Company of Liars

Company of LiarsThe Year IsIn A World Ruled By Faith And Fear, Nine Desperate Strangers, Brought Together By Chance, Attempt To Flee The Certain Death That Is Rolling Inexorably Toward Them Each Traveler Has A Hidden Gift, A Dark Secret, And A Story To TellFrom Camelot, The Relic Seller, To Cygnus, The One Armed Storyteller From The Strange, Silent Child Narigorm To A Painter And His Pregnant Wife, Each Guards Secrets Closely None Are As They Seem And One Among Them Conceals The Darkest Secret Of All Propelling These Liars To A Destiny Perilous Than Any Of Them Could Imagine

Karen Maitland has recently moved to the wonderful county of Devon and has a doctorate in psycholinguists She is fascinated by the myth and magic of the Middle Ages, which she draws on for her novels She experienced the medieval lifestyle for real, when she worked for eighteen months in a rural village in Nigeria, living without electricity, plumbing or sanitation Her first medieval thriller wa

❰BOOKS❯ ✭ Company of Liars Author Karen Maitland –
  • Hardcover
  • 576 pages
  • Company of Liars
  • Karen Maitland
  • English
  • 07 May 2019
  • 9780718153229

10 thoughts on “Company of Liars

  1. says:

    5 fascinating, provocative, emotional stars 7th Favorite Read of 2017 tie This is a wonderful debut novel that I have been wanting to read for a few years and finally gotten to I was immersed from beginning to end and was such an interesting combination of genres Was this an adult fairy tale, fable, fantasy, historical fiction or what It was all of the above and so skillfully done that it made complete and utter sense as I was reading The author was able to tell a very dark tale in the most entertaining of ways and I wanted to steal time from chores, work and even conversation from my partner in order to continue to read this I was warned to not read the last page by my GR buddy Hanneke but of course I did not listen and in this instance it was ok often in my case it is not as the ending worked very well for me but I can understand how it would not work for others This book takes place during the 14th century in England where a motley group of travellers come together and wander the countryside in order to escape the plague However, the metaphorical conditon they are trying to escape is shame Some of them survive, others do not As I am writing this I realize what a skilled and wise author this would need to be in order to do it in an illuminating, fascinating and entertaining wayl I will definitely be reading from this author as this book was AWESOME I want to leave you with a quote and I think an important antidote to the internalized shame that many of us carry It has taken me months, years perhaps , to fathom the answer Home is the place you return to when you have finally lost your soul Home is the place where life is born, not the place of your birth, but the place where you seek rebirth When you no longer remember which tale of your own past is true and which is an invention, when you know that you are an invention, this is the time to seek out your home Perhaps only when you have come to understand that can you finally reach home Sit and ponder that my lovelies

  2. says:

    I read this book some years ago, however, I still remember how atmospheric this novel is It is perfect for those of us who are interested in the Middle Ages, but not the rulers but people of lowly birth, their attitudes to religion and the role superstitions played in those days A very good read indeed

  3. says:

    Enjoyed this historical novel A mystery tale of a band of travelers in The Middle Ages, travelling through England to escape the upcoming pestilence Entertaining read The ending unexpected, at least for me Will definitely try of this author As usual probably to follow For those who like historical fiction, recommended And for those who don t know this book yet many have read it here I see Midsummer s day 1348 On this day of ill omen, plague makes its entrance Within weeks, swathes of Engeland will be darkened by death s shadow as towns and villages burn to the ringing of church bells While panick and suspicion flood the land, a small band of travelers comes together to outrun the pestilence, travelling through the ravaged countryside amongst others a scarred trader in holy relics, a conjuror, two musicians, and a deformed storyteller But when one of their number is found hanging from a tree, the chilling discovery confirms that something sinister than plague is in their midst And as the runes warn of treachery, it appears no one is quite what they seem, least of all the child rune reader, who mercilessly compels each of her companions to tell their stories and face the consequences

  4. says:

