The Maid of Heaven by Aiden James & Michelle Wright

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The Maid of Heaven by Aiden James and Michelle Wright was a Net Galley read.  This third installation of The Judas Reflections series was publish December 14, 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press.  The authors and the series were both new to me.  The book and series fall in that weird niche sub-genre of historical fantasy fiction.

Life has been very busy, so busy that reading the last several months has been in brief snatches or not at all.  Life isn’t slowing down in the next several months but I did read this delightful gem of a book in one sitting yesterday.  I started it very early on the patio before sunrise and couldn’t stop thinking about it when I had to put it aside to get other things accomplished.  I finished it last night after dinner and the baseball game.

Judas Iscariot, yep no mistaking that name, is undoubtedly the star character of this book.  In the series, admittedly I’ve only read this book but I must read the others, Judas Iscariot is an immortal roaming the earth in search of his thirty pieces of silver.  This book he meets Joan of Arc and what ensues is an amazing tell of love, redemption, loyalty, faith, politics, and friendship. 

How does arguably the most pious figure of the Fifteenth Century, in Christendom, strike up a friendship with a man who claims to be Judas Iscariot?  Why would Judas Iscariot be remotely interested in the politics of the Hundred Years War and one teenage farm girl determined to restore a Frenchmen to the French throne based on visions from God?  Do they strike up a friendship or are they simply allies of convenience?

Honestly, the book is extremely well written and well plotted.  Joan isn’t the infallible, crazy teenager she is portrayed as today.  Rather, Joan is a woman of faith determined to help restore her country from foreign rule.  Judas is far more than the man so sold Jesus to the Roman’s for thirty pieces of silver.  Judas is one of the most compelling characters I’ve read so far this year.  No seriously, I just wrote that and meant every word.  He is funny, contrite, confused, lustful, scared, and every other human frailty you can imagine.  He is someone you’d break out the good stuff for to sit down for a nice long chat.

Five out of five stars for making two of histories most famous figures approachable and human. 

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