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The Vanishing Witch | [Karen Maitland]

The Vanishing Witch

The reign of Richard II is troubled, the poor are about to become poorer still and landowners are lining their pockets. It's a case of every man for himself, whatever his status or wealth. But in a world where nothing can be taken at face value, who can you trust? The dour wool merchant? His impulsive son? The stepdaughter with the hypnotic eyes? Or the raven-haired widow clutching her necklace of bloodstones? And when people start dying unnatural deaths and the peasants decide it's time to fight back, it's all too easy to spy witchcraft at every turn.
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Publisher's Summary

The critically acclaimed Queen of the Dark Ages, author of Company of Liars, introduces a chilling novel set against the backdrop of the Peasants' Revolt.

Take one wealthy merchant. Add one charming widow. And one dying wife.

The reign of Richard II is troubled, the poor are about to become poorer still and landowners are lining their pockets. It's a case of every man for himself, whatever his status or wealth. But in a world where nothing can be taken at face value, who can you trust? The dour wool merchant? His impulsive son? The stepdaughter with the hypnotic eyes? Or the raven-haired widow clutching her necklace of bloodstones?

And when people start dying unnatural deaths and the peasants decide it's time to fight back, it's all too easy to spy witchcraft at every turn.

©2014 Karen Maitland (P)2014 Headline Digital

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (2 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    9/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining Medieval Tale of Good versus Evil"

    If you’ve listened to earlier books by this author you’ll know how she weaves a strong story into a backdrop of mysticism and creates a powerful atmosphere of medieval life. Set in the 12th C this book has rulers and employers mercilessly exploiting the hard-working poor as they try to scrap a living burdened by taxes and low wages. Corruption is everywhere and superstition haunts all walks of life. Death and witchcraft abounds in the central story as rich cloth merchant, Robert, is captivated by a widow newly arrived in Lincoln and his troubles begin. Don’t expect subtle characterisation or nuanced morality: this is good old-fashioned good versus evil battling it out: simplistic but enjoyable nevertheless. I was intrigued by the references at the beginning of each chapter to superstitious beliefs of the period which seem preposterous to modern ears but held sway in medieval times.

    There’s some pacey writing in this book, particularly the description of the rampage through London during the Peasants’ Revolt led by Wat Tyler

    The narrator is outstandingly good.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Magikmum
    9/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bit disappointed with this one"
    What did you like most about The Vanishing Witch?

    I love Karen Maitland books and was so excited when this one was published as it seemed a long time coming. However, this book was disappointing and didn't have the "excitement" and surprise element of previous books. I did not sympathise with many of the characters and it appeared that the book was completed in a hurry. Was there a deadline?


    Would you be willing to try another book from Karen Maitland? Why or why not?

    I love Karen Maitland's books and have her full collection and would always give another of her novels another go.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    None really entranced me


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elle and Carl
    3/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""mixed feelings on this one""
    What did you like best about this story?

    What I liked best was the fact that it was totally different from anything I had listened to/read before -and definitely not predictable.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

    All of them Jonathan Keeble is an excellent narrator and I will definitely buy more read by him.Although I did find it rather annoying when he kept whispering a couple of the female parts so quietly I had to keep "rewinding" to try and catch what he was saying-it spoiled the story a bit.


    Any additional comments?

    I personally hate reading reviews where the reviewer just tell you what the story is-Iso I will not do that here.
    I bought this book after reading a few good reviews.The first couple of chapters had me hooked....but then the story kept drifting off and going nowhere-and I started to wonder what I had bought.I did not really get back into the book until about half way through-when the story really started to pick up and have some substance to it.Part of my lack of being able to concentrate may have been more to Jonathan Keeble whispering too quietly,I could not hear him-this spoiled the book for me.it made it hard work rather than a relaxing listen.I will listen again,but next time I will download to my laptop and listen with external speakers turned up full.
    Karen Maitland did capture the era extremely well-except when she forgot herself and used a modern cuss word occasionally...but the story did eventually grab me and hold on to me to the end and I am glad I got there.
    Would recommend this one,but if you are slightly hard of hearing download to your computer not your Kindle.as the volume on Kindles only goes up so far and not far enough.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lesleyboyd
    scarborough, United Kingdom
    11/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    This book is marvellous. A really good story with rich characters. I loved the period it was set in and found myself rooting for some people whilst detesting others and couldn't wait to find out what happens next. Would love for there to be a sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    11/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Reader Rubbish Book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    goes nowhere slowly....unfortunatelyJonathan Keeble is such a good reader that I kept going for far too long expecting straw to turn to gold. It didn't and finally my will to live drove me to delete this book from my player. I survived but you might not. Be warned !!!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Karen Maitland again?

    No never.


    Any additional comments?

    i assume some people like this - such a reminder of how the world is full of very different people. This book however is not not not for me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ken
    WREXHAM, United Kingdom
    10/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Over 10 hours of tedium followed by a few hours of"

    Company of Liars was great. This isn't. It is really, really slow to get going and when it does it's still not great. This story could have been written in a book that last a couple of hours not 17. Avoid. Only high point was the narration. Jonathan Keeble was as good as ever

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Co. Donegal, Ireland
    10/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I really enjoyed this book"
    If you could sum up The Vanishing Witch in three words, what would they be?

    It is a very interesting story which develops all the characters as it moves through the story. It was the first book from the author that I read and I would read another. In three words "Explore medieval superstitions"


    What other book might you compare The Vanishing Witch to, and why?

    I haven't read any books from that era.


    What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    His reading of the book brings and understanding of the characters particularly some of the minor ones who have such an impact on the main story.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No I just enjoyed the tale


    Any additional comments?

    Not without adding a spoiler

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • exy
    9/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Do not read if you can't be doing with Ghosts"

    Well written and and very well read.Good research obviously been done into the lives of rich and poor at this time.However, I turn off at the mere mention of Ghosts(not through fear) and so when some of the story is told through the eyes of ghosts-that's it,I just stop listening.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • claire
    crook, United Kingdom
    12/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dreadful."

    What a disappointment. I have no idea why people rated this so highly as its one of the most boring books I have ever come across. The narrator is good and in theory the events and witchcraft in general should be interesting but somehow it just isn't. There is a woman , we think she's a witch, she is a witch, the man is stupid. Drag it out for 20 hrs the end. There you go saved you a credit and 20 pointless hrs.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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