    I imagine that it must be incredibly difficult to write an ending to a novel Especially one that has been building a sense of mystery, suspense, and dread for a couple hundred pages Up until the last handful of pages, Company of Liars is intriguing and illuminating I have a soft spot for historical fiction, and an interest in medieval Europe, so I m already naturally inclined toward this book The author very deftly avoids the pitfall of writing a sort of Ye Olde Renaissance Faire kind of book, thankfully If anything, she goes a bit overboard with emphasizing, again and again, how filthy and coarse the physical and emotional medieval world was Set during the onset of the Plague, the book also conveys just how terrifying that time must have been, nicely illustrating the gradual collapse of social and public institutions, and society as a whole Given how much I appreciated this realism, I was dismayed by the conclusion of the book, which seemed like something out of a horror movie Bleh Yes, the book has fantastical elements throughout, but they make sense, because they illustrate the medieval mindset But two out of nowhere, basically unexplained massive developments occur in the last few pages of the book, and that s that A head scratcher Oh well.

  5. says:

    DeceptionAt the onset of the black plague in 1348, a group of travellers band together to seek refuge against the disease and journey northwards to a safe location Each member of the group has a hidden secret, and one, in particular, has something sinister to conceal The secrets they each reveal are shocking and illustrate the type of characters they are and the backgrounds they each come from Karen has a wonderful ability to capture not only the characterisation but the interaction and underlying motives within the group As each secret is revealed one by one the group start dying Must the killer be amongst them or are they being hunted The final secret is a surprise and keeps you guessing right to the end.The plot is engrossing and holds you in a spell, the characters are superb, and the pace is perfect The sense of time and its daily living are brought to life, and the writing creates such magnificent images of landscape, hardships and a constant atmosphere of foreboding Karen has this wonderful ability to characterise the landscape and give it its own mesmerising role in the story.The Black Plague between 1348 and 1350 would kill over 1.5 million people, over one third of the population of England Amongst this great plague was set a supernatural and religious supposition One graphic testimony can be found at St Mary s, Ashwell, Hertfordshire, where an anonymous hand has carved a harrowing inscription for the year 1349 Wretched, terrible, destructive year, the remnants of the people alone remain It s just a pity that a novel like this comes to an end, and the only thing left to do is seek out another Karen Maitland book She is definitely the queen of the medieval historical thriller This book is well and truly rooted in my favourites shelf and Karen is one of my favourite authors.

  6. says:

    Oh dear, I am so glad I wasn t born during the Middle Ages Karen Maitland makes you feel like you are there, with all the superstition, filth, disease and hypocrisy of the church that defined the time The poor suffer mightily The company that we find ourselves with are traveling merchants of a sort, the homeless and wretched who have come together for safety against the weather, the pestilence, plague has broken out and vicious robbers that roam the land.This is no Canterbury Tales with humour along with the suffering there is nothing funny about these travelers They are all hiding from their past, and the lies they tell are to protect themselves from society, the church or the law If there is one criticism I would level at the book it is that after the author has made you scoff at the superstitious nonsense they believe in, she ends the tale with the supernatural.

  7. says:

    The Holy Relic Swindler s TaleIt is I suppose comforting for some to believe that the social issues of today s Britain are perennial, that there is a national character, perhaps, which continuously muddles through the same problems over and over This is one explanation for Karen Maitland s imagined world of England in the Middle Ages The way she portrays the state of the nation from immigration to the condition of the roads from sexual harassment to fake news suggests that the problems we have to deal with have a constancy that define the country.I further suppose that without such presumed continuity, there wouldn t be much of a market for her type of historical fiction In order for a story set in the 14th century to be comprehensible there has to be something than geography which connects us culturally to that distant era So Maitland projects our fears and anxieties into the past, not unlike much of sci fi projects them into the future Among other things, in the latter such a literary tactic allows for some familiarity about the problems as well as creativity in imagining their solutions or their ultimate consequences.But there is a clear difference between historical fiction and sci fi We already have and are the solutions to the problems of the past So the genre of historical fiction can only work if it can suggest how we arrived where we are If there s not much sociological variation from where we started, the setting of the story is quaint but largely irrelevant, and, from a literary perspective, fraudulent, an unintentional parody Why not set the tale in Ancient Rome Or Victorian England Or contemporary New York City The allusions to things like xenophobia, commercial fraud, knife crime, child and substance abuse, and the English Summer weather could be made where and whenever Plus a change, plus c est la meme chose would seem sufficient to get the point across Casting faux historical references in terms of a sort of hippie Canterbury Tale with neither the wit nor the elegance of the original is, therefore, of dubious merit Dropping in archaic period terms like camelot and kirtle don t do much to divert attention from the Hobbesian misery of the lives of the characters solitary, nasty, brutish and short These characters inhabit a land of superstitious squalor in which the principle recreations are alcoholism and GBH Whatever secrets they might be hiding seem insignificant in light of their existential reality, which has little to do with their place in history.It could be that I m being unfair Perhaps the Company of Liars is an allegory about the 21st century rather than a projection to the 14th Could it be that we can only recognize the extent of our depravity by considering it in terms of some distant condition If so, The book might have some merit Otherwise it is a tedious journey to nowhere Agatha Christie s Ten Little Indians, to name just one parallel story, is a far superior alternative established firmly in a time and place with no pretensions to period color, and consequently much honest..

