Hey all, Sam here.
Well…today I’m going to do the kind of review I don’t often do here on the blog. Generally I’m pretty good at choosing books that I end up liking. Most of my reviews tend to be in the 3-5 star range, with the very occasional 2 star, and the extremely rare 1 star. While I would love to take the lower rated books and not give any sort of big focus to them on the blog or anything–and NetGalley now has the option to decline to review a book–I can’t in good consciousness do that.
I pride myself in always being an honest reviewer. I’ve even been this honest with my own writing in the past, but it helps me see where my writing has grown over the years, which is nice.
So, today I have a review that I’ve actually put off for quite a while. Let’s get started.
Everyone knows the story of Joan of Arc, a peasant girl who put Charles VII on the throne and spearheaded France’s victory over Britain before being burned by the English as a heretic and witch.
But things are not always as they appear.
Jeanne d’Arc was only five when three angels and saints first came to her. Shrouded by a halo of heavenly light, she believed their claim to be holy. The Archangel Michael and Saint Margaret told her she was the foretold Warrior Maid of Lorraine, fated to free France and put a king upon his throne.
Saint Catherine made her promise to obey their commands and embrace her destiny; the three saints would guide her every step. Jeanne bound herself to these creatures without knowing what she’d done. As she got older, Jeanne grew to mistrust and fear the voices, and they didn’t hesitate to punish her cruelly for disobedience. She quickly learned that their cherished prophecy was more important than the girl expected to make it come true.
Jeanne is only a shepherd’s daughter, not the Warrior Maid of the prophecy, but she is stubborn and rebellious, and finds ways to avoid doing – and being – what these creatures want. Resistance has a terrifying price, but Jeanne is determined to fight for the life she wants.
But when the cost grows too high, Jeanne will risk everything to save her brother, her one true friend, and the man she loves.
Not everyone is destined to be a hero. Sometimes you have no choice.
I was approved for this book on NetGalley in 2021, although the book was released in 2020. I don’t remember when I tried to read it in 2021, but I know that I did…and I struggled my way through the first chunk of the book. I honestly can’t even recall how far I made it into this book, because I just wasn’t enjoying the experience.
Back then, after struggling for a couple weeks to get into the book, I set it aside and hoped that once I was in a better reading mood. But every time I thought about Divine Heretic again in the months that followed, I was filled with a sense of dread, like a reluctant reader/student when they’re supposed to be working on some reading/assignment and they really really don’t want to.
I’ve reached the point now where I can finally say that this book just isn’t for me.
The cover is lovely, and it definitely catches the eye. And the synopsis sounded interesting. It sounded like it was going to be an interesting look into Jeanne d’Arc and the voices/saints/angels that spoke to her. So many know the story of Joan of Arc, and I’ve read a couple different interpretations of the story, and they’re intriguing.
But this was filled with a young girl being dealt a whole bunch of trauma of all different sorts, physical, mental, emotional, sexual….it was just rough and problematic….and I wasn’t enjoying the story at all. More than that, I didn’t even like this interpretation of Jeanne d’Arc either. She was honestly pretty boring.
I wanted to enjoy this book. I tried to tell myself that I just wasn’t in the right reading mood at the time I tried to pick it up, and if I gave it another attempt later, I would probably feel differently. But I know that isn’t always the case, and not every book is meant for every person. Sadly, this book just wasn’t for me.
But I’ve seen others give this book a good rating and a good review. So, as with any book, I can honestly say that if it sounds interesting to you, then give it a chance. Perhaps this book will appeal to you when it didn’t to me, and that’s great. I hope you enjoy.
Well, that is all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.