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The Owl Killers: Book summary and reviews of The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland

The Owl Killers

A Novel

by Karen Maitland

The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland X
The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland
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Book Summary

England, 1321. The tiny village of Ulewic teeters between survival and destruction, faith and doubt, God and demons. For shadowing the villagers’ lives are men cloaked in masks and secrecy, ruling with violence, intimidation, and terrifying fiery rites: the Owl Masters.

But another force is touching Ulewic—a newly formed community built and served only by women. Called a beguinage, it is a safe harbor of service and faith in defiance of the all-powerful Church.

Behind the walls of this sanctuary, women have gathered from all walks of life: a skilled physician, a towering former prostitute, a cook, a local convert. But life in Ulewic is growing more dangerous with each passing day. The women are the subject of rumors, envy, scorn, and fury…until the daughter of Ulewic’s most powerful man is cast out of her home and accepted into the beguinage—and battle lines are drawn.

Into this drama are swept innocents and conspirators: a parish priest trying to save himself from his own sins…a village teenager, pregnant and terrified…a woman once on the verge of sainthood, now cast out of the Church.…With Ulewic ravaged by flood and disease, and with villagers driven by fear, a secret inside the beguinage will draw the desperate and the depraved—until masks are dropped, faith is tested…and every lie is exposed.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Maitland's jumpy narrative is, unfortunately, a poor showcase for the fascinating conflict...Still, she produces an interesting examination of an unfamiliar time and place, finding effective lures in lessons on sexism and xenophobia." - Publishers Weekly

"This gripping work should appeal to readers who enjoy books with medieval settings like Ariana Franklin's 'Mistress of the Art of Death' series..." - Library Journal

"The suspense builds as multiple characters narrate this claustrophobic and atmospheric page-turner." - Booklist

This information about The Owl Killers was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Karen Maitland Author Biography

Like her characters in Company of Liars, Karen Maitland has spent much of her life travelling, spending her early childhood in the sunshine of Malta and later journeying to Iceland and Greenland. In her working life she has done all kinds of jobs from hospital worker to lecturer, egg packing to dance-drama. She finally started writing in 1996.

One of Maitland's jobs took her to Nigeria for eighteen months where she lived in a rural village, without running water, electricity or sanitation. She was in Nigeria when the civil war broke out.

Maitland began writing historical novels after she became fascinated by the medieval period having visited the beguinage (city of women) in Bruges, which she then used in her novel The Owl Killers. She has now written four medieval thrillers, ...

... Full Biography
Link to Karen Maitland's Website

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