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The Vanishing Witch by [Maitland, Karen]
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The Vanishing Witch Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews

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Length: 514 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

A gem, crafted in the darkness ... Maitland has produced another gripping tale, from a darker age, which has surprising resonances with the present (Independent on Sunday)

Maitland has created a rich and believable medieval world with extraordinary attention to detail and finely wrought prose; her huge, deftly drawn cast of characters spring vividly to life (Sunday Express)

Karen Maitland truly is the Doyenne of medieval fiction ... A tempting, beguiling and truly bewitching read (beadyjansbooks.blogspot.co.uk)

An immensely powerful tale ... This is masterly storytelling, generous to the reader from start to finish (forwinternights.wordpress.com)

A riveting, page-turning whopper of a book that had me captivated - in fact, positively bewitched - from the start. Blending history, superstition, folklore, murder, mystery and witchcraft sublimely, this ... is an absolute must-read (thelittlereaderlibrary.blogspot.co.uk)

Beautifully written with an uncanny eye for detail (jaffareadstoo.blogspot.co.uk)

Just put it on your list to read. You won't regret it at all (thislifeofliterature.wordpress.com)

A wonderfully Gothic atmosphere... Maitland has produced another gripping tale, from a darker age, which has surprising resonances with the present (Independent)

I relished the colour, the meticulously researched detail and strong characters (Fanny Blake Woman and Home)

Glorious stuff, intriguing and thrilling... a great story well told (Lovereading.co.uk)

Book Description

The critically acclaimed Queen of the Dark Ages introduces a chilling novel set against the backdrop of the Peasants' Revolt.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4418 KB
  • Print Length: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Review (14 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IRIFYDU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,895 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having previously read The Company Of Liars and The Owl Killers I would count myself a fan of Karen Maitland and this book reinforces that.
This is a wonderfully dark evocation of the 14c world of Lincoln and its people set during the Peasants Revolt. It's list of characters are equally dark. A mix of "who dunnit", social comment and the supernatural makes it the best book I have read so far this year.
The story is very well structured, leading to a final denouement that I found incredibly satisfying as well as leaving me wanting a sequel telling the story of the tales survivors.
If it's a swashbuckling historical novel that you want then you will find this book disappointing, however if you enjoy social history, then Karen Maitland comes highly recommended and for a glimpse into the claustrophobic world of the poor and of women then The Vanishing Witch is nigh on on unbeatable.
Unlike some reviewers I found the use of a ghost as a narrator an excellent and integral part of the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Engrossing, enchanting and mysterious - this book kept my mind busy from start to finish. Twists and turns of plot kept me guessing to the last few pages. Very enjoyable. Almost as good was the extensive and helpful author's note at the end detailing the sources the author used for the story, intriguing information on witchcraft ancient and modern, and a glossary of medieval terms and expressions used in the book. I loved it all. Highly recommended.
Incidentally, I contacted the author via her website with a question about the book not realising it was fully answered in the author's note at the end. She gave me a prompt and very courteous reply which was much appreciated.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Vanishing Witch is thick with suspense (a bit like Gunter’s pottage).

As soon as you open this book you are immediately transported into the 14th Century and get to know each of the character’s, whose lives, we find, are intertwined.

It’s an excellent story told by each of the characters in turn and it flows beautifully. It’s well thought out, Karen Maitland gives you just enough in each chapter to make you hunger for a little more.

There are elements of witchcraft which are well-suited to this era, but don't worry, it’s not unbelievable hocus-pocus for the sake of it, it’s a subtly woven thread which in the end makes it a truly marvellous read. There’s so much more depth to this story than you first realise – in fact, there’s quite a conspiracy going on…

And there’s an extra special bit at the very end that I didn’t know about before I purchased the book: you’ll find a small glossary of terms appropriate of that time, plus a historical summary / breakdown of the Peasant’s Revolt which is pretty interesting and a nice touch which makes the world you’ve just become engrossed in seem all that little more ‘real’.

Excellent stuff.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Vivid descriptions of life and landscape in medieval England, well researched historical background, interesting and unexpected characters and a nice build up of the story is what I loved in this book. However, when the story reaches a climax, everything start to collapse. As if the author ran out of energy, or even forgot what she wrote previously, she offers a very poor, and I'd say "rushed" and cheap ending, at about the last fifth or sixth of the book. I realized that there where so many loose ends, contradictory behaviours, unanswered questions and unnecessary subplots, that although I might have rated the book as "ok", because it was ok, even good for the most part, my final rating is 2 stars -I don't like it- because this is exactly what I felt after I read the final sentence. Nowhere near as good as the "Company of Liars" or the "Owl Killers" but then again nowhere near as bad as "The Raven's Head".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading this book. I usually avoid ghostly types of stories as I'm an elderly widow, but one of the reviews praising it did say spooky but not frightening, which is precisely that. Highly recommended. Don't miss out on a great read. I'm already into another of Karen's books.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Has a lot going for it, but can be confusing sometimes. Not 100% convinced.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Liking it so far!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tremendous read, and as always the author packs detail of daily life and the esoteric side by side seamlessly. Whenever I read a book by Karen Maitland, I feel as if am there.
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