable.

    Her story is moving and many parts of it still resonate today. This novel can be very dark - not surprising when considering the topic - and some poems are viscerally real but it still left me hopeful.

  • Tasya Dita

    Joan of Arc has been a fascinating figure for many centuries for many people. There's not many known of her as a person, what we know of her is claim to be chosen by God, her subsequent role during the 100 years war and her eventual death. Many fascination rests on the fact she was a simple farmer's daughter, whose role and place were defined strictly at her time, and yet she managed to lead an army towards victory.

    This

    Joan of Arc has been a fascinating figure for many centuries for many people. There's not many known of her as a person, what we know of her is claim to be chosen by God, her subsequent role during the 100 years war and her eventual death. Many fascination rests on the fact she was a simple farmer's daughter, whose role and place were defined strictly at her time, and yet she managed to lead an army towards victory.

    This book offers an insight through Joan's mind from her childhood to her death. Unfortunately, it felt monotonous in many places. It is written in verse, so many aspects are skipped and not explained in details. I love the reflection on the role of women and how she was hated basically because she was a girl and didn't fit the role she was supposed to be- I think verses are a great medium for this. But to tell her story as a whole, of her experiences and battles instead of her thoughts, this writing style just doesn't fit and removes a lot from the reading experience.

  • Jennifer

    3.5/5 stars

    The Language of Fire is a Young Adult version of Joan of Arc told through verse.

    This book is divided into eight parts and tells the story of Joan of Arc. The book starts with a very long foreward explaining the actual story.

    Before reading this I wondered if the verse would be extremely complex. But the book is written quite simply, in very short chapters. And it was easy to understand.

    The narrator is Jehanne (how the author refers to Joan of Arc). The book comes across almost as non-f

    3.5/5 stars

    The Language of Fire is a Young Adult version of Joan of Arc told through verse.

    This book is divided into eight parts and tells the story of Joan of Arc. The book starts with a very long foreward explaining the actual story.

    Before reading this I wondered if the verse would be extremely complex. But the book is written quite simply, in very short chapters. And it was easy to understand.

    The narrator is Jehanne (how the author refers to Joan of Arc). The book comes across almost as non-fiction. But I guess it is a combination between actual facts and how the author imagined things happening. But truthfully when I saw that the book was called "Joan of Arc Reimagined" I was sort of hoping for a different type of retelling. Maybe a contemporary setting. Or the author completely re-imagining Joan's life. But that is not what this book is at all.

    Overall, I definitely enjoyed the way this story was told. It was a very interesting way to tell the story. It is basically the retelling of a famous historical figure told through verse.

    Thanks to edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for allowing me to read this book.

  • Erikka

    This wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't great. It got very monotonous after about 100 pages and had way more detail than I think the intended audience would care about. I think the idea was solid and that Joan of Arc is a fascinating character, but this book made her seem very dull. It was definitely well researched and was clearly a passion project, so I'll give it credit for that.

  • Elizabeth

    While it was a little dry for some of the historical parts (the travel and battles, mostly), I thought it was overall interesting and offered insights about society's treatment of women that are still relevant. It was also quick to read and absorb.

    I'll be sure to check out the author's

    someday (about the witch trials in Salem), to see if it's similarly reflective about women and history.

    (EDIT: I forgot to note that my copy was an ARC, so it did have some typos and I'm assuming part

    While it was a little dry for some of the historical parts (the travel and battles, mostly), I thought it was overall interesting and offered insights about society's treatment of women that are still relevant. It was also quick to read and absorb.

    I'll be sure to check out the author's

    someday (about the witch trials in Salem), to see if it's similarly reflective about women and history.

    (EDIT: I forgot to note that my copy was an ARC, so it did have some typos and I'm assuming parts of it would have changed between my copy and the final release copy.)

  • Claire

    UM YES PLEASE

    Joan of Arc is the best

  • Asterop√™

    Interesting, there's another Joan of Arc verse novel for 2019 as well:

    . Will be interesting to see the different takes on the same figure.

  • Kelly Hager

    Stephanie Hemphill explains in a note before the book begins that she chose to call Joan of Arc Jehanne because that was how she referred to herself. Also, like her other books, this is a novel in verse.

    I didn't know very much about Joan of Arc before reading this book. (Young girl hears voices from God, leads an army, burned at the stake, eventually canonized.) I'm over twice her age now; she was martyred at 19.

    Another thing I didn't know is that she started hearing voices (technically, she hea

    Stephanie Hemphill explains in a note before the book begins that she chose to call Joan of Arc Jehanne because that was how she referred to herself. Also, like her other books, this is a novel in verse.

    I didn't know very much about Joan of Arc before reading this book. (Young girl hears voices from God, leads an army, burned at the stake, eventually canonized.) I'm over twice her age now; she was martyred at 19.

    Another thing I didn't know is that she started hearing voices (technically, she heard from three saints) at 13. I can't even imagine how terrifying that must have been or how hard it would be to find the courage to believe that you're really supposed to lead the French army and get the correct person on the throne. It'd be hard enough to believe it today, but back in the 1400s when women didn't do anything but get married and have kids? Hard pass.

    While I learned a great deal about Jehanne while reading this, it didn't feel at all like homework. She was a trailblazer although I don't think she would've agreed with that assessment; she felt she was just doing what God wanted. 

    As Stephanie Hemphill pointed out, she's the only female warrior most people can name and the only woman who saved a country who wasn't born into a royal family. (She was actually a peasant.) It's an amazing legacy, but it's also more than time for there to be multiple examples of this.

    At any rate, I loved this book and hope to read more about Joan of Arc.

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