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The Owl Killers

4.4 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Limited; Unabridged edition edition (12 Aug. 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0857350390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857350398
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 3.9 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,451,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Maitland is a marvellous storyteller. . . . The Owl Killers is absolutely her best so far." --"Globe and Mail"
"This powerful, enthralling story of treachery and magic is multilayered, atmospheric, and complex."--"Tucson Citizen"
"Highly recommended . . . taut, compelling."--"Historical Novel Society"
"Gripping . . . a real page-turner." --"Library Journal"

"Maitland is a marvellous storyteller. . . . The Owl Killers is absolutely her best so far." --Globe and Mail
"This powerful, enthralling story of treachery and magic is multilayered, atmospheric, and complex."--Tucson Citizen
"Highly recommended . . . taut, compelling."--Historical Novel Society
"Gripping . . . a real page-turner." --Library Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Karen Maitland has a doctorate in psycholinguistics. She has traveled and worked in many parts of the world, from the Arctic Circle to Africa, before finally settling in the medieval city of Lincoln in England. Her British debut novel, The White Room, was short-listed for the Authors' Club of Great Britain Best First Novel Award. The acclaimed author of Company of Liars, she is at work on her next novel.

From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Took too long to get going and too much conversation. The idea of giving each character their own chapter stopped any real movement forward.
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By Bookaholic TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Oct. 2015
Format: Paperback
Set in a small village in fourteenth century Norfolk we follow the story of the inhabitants of the village, the big house and the Beguinage (a religious house of women). The village is full of superstition and pays homage to the brutal Owl Killers as well as the Church. They view the all female Beguinage with animocity, antagonistic against those that they do not understand.

Karen Maitland's books are brilliantly written. This is full of wonderful description which really brings to life the atmosphere of the time. The corruption of the priest, the fear caused by the Owl Killers and the suspicion of the seemingly benign Beguinage ladies. The majority of the village are uneducated people who just want to live their lives but are being pulled from various sides demanding that they believe certain things and also demanding money & goods.The historical facts are also well written into the story so I felt that I learned a lot about the history of the time without feeling I was lectured to. I felt immersed into the lives of the people.

I must point out that this is not a cheery book. Though to be fair I don't think it was a particularly cheery period of history for the average person. There is never a moment when I felt that everything was going to be all right for the characters. It was more the fact that they were safe for the time being & that life would go on. Not everyone would find this to their taste.

The author uses five of the characters to narrate this story. This is a narrative type which can work brilliantly if the characters personalities show through the writing. In some books, however, this can be a very poor writing style as the characters are not well enough defined.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved a couple of KM's other books but this one was mad. Not much happened and then a giant owl appears and attacks people!?? I had to give up towards the end. Not my thing I'm afraid.
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Format: Paperback
My Boyfriend bought me this after I had read Company of Liars and loved it - and this was just as good.
It's so difficult to find a book/novel that uses a multiple narrative voice so flawlessly and that deals with so many different issues, social magical and otherwise in such a way that it doesn't feel forced, but like you really are in the middle of an isolated village in the 1300's.
The women in the beguinage is an interesting aspect of history too, but it doesn't read like a textbook like many historical fiction novels do. It's also interesting to read a fiction novel about a time early on when "Paganism" really was at odds with Christianity in Britain, as Christianity tried to loosen the hold the "old beliefs" had on those who lived before Christianity arrived, or those further out from the towns who needed to rely on local wise women rather than having access to more "modern" services...
There are so many different lives woven into this story and yet every one is played out smoothly and interwoven in a very unobtrusive and enjoyable way. The other upside to the swapping between narratives is that the chapters are relatively short, meaning you can dip into it a few times a day if you're busy and still feel like you're getting somewhere!
Would definitely recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of historical fiction, or the supernatural!
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Format: Hardcover
This is Karen Maitland's second novel which is set in a village near Norfolk called Ulewic, this village is being terrorised by a sinister group called the Owl Killers.

The Owl Killers reign by using pagan superstition and blackmail against the villagers who then denounce each other. Added to this is the arrival of a group of religious women who set up a religious house or (Beguinage) outside the community. This disturbs the status quo and when crops begin to fail and the religious community give refuge to a young martyr who dies a gruesome death, it's not hard to see where suspicion will fall.

What ensues is witchcraft and heresy, but always in the background is the presence of the malevolent, shadowy, predatory Owl Killers.

I loved the novel, the author puts across the sense of what it must have been like to live in such a community where the medieval mind was ruled by religion and superstition. All this makes for a very atmospheric novel.

The novel is narrated through five different voices who are all interesting and bring something to the story and plot. Maitland certainly knows how to write a novel and this one is just as good as the first. For the keen eyed there is even a cameo from a character of the first novel.
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Format: Hardcover
Having loved 'Company of Liars', I was determined to read this book, and, after ordering, can cofess was very excited about it arriving. I had to wait until evening, after work, to read it and so the apprehension just gathered ever greater. Initially, I was immediately intrigued by the events of the prologue, and then the first section. Then, I was a little wary of the fact that this was going to be told by lots of different characters in first person narrative rather than just the one. I thought this might make the story seem fractured and I'd lose interest as it switched between viewpoints.
This prooved to be a false belief.
As I continued to read, I became use to 'seeing' through each character's eyes, finding one no less interesting than another. Indeed, I began to enjoy the tale as much as I had enjoyed 'Company of Liars'.
Pagan and christian ways intermingle beautifully in some ways and clash spectacularly in others, all the way through. There's mystery, tragedy, suspense and a rather satisfying, though ambiguous, ending. And, of course, the notes at the end of the book aren't just worth reading, showing how much care is taken by the author in her research, but they are a joy to read. Truly, Karen Maitland knows how to write what she's interested in. And such enthusiasm shows through her pages, making her work a real joy to read.
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