I am a lover of strong female leads who challenge the system and a great book series this reminds me of is The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce. This series is about a young woman in a fantasy world who decides to become a knight despite the fact that it is illegal for women to join the military. She hides her gender and works hard to carve her own path. The series is wonderful and it builds the world that the rest of Tamora Pierce’s works take place in, which I recommend you check out if you are interested.
For something very different, if you enjoy reincarnations of Joan of Arc and manga or anime, you should check out the series Kamikaze Kaitō Jannu or Phantom Thief Jeanne (in English) written and illustrated by Arina Tanemura. This series follows the adventures of a high school girl who is a reincarnation of Joan of Arc herself while she fights demons and has normal high school troubles. It is beautifully illustrated and full of excitement. It is enjoyable as either the manga or the anime and if this has interested you at all, you should check it out!
I am choosing to recommend the book, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh (a man), as my choice this time. It is not French, nor medieval, but I think it brings a religious vibe that this Wishbone episode lost that Twain’s novel had so much wealth regarding. Waugh spoke himself on the novel, which he believed “deals with what is theologically termed ‘the operation of Grace’, that is to say, the unmerited and unilateral act of love by which God continually calls souls to Himself.” Basically, that twitch of the thread that brings people who are struggling to God and to help people. And isn’t that Joan’s experience, as well? It also deals with the disillusion of war and the combatic inclination between Anglicanism and Catholicism, which the family at the Brideshead estate practices against the standards in England.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) is a masterclass in filmmaking, if you’re interested in that sort of thing – and if not, be warned. I’m still choosing it as the best Jeanne d’Arc cinematic option because of its pedigree but also because of the raw emotion lead actress Renee Jeanne Falconetti brings to the part of Joan. However, it is a rather long silent black and white film, so it is not particularly a sunday afternoon background entertainment, but I cannot impress upon you enough how excellent it is.