The Owl Killers

The Owl Killers

by Karen Maitland

Dale Israel: I was so happy when I read Arlene's review of the Owl Killers as I had read Karen Maitland's other book called "Company of Liars" and just loved it. While I enjoyed Owl Killers, I don't think it quite measured up to "Company of Liars." I won't go into detail about the storyline as Arlene did a marvelous job of explaining the book but I will say that one of the reasons I enjoyed this book is because it was told from the perspective of many different characters. This unique literary technique added interest to the book. I just love historical fiction and this one did not disappoint.
Rating: ****

Arlene Almas: An exciting, suspenseful example of the medieval mystery genre, "The Owl Killers" transports the reader right into the midst of a remote 14th century English village, when Christianity (Catholicism) and ancient pagan beliefs co-existed uneasily. A community of women, an offshoot of a larger group in Flanders, has established itself in a settlement just outside the village; a community such as this, known as a beguinage, provided both a sanctuary for women and an opportunity to function independently and to share responsibility for the survival of the group. Survival, in this sense, was concerned with both body (healing) and spirit (prayer). In spite of the villagers' distrust of the "outlanders," some local women join the beguinage, and the beguines become involved in the! life of the village by giving to the poor and treating the sick. Weaving through village life is a resurgence of an ancient evil known as the Owl Masters; belief in the Owl Masters has endured over many generations, and when it appears that the Owl Man has returned to claim the obedience of the villagers and destruction of the beguinage, thrilling action and conflict follow. I found this a fascinating and well-written book, and recommend it to readers of historical fiction/mystery.
Rating: ****

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