The Plague Charmer

by Karen Maitland

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LoveReading Expert Review of The Plague Charmer

Told by many voices, some wise, some wicked, this is the story of a close community under unbearable strain.  What is the breaking point where neighbours and even sisters will turn against each other?  The older people remember the Great Plague of 1348, an unimaginable horror that decimated Europe, England and the village of Porlock.  Now Porlock is threatened once again, but is this natural disease God’s will or the curse of a witch?  A mother of lost sons, a religious fanatic, a dwarf ex-jester, a lonely noble woman and others each tell their side of this harrowing story.  Charm and sensitivity run throughout the narrative making this a frighteningly believable story.  Medieval Porlock is skilfully evoked and some of the landmarks of the story are still visible today.  A moving and disturbing tale of humanity pushed to the edge of society and beyond collapses.  Those who fear the fashionable modern ‘zombie apocalypse’ would do well to read this and remember that the past also held life-changing horrors.  Exciting, enthralling, enticing, disturbing and enjoyable, this is a wonderful read. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

Click here to view a Reading Guide for The Plague Charmer.

Sarah Broadhurst

The Plague Charmer Synopsis

The Plague Charmer, by Queen of the Dark Ages and bestselling author of Company of Liars, Karen Maitland, will chill and delight fans of Kate Mosse and C.J. Sansom in equal measure. 'A compelling blend of historical grit and supernatural twists' - Daily Mail Riddle me this: I have a price, but it cannot be paid in gold or silver. 1361. Porlock Weir, Exmoor. Thirteen years after the Great Pestilence, plague strikes England for the second time. Sara, a packhorse man's wife, remembers the horror all too well and fears for safety of her children. Only a dark-haired stranger offers help, but at a price that no one will pay. Fear gives way to hysteria in the village and, when the sickness spreads to her family, Sara finds herself locked away by neighbours she has trusted for years. And, as her husband - and then others - begin to die, the cost no longer seems so unthinkable. The price that I ask, from one willing to pay...A human life.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781472235862
Publication date: 6th April 2017
Author: Karen Maitland
Publisher: Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 576 pages
Primary Genre Historical fiction
Other Genres:
Recommendations:
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Closing date: 28/10/2021

The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown has been adapted for the stage.   This spellbinding and haunting historical thriller was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and has been adapted for the stage by award-nominated playwright Vickie Donoghue. To celebrate the World premiere of this chilling and creepy tale of Essex witch hunts we're working with Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch to offer 2 pairs of tickets to the 2:30pm matinee performance on Saturday the 30th September. This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 28th October 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

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The Plague Charmer Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Margaret Freeman - 'Compelling reading, a fascinating medieval tale full of atmosphere and superstition. I thoroughly enjoyed it.'
  • Victoria Whish - 'This dark tale of plague and suspicion wrapped up with the supernatural is guaranteed to chill the bones on a cold winter’s night. Light the candles, lock the doors and prepare to be 'charmed!'    
  • Cathy Petersen - 'A wonderfully entertaining tale of ancient curses and the things people will do when the lives of loved ones are at stake.'
  • Sue Broom - 'A fast-flowing action story with lots of historical detail thrown in, entertaining and illuminating, I enjoyed its blend of fact and fiction.'
  • Kerry Bridges - 'Another great novel by Karen Maitland and another one I highly recommend.'
  • Sue Mooney - 'Absolutely brilliant! From the very beginning you simply won't want to put this book down.'
  • Jane Gilman - 'Medieval noir at it's very best. I haven't read Karen Maitland before but I will be ordering everything I have missed. Deliciously frightening.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'This is a dense historical novel well written and worth persevering with.'
  • Angela Rhodes - 'Once again Karen has managed to weave her magic, hold the readers hand and whisk them away, this time, to 1361, Porlock Wier, Exmoor...A gripping, tense story waits for those who enjoy legends and curses.'
  • Marjorie Lacy - 'This one is up there with the greatest!! The author, Karen Maitland knows her subject, her writing is exceptionally good. There not a dull moment on any page.'
  • Vikki Patis - 'I urge you to read this fantastic addition to Maitland's excellent collection. Dark and atmospheric, Maitland does it yet again with her chilling evocation of the Dark Ages.'           

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781472235862
Publication date: 06/04/2017
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781472235824
Publication date: 20/10/2016
Format: Hardback

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About Karen Maitland

Karen Maitland travelled and worked in many parts of the United Kingdom before settling for many years in the beautiful medieval city of Lincoln, an inspiration for her writing. She is the author of The White Room, Company of Liars, The Owl Killers, The Gallows Curse and The Falcons of Fire and Ice. She has recently relocated to a life of rural bliss in Devon. Click here to read a our Ask the Author feature on Karen Maitland.   Author photo © John C. Gibson

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