Company of Liars Kindle Å Company of PDF \

Company of Liars In this extraordinary novel, Karen Maitland delivers a dazzling reinterpretation of Chaucer s Canterbury Tales, an ingenious alchemy of history, mystery, and powerful human dramaThe year isThe Black Plague grips the country In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward themEach member of this motley company has a story to tell From Camelot, the relic seller who will become the group s leader, to Cygnus, the one armed storyteller from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter and his pregnant wife, each has a secret None is what they seem And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all propelling these liars to a destiny they never saw comingMagical, heart quickening, and raw, Company of Liars is a work of vaulting imagination from a powerful new voice in historical fiction Lengthhours,minutes 1.5 stars rounded to 2The most important things are the hardest to say They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to nothan living size when they re brought out But it sthan that, isn t it The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away And you may make revelations that cost you de 1.5 stars rounded to 2The most important things are the hardest to say They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to nothan living size when they re brought out But it sthan that, isn t it The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it That s the worst, I think When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear Stephen King Secrets are a part and parcel of our lives and to hide them we often take the help of lies to ensure that these secrets stay hidden and protected This is almost everyone s story and I honestly feel that each person is entitled to their secrets and lies What man does not lie It could be those small white lies said to make others happy or even the big ones, told majorly to ensure some secrets are kept safe and no damage occurs to their lives and the lives of their loved ones Can these people honestly be blamed for those lies that are often disguised, maybe badly, as ways to help keep their loved ones safe Can people be blamed for keeping secrets that when revealed would lead to their persecution Human nature is tuned in such a way that it will do anything, absolutely anything, to escape their own persecution or the persecution of those they love and therefore lying in such a context doesn t seem like a major sin to them Or maybe they feel that they are justified in telling such lies and don t fear the consequences that they will face because of it As in the quote above a secret stays a secret until it finds an understanding ear So also with these nine people who form the main core group of this group, a company of liars as they are called, secrets are abound and lies are told aplenty The difference being, they are persecuted because of the lies that they have told or the secrets that they have kept Karen Maitland s book deals with the onslaught of persecution of liars in the backdrop of the plague The fact that each of them dies is something that is given in the blurb How and why they die is what this book is all about An extremely interesting premise, which when combined with the fact that it is set in the medieval times and is also called a story of the plague , made me extremely excited to read it And read it, I did, in fact, finished the whole book in a single day, which is quite a thing as I haven t done something like that in ages However, I was disappointed, completely disappointed with the whole thing The only thing which made me give it a 1.5 star rating rounded off to 2 was the fact that I loved the way the whole group came together and some of their story telling was fantastical in nature It had a lilt of poetry and fairy tale in some places, which kind of kept my interest going together with the fact that I wanted to know what happened at the end Let s first talk about what I liked in this book The book had a fascinating array of characters, ranging from a Camelot to a magician to musicians to a healer and a rune teller and some others Each of them had a hidden secret and each of them were lying about themselves Moreover, it was set in the backdrop of the plague oh this is a grouse as well, which I shall dwell upon later that beset England during the medieval times And that s about it that s exactly what I loved about it, the premise It truly went downhill from there and never recoveredPerhaps that is where our choice lies in determining how we will meet the inevitable end of things, and how we will greet each new beginning Elana K Arnold, Burning Isn t this a fact of life With such a motley cast, you would expect the author to create a magnum opus but unfortunately Ms Maitland disappoints Her characters, though with a lot of depth thanks to their secrets, are never developed beyond the fact that they reveal their true selves and then die There is no learning curve, there is no development curve and worse there is no depth to these stories, which at times feel like they were put there just to give these characters something to say or some back history for the sake of it While some of their stories are almost akin to fairy tales and are quite interesting, some fall flat, especially that of the magician While the entire book is recited from the point of view of the Camelot, there is much that could have been done but hasn t been In fact, I felt the lack of different POVs acutely in this book A book where there are many different characters should ideally have different POVs, which would have made itinteresting and definitelyvibrant However, it s lack makes the book flat and quite monotonous and often repetitive in nature Now to my second and perhaps the biggest grouse about this book On the cover it is written that this is and I quote a novel of the plague However, the plague and the medievalism forms the backdrop of the novel and not the main course It could have been titled a novel in the backdrop of the plague and it would have beenaccurate For the plague forms a reason for these people to band together and doesn t affect them in the least Of course, the author does talk about the plague raging England at that time and its effect on the populace but it is in passing It isto create a path for these people to move along than anything else Neither are they shown fighting it nor do the actual people form a part of this story Why then make it a novel of the plague Honestly, I don t knowThe plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity monotheism, monarchy, monogamy and, in our age, monomedicine The belief that there is only one right way to live, only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs is the root cause of the greatest threat to man members of his own species, bent on ensuring his salvation, security, and sanity Thomas Szasz Being a novel set in the medieval times, it is often difficult not to touch upon the politics and religion and their nexus However, here again I was disappointed Don t get me wrong, Ms Maitland does cover all these topics andbut it is again merely in passing than with any depth We do get involved with the exigencies put by the Church on the people, the narrowness of thought during that time, the fear of the Church in the minds of the people, the sheer callousness of the bishops and the priests but what