Starting to read this book, I was a little apprehensive about which style it will turn out to be in, and was even more surprised than pleased. There was no bitter sarcasm which characterizes, e.g., A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. It is a genuine heroic novel in the best style possible; in the first person, narrated by a close friend of heroine who was able to gather eyewitnesses' accounts of incidents in which he didn't take part. It's extremely unusual for Twain but the very essence of historic-romantic genre. And it is also unique in that genre because of the chosen protagonist. Joan of Arc is described as unwaveringly loyal, highly moral, brave and in every respect admirable human being, without being almost inhuman. Long descriptions of her virtues do not bore the reader, however, and in the end one does actually believe her to be a saint sent onto earth, or rather a saint chosen from the mankind.
Then I discovered that Twain was fascinated by the historic character of Joan of Arc and afterwards considered this novel to be one of his best. I don't know about that... It is really too different from others to be compared with them. But it does show Twain's versatile ability as writer, because he certainly turned out a very readable piece in the most unaccustomed genre for himself.