In this extraordinary novel, Karen Maitland delivers a dazzling reinterpretation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales—an ingenious alchemy of history, mystery, and powerful human drama.
The year is 1348. The 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 them.
Each 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 coming.
Magical, heart-quickening, and raw, Company of Liars is a work of vaulting imagination from a powerful new voice in historical fiction.
From the Hardcover edition.
In 1348 the plague and a century-long war ravage England. Nine secretive (aka lying) vagabonds band together to make a dangerous journey in search of northern safety. In COMPANY OF LIARS Karen Maitland riffs on Chaucer's classic CANTERBURY TALES, as these curiosity-inspiring castaways gradually reveal what they furtively hide: murder? paranormal powers? A vividly imaginative tale with evocative historical details and a gothic sense of humor, Maitland's rich narrative more than does justice to the 14th-century masterpiece.
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- August 25, 2009
- August 25, 2009
- Karen Maitland