The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland
A Novel

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Synopsis

In 1321, the English town of Ulewic teeters between survival and destruction, faith and doubt, God and demons. Against this intense backdrop, a group of women have formed a beguinage, a self-sustaining community of women. Led by the strong-willed Servant Martha, these women are committed to a code of celibacy and prayer, hard work and charity that is unsanctioned by the all-powerful church. Still, the villagers have come to rely on this remarkable group of women for their very lives. And seeking shelter among them now is the youngest daughter of Ulewic’s lord, a man who holds power over them all.

But when a series of natural calamities strikes, the beguinage’s enemies make their move, stirring the superstitious villagers with dark rumors of unspeakable depravities and unleashing upon the defiant all-female community the full force of their vengeance in the terrifying form of the Owl Killers. Men cloaked in masks and secrecy, ruling with violence and intimidation—the Owl Killers draw battle lines. In this village ravaged by flood and disease, the women of the beguinage must draw upon their deepest strength if they are to overcome the raging storm of long-held secrets and shattering lies.
 

About Karen Maitland

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Karen Maitland has a doctorate in psycholinguistics. She 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. She is at work on her next novel, The Owl Killers.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published September 22, 2009 by Delacorte Press. 530 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Owl Killers

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The author of Company Of Liars chooses a compelling setting for her latest novel, but doesn't always put it to best use.

Oct 22 2009 | Read Full Review of The Owl Killers: A Novel

AV Club

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But Maitland never makes them as palpable a threat as they might have been, and the Owl Masters disappear for hundreds of pages at a time as the novel focuses on how the women at the beguinage tear themselves apart as much as conflict with the village does.

Oct 22 2009 | Read Full Review of The Owl Killers: A Novel

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Brody Eifetheim by Michael Flynn More empowered women fiction: The Giulianna Legacy by Alexis Masters The Mists of Avalon by Miriam Zimmer Bradley A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert

Oct 23 2009 | Read Full Review of The Owl Killers: A Novel

Book Geeks

Maitland’s use of a combination of folklore, mythology, mystery and historical fact brings The Owl Killers to life and results in a tense, spooky historical thriller that is next to impossible to put down.

Apr 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Owl Killers: A Novel

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