The acclaimed author of Company of Liars, which was hailed as “a jewel of medieval mystery” by The New York Times, returns with a magnificent new novel. A tale of secrets, lust and rage, Karen Maitland’s The Owl Killers is the story of an embattled village and a group of courageous women who are set on a thrilling collision course.
Here are the facts:
The players: A community of women from all walks of life: a skilled physician, a former prostitute, a cook, a local convert. They are the subject of rumors, envy, scorn and fury—that is until a powerful man joins their group.
The situation: 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.
Opening lines:: “Giles knew they’d come for him, sooner or later. He didn’t know where or when, he didn’t know what his punishment would be, but he knew that there would be one. A dead owl had been left in front of his door in the middle of the night. He hadn’t heard them leave it; you never did. But at daybreak, he had found it there, sodden from the night’s rain. It was their sign, their warning.”
What others have said: “A dark and mysterious odyssey… with secrets spilling out until the very last page.”
—The Denver Post
Read an excerpt: