Pagans tackle the Knights of St John with terrible consequences in the new medieval thriller by Queen of the Dark Ages, Karen Maitland. Set on the wilds of Dartmoor, this is a ghostly tale for fans of The Essex Serpent or C. J. Sansom's Shardlake series.'A dark read... fear and hysteria are portrayed with claustrophobic skill' The Times on THE PLAGUE CHARMERThe year is 1316 ...
|Title||:||A Gathering of Ghosts|
|Number of Pages||:||531 pages|
A Gathering of Ghosts Reviews
The queen of dark historical fiction, Karen Maitland, returns with another story of terror and superstition from medieval times. Once again her story comes alive with the sights and smells of the medieval era, creating an incredibly rich sense of atmosphere.
Maitland introduces her characters with beautifully written prose which paints the medieval world so vividly that you’ll be convinced you’re standing right beside them, feeling the heat of the fire on your face, or the mud squelching beneath ...more
Unable to rate this as highly as other reviewers. When I initially read the synopsis it ticked so many of my reading "likes" that I'm left feeling a tad deflated. I did enjoy the bleak and claustrophobic atmosphere, the isolation, the setting of Dartmoor. I also enjoyed the rituals of the "Old Ways" when paganism ruled across the land.
However, this was a very slow read, the "build up" was in simmer mode until very much the end of the novel. Found it difficult to empathise with the main characte ...more
My Rating 4.5*
'You’ll need more than a sword to protect you up there. Other side of that priory stands the most accursed hill on the whole moor. You can hear the dead whispering among those rocks. Hungry ghosts, they are. There’s many has heard them talking, and some even followed the voices into the caves up there. Followed them in, Brothers, but never came out….’
In A Gathering of Ghosts, ‘Pagans tackle the Knights of St John with terrible consequences’
This is a dark and gothic novel folks, s ...more
I read my first Karen Maitland book – The Vanishing Witch – in 2016 and immediately upon finishing it added all her other medieval thrillers to my wishlist on Goodreads. I actually have a copy of The Plague Charmer sitting on my bookshelf unread (which is a crime in itself). My abiding impression of The Vanishing Witch was of the author’s skill in creating an intense atmosphere and sense of the supernatural, all combined with an intriguing mystery. I’m pleased to say this is equally evident in A ...more
Karen Maitland does it again by really capturing the superstitions and ignorance of the people in the very early 14th century. The story becomes very atmospheric as the famine and disease raging across the country emphasises the hardship of trying to stay alive during this time in remote rural settlements. The Knight of St. John who appears in the story , instead of being caring and helpful, needs to be avoided because he is a threat to the sisters of the Priory of St. Mary and the holy well tha ...more
Dartmoor 1316. A hospital with a sacred well overseen by nuns from the Sisters to the Knights of St. John. Desperate human souls clinging to a pitiful existence in the face of famine and extreme weather. The moors being ravaged by man seeking tin and profit. There's no ripped Poldark rising up with his scythe to lighten the tone here. This is a world where the church - men and women - oversee the torture and abasement of their fellow men who fall short of expectations - or simply become expedien ...more
Not my favourite Maitland