Book Review : The Maid’s War
A Kingfountain Prequel
By Jeff Wheeler
Sent on an impossible mission by Kingfountain’s ruler into the heart of the enemy’s capital as two mighty kingdoms prepare for war, Ankarette Tryneowy must divine the location of a magical sword, perhaps their key to victory. What she finds is the truth—one she could never have foreseen.
Searching for Firebos, the sword of ancient kings, is no simple task. It disappeared after one of the most powerful Fountain-blessed figures, the Maid of Donremy, used it in battle, and no one—except perhaps the Maid’s dearest friend, the Duke of La Marche—knows its whereabouts. But when Ankarette finds the aging duke in his prison cell and hears the mystery he unveils, her mission becomes more perilous than she could have possibly imagined. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
Once again I love the Kingfountain series! I’m hoping Wheeler will do more books from the other countries in this world, I hate to see it end.
The characters are phenomenal; Wheeler crafts people that are a combination of light and dark.
The Maid of Donremy, Genette, Kingfountain’s version of Joan of Arc, is a combination of a righteous prophetess, a demure peasant and a determined warrior. I like that we have a glimpse of Genette’s weaknesses, making her more believable, and lovable.
The Gentle Duke, Alensson Duke of La Marche, battles within himself. He struggles to remain true to his noble principals rather than grasp at power and revenge. Alensson desperately wanted to be an instrument of the Fountain, but it doesn’t turn out in the way he hoped.
The cowardly king, Chatriyon,is swayed so easily by the schemers and sycophants surrounding him and succumbs to the power that destroys his moral compass, when he already had the right to the position but he could not be humble enough to accept it as a gift.
Ankarette is in this novel, though she plays a small role, I still enjoy her and her dedication. Ankarette’s character is fleshed out and we learn more of her motivation for her actions. I liked Ankarette before and like her even more now.
Telling the tale of a Joan of Arc inspired character could easily become mired in battle after battle. Wheeler manages to give the reader the salient points of battles without delving into every episode. The Maid’s charisma clearly comes through as the driving force, not just in winning against impossible odds, but for the progress of the plot. The entwined lives of the characters focus on their choices and the subsequent consequences. The reader also gains a greater appreciation for the extensive power of the Fountain, and it’s divine omniscience to forecast the upcoming events in the Game. The miracles manifest in the Maid’s life are a combination of actual events and fiction. Joan of Arc miraculously lived after throwing herself out of a tower and landing in a dry moat. She also uncovered a sword in the monastery of Fierbois. Wheeler states in the afterword, “She is someone who helps us continue to believe in miracles.”
The church of Sainte-Catherine, in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois
This painting is close to how I envisioned Genette in The Maid’s War.
The best news is that The Maid’s War is to be a bridge between the first three books in the series and the next three books. I can hardly wait!
4 out of 5 stars
- the Mother
If you liked this one try A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, Stranger To Command by Sherwood Smith and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.