The Plague Charmer, by Karen Maitland, Queen of the Dark Ages and bestselling author of Company of Liars, will chill and delight fans of C.J. Sansom and Kate Mosse’s Citadel in equal measure. ‘A compelling blend of historical grit and supernatural twists’ – Daily Mail
Riddle me this: I have a price, but it cannot be paid in gold or silver.
1361. Porlock Weir, Exmoor. Thirteen years after the Great Pestilence, plague strikes England for the second time. Sara, a packhorse man’s wife, remembers the horror all too well and fears for safety of her children.
Only a dark-haired stranger offers help, but at a price that no one will pay.
Fear gives way to hysteria in the village and, when the sickness spreads to her family, Sara finds herself locked away by neighbours she has trusted for years. And, as her husband – and then others – begin to die, the cost no longer seems so unthinkable.
The price that I ask, from one willing to pay… A human life.
1361. An unlucky thirteen years after the Black Death, plague returns to England.
When the sickness spreads from city to village, who stands to lose the most? And who will seize this moment for their own dark ends?
The dwarf who talks in riddles?
The mother who fears for her children?
The wild woman from the sea?
Or two lost boys, far away from home?
Pestilence is in the air. But something much darker lurks in the depths.
About the author
Karen Maitland has recently moved to the wonderful county of Devon and has a doctorate in psycholinguists. She is fascinated by the myth and magic of the Middle Ages, which she draws on for her novels. She experienced the medieval lifestyle for real, when she worked for eighteen months in a rural village in Nigeria, living without electricity, plumbing or sanitation.
Her first medieval thriller was ‘Company of Liars’, was set at the time of the Black Death in 1348. This was followed by ‘The Owl Killers’, about the beguinages, the medieval cities of women. ‘The Gallows Curse’ is set in the reign of bad King John and ‘Falcons of Fire and Ice’, which is a dark thriller, set in Portugal during the Inquisition and Iceland at the time of the Reformation. She is published by Michael Joseph/Penguin.
Karen is also one of six historical crime writers known as the Medieval Murderers – Philip Gooden, Susannah Gregory, Michael Jecks, Bernard Knight and Ian Morson – who together write an annual joint murder-mystery novel, including ‘The Sacred Stone’, ‘Hill of Bones’ and ‘The First Murder’ published by Simon & Schuster.
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