  8. says:

    I ve read multiple novels about the Plague Year of Wonders, Doomsday Book, probably others I can t think of right now This was a completely different experience The Plague is, in some ways, huge, and in other ways a minor character A nod to the Canterbury Tales, this is the story of a motley group of travelers thrown together in their desperate attempt to escape the ravages of the pestilence.I found this to be a total immersion experience It doesn t wallow in medieval language, but the vocabulary and ideas are faithful to the period The characters have great depth as people, but also effectively showcase some controversial issues without the narrator or the author taking a modern stance.One of the things I liked best about Company of Liars is its lack of hysteria The travelers are understandably afraid of the Plague, and of the many other dangers of their time, and many terrible things happen along the way honestly, this isn t a spoiler, what would you expect of a Plague novel anyway , but the storytelling is honest and totally lacking in melodrama.Although I initially balked at the first person narration, it turned out to be completely appropriate and much emotionally compelling than third person would have been.While it had a slow start, by the time I was a few chapters in I was completely hooked and burned through this at top speed Highly recommended

  9. says:

    Okay, let s start with the negative, just to get it out of the way I had read several reviews on Goodreads complaining about the ending before I even picked up the book, so all through the last chapter I kept thinking Whew That s not such a bad ending I can see how it might not please everyone, but I actually kind of like it That was quite a relief, considering I adored the book most of the way through, and it had already gone down a bit in my estimation by the final chapter My relief lasted until the final page and then BAM, I suddenly knew exactly what those reviewers were talking about So yes, add me to the ranks of disconsolate souls bemoaning the ending It was formulaic and rather ugly, with a cliched side of leave em hangin and just, UGH. Such a let down I found myself desperately trying to make the ending work in my head, so it wouldn t spoil the book for me And there is at least one interpretation that fixes it, if Camelot can be viewed as an unreliable narrator Which I think one can make a fair argument for It was after all a very superstitious era, and Camelot clearly believes many of the folk beliefs and tales The aspect of the plot which seems to actually contain supernatural elements could be a fantasy skewed reality he creates, as he, along with the rest of Europe, struggles to grasp the horrible reality of plague and the violence tragedy it inspires If viewed as manifestations of Camelot s troubled psychosis and perhaps as metaphorical instead of literal those aspects of the book I disliked actually add power to the story So, I shall choose to go with that interpretation Just humor me, okay ANYWAY, the ending was not enough to ruin this dark, Medieval fairytale for me I love well written historical fiction complete with gritty historical detail and strong characters, and this book is a splendid example Maitland has a brilliant grasp of Medieval British history, and I loved the way she wove in all the superstition and belief in terror of the supernatural that plagued people in that era especially as they struggled to understand and prevent plague The characters are for the most part wonderfully engaging I grew deeply attached to many of them sucks for me and wanted to jump inside the book to throttle others, so I definitely think Maitland excels there Overall, I loved it

  10. says:

    I found this book so absolutely riveting that I spent two nights up late reading it At first I thought it was just a mesmerizing story about the Plague in 1348 but it was so much Nine strangers come together, all with secrets, and as they travel to avoid the Black Death, their stories slowly are told I don t want to spoil it for anyone but there were so many twists that I had to keep reading to find out what was coming next A very entertaining book that was extremely well written I highly recommend it.

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