What readers say about
Ride the Wind. Choose the Fire.
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Ride the Wind. Choose the Fire.
Chris Dobson, Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia
I recommend this book as an historically rich, accurate and poignant story of Joan of Arc, written with intimacy, empathy and well-researched facts relating to the period of her young life as a brave crusader for her beloved France.
Meems 5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book, Published on Amazon.com Verified Purchase
I really love this book. It's great and fascinating. I really enjoy the insights the book offers and the way in which the author gets into Joan's head. She really captures Joan's personality. It's an excellent book and I highly recommend it.
Lori Robin, Seattle, Washington. USA
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully presented and touching. 24 June 2019 - Published on Amazon.com Verified Purchase
This is one of those wonderful books you continue to ruminate over days after you’ve finished reading it. I was deeply touched by the unique and personal approach of “hearing” from the subject in a conversational manner at many different points of her journey in multiple towns. The players in this drama were masterfully presented and the complexities made simple for all to comprehend. Couldn’t help but feel a correlation to the way I felt watching the Overlander series on Netflix and Starz and the insights of time travel and intrigue of political back door wranglings of men in power especially during war battles.
The theme of an intelligent, powerful and passionate woman dismissed and abused obviously runs through many eras. Perhaps like many I only had a fleeting awareness of Joan but now I feel deeply a kinship and admiration. It’s not often a book awakens me in such an intellectual and emotional manner so I am grateful for this well-researched account of an important figure of the past who has so much to teach the present. Well done and priceless.
I found “Ride the Wind. Choose the Fire.” By Veronica Schwarz riveting, especially because of the treatment of a serious historical subject. To have written Joan of Arc's story from Joan’s point of view, is a great way to present historical facts. I hope the book will be very successful as it deserves a wide audience, not only lovers of historical novels.
Colleen, Brisbane, Australia
Ride the Wind, Choose the Fire. I was very impressed with the detail, and the obvious research you have done. I know Joan's life has been a life long interest, but I loved how you told the story and progressed from one significant place to another. I am not an historian, don't usually read history and have not been the France, but you made it easy for me to follow along and made her real. All the very best with it and I hope you get the recognition you deserve for your efforts. Well done.
Edna, Ocean Grove
History is about amazing people doing heroic deeds and yet it often does not engage us. However, the revered Joan of Arc comes alive in Ride the Wind, Choose the Fire as we are present when Joan begins her journey from her birthplace in a French village to her eventual and almost inevitable death by fire. And what a story it is, told with humour, wisdom and insight by Joan as she gradually reveals herself through her discussions with author Veronica Schwarz. This is painless and engaging history, well written and based on thorough research and a passion for Joan of Arc.
As a young child I would listen to my great-grandmother, who was French, talk about the old people of the family she remembered from her childhood; in a long-lived family, these were people who had actually lived through the French Revolution, and I recall being both fascinated and horrified by what I was hearing. Ride the Wind. Choose Fire, although set in an earlier time, had a real ring of familiarity, and affected me similarly; a gripping tale, told in a conversational style that, like my great-grandmother's, absorbed me at the same time as it chilled me to the spine. We can read history at one remove, but to speak it in everyday unadorned language is far more powerful.
Veronica Schwarz has cleverly and successfully added a modern perspective to breathe new life and interest into the legend of Joan of Arc.
I finally got around to reading “Ride the Wind. Choose the Fire.” By Veronica Schwarz and must say how impressed I am. The amount of research is remarkable and the story was terrific. I shed tears in the last chapters and am astounded at the brutality of the human race against its own. Well done!
Kay, Glen Iris,
“Ride the Wind, Choose the Fire” provides a detailed and comprehensive view of Joan of Arc and her times, enlivened by the process of imaginary yet credible interviews between Joan and the author. A fascinating and enjoyable read both for those with an intimate knowledge of the subject and those new to Joan’s amazing story.
I loved 'Ride The Wind. Choose Fire' and read it in a day because I couldn't put it down I thoroughly enjoyed it because I didn't know much about Joan of Arc except that she was burnt at the stake. It was simple to understand, authentically illustrated and a treasure I keep on my bookshelf for further reference. It gave me a realistic view of Joan of Arc's life and what it was really like for her. It was horrifying to learn how Joan died and I was very moved by Veronica Schwarz’s telling of the story. Next Wednesday I am doing a presentation on it at Holmesglen TAFE, e.g. analysing it as part of my Novel 2 course.