was lacking was depth It felt like reading a news item where we learn about facts but not the thought process In a book that is set in the medieval times and a book that is quite lengthy in its prose, I felt that there should have beeninformation or description rather than mere actions The facts are so obvious that even a person not well versed in the history of those times will be able to tell you all about them What makes a book different is how it handles those facts and how it portrays the period Here again Ms Maitland disappoints with her pure factual narration that is synced with the story line, making the writing dry and quite unimpressive.Not all is bad in this book, for the suspense factor is maintained throughout By this I don t mean that we don t know the murderer, in fact we do However, the why of those murders and why does this person murder the others is kept a suspense throughout Unfortunately though, it remains a mystery even at the end No reason, no conclusion, nothing is provided by the author and it is left to the reader to fathom While I don t usually mind such narratives, this one irked me a lot It felt as if the author took us readers for a ride, promising a lot of things but not delivering it I felt completely let down and felt that I had actually wasted a lot of time reading this book It was the end that kept me going through all the boring and repetitive parts, it was the hope that there would be some clarifications, but I got naught In fact, at that point, I would have settled for a fantastical if implausible ending but I didn t even get that What I got was a stereotyped ending, which did nothing to endear me to this book.I would end by saying that this book had a lot going for it but it was not followed upon Most of the twists were something that I had already figured out, so it held no mystery for me Neither was the writing so great that I could write reams on it All in all, a disappointment for me I wouldn t recommend it to anyone but if you feel like taking a dip into these waters, please do so Who knows, you might end up liking it, as tastes always differ.PS My initial rating was 2.5 rounded off to 3 but while writing this review I felt that I hadgrouses than likes, which is why I changed it to 1.5 rounded off to 2 5 fascinating, provocative, emotional stars 7th Favorite Read of 2017 tie This is a wonderful debut novel that I have been wanting to read for a few years and finally gotten to I was immersed from beginning to end and was such an interesting combination of genres Was this an adult fairy tale, fable, fantasy, historical fiction or what It was all of the above and so skillfully done that it made complete and utter sense as I was reading The author was able to tell a very dark tale 5 fascinating, provocative, emotional stars 7th Favorite Read of 2017 tie This is a wonderful debut novel that I have been wanting to read for a few years and finally gotten to I was immersed from beginning to end and was such an interesting combination of genres Was this an adult fairy tale, fable, fantasy, historical fiction or what It was all of the above and so skillfully done that it made complete and utter sense as I was reading The author was able to tell a very dark tale in the most entertaining of ways and I wanted to steal time from chores, work and even conversation from my partner in order to continue to read this I was warned to not read the last page by my GR buddy Hanneke but of course I did not listen and in this instance it was ok often in my case it is not as the ending worked very well for me but I can understand how it would not work for others This book takes place during the 14th century in England where a motley group of travellers come together and wander the countryside in order to escape the plague However, the metaphorical conditon they are trying to escape is shame Some of them survive, others do not As I am writing this I realize what a skilled and wise author this would need to be in order to do it in an illuminating, fascinating and entertaining wayl I will definitely be readingfrom this author as this book was AWESOME I want to leave you with a quote and I think an important antidote to the internalized shame that many of us carryIt has taken me months, years perhaps , to fathom the answer Home is the place you return to when you have finally lost your soul Home is the place where life is born, not the place of your birth, but the place where you seek rebirth When you no longer remember which tale of your own past is true and which is an invention, when you know that you are an invention, this is the time to seek out your home Perhaps only when you have come to understand that can you finally reach homeSit and ponder that my lovelies DeceptionAt the onset of the black plague in 1348, a group of travellers band together to seek refuge against the disease and journey northwards to a safe location Each member of the group has a hidden secret, and one, in particular, has somethingsinister to conceal The secrets they each reveal are shocking and illustrate the type of characters they are and the backgrounds they each come from Karen has a wonderful ability to capture not only the characterisation but the interaction and DeceptionAt the onset of the black plague in 1348, a group of travellers band together to seek refuge against the disease and journey northwards to a safe location Each member of the group has a hidden secret, and one, in particular, has somethingsinister to conceal The secrets they each reveal are shocking and illustrate the type of characters they are and the backgrounds they each come from Karen has a wonderful ability to capture not only the characterisation but the interaction and underlying motives within the group As each secret is revealed one by one the group start dying Must the killer be amongst them or are they being hunted The final secret is a surprise and keeps you guessing right to the end.The plot is engrossing and holds you in a spell, the characters are superb, and the pace is perfect The sense of time and daily living conditions are vividly brought to life The wonderful writing creates such magnificent images of landscape, hardships and a constant atmosphere of foreboding Karen has this wonderful ability to characterise the landscape and give it its own mesmerising role in the story.The Black Plague between 1348 and 1350 would kill over 1.5 million people, over one third of the population of England Amongst this great plague was set a supernatural and religious supposition One graphic testimony can be found at St Mary s, Ashwell, Hertfordshire, where an anonymous hand has carved a harrowing inscription for the year 1349Wretched, terrible, destructive year, the remnants of the people alone remain It s just a pity that a novel like this comes to an end, and the only thing left to do is seek out another Karen Maitland book She is definitely the queen of the medieval historical thriller This book is well and truly rooted in my favourites shelf and Karen is one of my favourite authors I read this book some years ago, however, I still remember how atmospheric this novel is It is perfect for those of us who are interested in the Middle Ages, but not the rulers but people of lowly birth, their attitudes to religion and the role superstitions played in those days A very good read indeed

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