Midsummer's Day, in 1348. On this day of ill omen, plague makes its entrance. Within weeks, swathes of England will be darkened by death's shadow as towns and villages burn to the ringing of church bells. While panic and suspicion flood the land, a small band of travellers comes togther to outrun the breakdown in law and order. But when one of ...
Midsummer's Day, in 1348. On this day of ill omen, plague makes its entrance. Within weeks, swathes of England will be darkened by death's shadow as towns and villages burn to the ringing of church bells. While panic and suspicion flood the land, a small band of travellers comes togther to outrun the breakdown in law and order. But when one of their number is found hanging from a tree, the chilling discovery confirms that something more 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. Take a leap of imagination and embark on an unforgettable journey through the ravgaed countryside...with only a scarred trader in holy relics, a conjuror, two musicians, and a deformed storyteller for company.
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I won't go into a synopsis as this appears to have been done already. I found this book amazing, the charaters were so alive and real that I felt I had gotten to know them personally. Maitland certainly knows how to grip a reader. I only hope she keeps up the great work.
Dec 27, 2009
This really is a great book. There's so much in it without becoming dull or droning. It's told from the perspective of a one-eyed outcast who slowly gathers friends who themselves draw him into deeper and darker secrets, while all around them the rest of the country is beseiged by the plague. It's mysterious and powerfully written, drawing out the horror and making it all the scarier with each seemingly unanswerable question.
Jun 26, 2009
a new genre - medieval horror!
Maitland story follows a motley group of travelers through England as the plague ravages villages and unrelenting rain ravages the countryside. Each person in the group has something to hide and their secrets are slowly uncovered as they struggle through the country changing their route as they try desperately try to avoid 'the pestilence'. The novel starts out as a clever , dark 'canturbery tales' story, then morphs into medieval horror. Facinating information about daily life, customs and superstitions in the 14th century, a little slow in places, but overall, creative and gripping.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-08-25 Desperate to outrun the Black Death ravaging England during the sodden summer of 1348, nine disparate souls band together in this harrowing historical, which infuses a Canterbury Tales scenario with the spectral chill of an M. Night Shyamalan ghost story. Maitland (The White Room) gives each of the travelers a potentially devastating secret. How did narrator Camelot, a glib-tongued peddler of false relics and hope, really come by that hideously scarred face? What is magician Zophiel hiding inside his wagon? And just who is Narigorm, the spooky albino girl whose readings of the runes are always eerily on target? As the nine strangers slog cross-country through the pestilential landscape, their number shrinking one by one, they come to realize that what they don't know about each other might just kill them. Despite Maitland's yarn-spinning prowess, her narrative occasionally stalls because of unrelenting grimness and an increasingly predictable plot--that is, until its gasp-out-loud finale. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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