Veronica Schwarz takes the reader on an incredible journey in the 15th century France. In her imaginary world she reaches for the stars and Joan of Arc is there. Travelling to France she finds the small village of Joan of Arc's birthplace. There in the church she has an image of the then little girl and for Veronica Joan comes alive. She speaks to her and words form into dialogues. She is feverishly writing and writing. Joan invites Veronica to all the places where she was active in fighting for her beloved country, France against the English invasion. This way we have a great insight into those turbulent times under the guidance of 'The Maid'. Lots of hard work and research made this book a memorable read.
Barbara S, Melbourne
The tempestuous period of history is vividly brought to life through an imaginary dialogue between the author and Joan of Arc. Interesting, and often not widely known, historical facts are cleverly interwoven into the narrative and add layers of colour and depth. Readers are invited to share an enriching journey of discovery.
I've already started on 'the journey' and am totally fascinated. It's such a brilliant way to engage the reader. It really brings history alive.
Isobel Blackthorn, Brisbane
Ride the Wind, Choose the Fire is an experimental novel, written in the form of a series of conversations between the author and the disincarnate Joan; a novel that seeks to help keep Joan of Arc’s memory alive, ‘a salute and a celebration’ of her astonishing courage and her short and intensely lived life. Schwarz provides a unique and engaging presentation that is at once philosophical, reflective, accessible and anything but boring. Here could be an educational book for the classroom - I would place it in Year 8 History in the UK curriculum - and yet the whole world can learn from a work such as this.
At the age of thirteen, Joan, who was not in the least bit a mystic, heard voices issuing instructions, instructions she felt compelled to follow to help Dauphin Charles VII become crowned King of France. It became her mission and she set off against all the odds, a pretty young woman pitting herself against the powerful of the day. Joan of Arc is an important historical figure, demonstrating the immense bravery of women and how they were disregarded and mistreated by the church and the state.
The narrative is helped along by Schwarz, who situates herself in France as she visits the various locations of Joan’s short life - from Domremy, through Vaucoleurs, Chinon and Poitiers to Orléan, seeing them as they are now, visioning how they were in Joan’s day. After a brief discussion of the background of the hundred years war between England and France, the story unfolds and is enriched with details of the customs and clothing of the time.
This valuable imaginative re-telling brings to life the thoughts and feelings of Joan of Arc, her family life, her supporters and enemies, her decisions, and delves into the struggles, the build up to the battle at Orléan, the subsequent unjust trial and hideous death. Then, the posthumous redemption. Ride the Wind, Choose the Fire is very well researched and deserves to be held by all high school libraries.
Sharon M, Mornington Vic
I found the book "Ride the wind. Choose the Fire" by Veronica Schwarz, a very interesting read. Although I had heard of Joan of Arc I didn't know about her story or the 100 year war surrounding it. This book taught me a lot by drawing me in with the author’s captivating writing. I often refer friends to the book for a great read.
A splendidly original way to convey a realistic Joan of Arc. Historically accurate and geographically informed, yet easy to read. I enjoyed reading this narrative. The reader can span two worlds-- we share the thoughts of The Maid of Orleans, and of the narrator, who is our contemporary.
A comfortable exposition of historical events. The thorough research provides us with maps and mores, and national and religious tensions, so we are able to understand the driving impetus of events. At the same time, through the device of contact from the excarnated Joan, we realize the strength of belief and commitment which sustained her through a dangerous and dedicated mission. An energetic development of the story, tempered by the narrator's ability to wait for the whim of the heroine.
Given the vast amount of material, in just about every literary genre, concerning the Maid of Orleans, I approached this book with some trepidation. Imagine my surprise when I found an interesting, accessible and humorous story which really brings its famous subject to life. The interview technique Veronica Schwarz employs gives an immediacy which makes Joan live on the page. The reader follows her exploits from the time of her mysterious visions to her cruel and pornographic death and in the process learns much about the social history of the late medieval era. The illustrations add charm and vibrancy to the text.
Bev, Melton South
I loved Ride the Wind, Choose the Fire .Veronica Schwarz brought Joan of Arc to life for me. I couldn’t put the book down. .I learnt more about Joan the Maid in one day than I ever knew.