Ironhead, or, Once a Young Lady

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War is coming to France… and to the Hoste household, too. Constance Hoste’s father is short of money, but he has found a willing partner to finance his construction project. Constance, or Stance for short, is an unwilling part of that deal. After several weeks of marriage, Stance is done with married life. She pulls on her husband’s clothes and sneaks out in the middle of the night with a plan. She’ll become Binus, the son of the baker, and take his place in the military. Pier, her brother, is her opposite, obedient but above menial tasks. When Stance’s husband roars into their home complaining about Stance’s desertion, Pier works out a plan to save his family if he can find her and bring her back. Thus begins an adventure with polar opposite goals.

The first third of this book is a little slow as the author sets up Stance’s and Pier’s origins, but then the adventure takes off. Set in the early 1800s with Napoleon’s war as the backdrop, there is no small amount of trouble for both characters. Stance is hard-headed (literally) and strong in her convictions, providing a nice contrast to Pier’s mealy-mouthed whining. It’s fun and refreshingly feminist.

Reviewed By:

Author Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Levine Querido
Publish Date 15-Feb-2022
ISBN 9781646140480 Buy this Book
Issue February 2022
Category Young Adult