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
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
A good book set in the dark ages
We follow three intertwining storylines with a range of characters which never feels like too much or confusing. It's set during a tumultuous time with poverty and famine a constant in England as well as religious tension and through this time we follow a poverty stricken wise woman and her daughters, an arrogant knight and a crippled young woman, along with the other tinners as they endure backbreaking work for very little.
At first you don't see how the stories intertwine but they do and you fe ...more
I have read a few Karen Maitland novels and I am always interested in books set in the Medieval times are hers are. This for me is one of her most enjoyable books since I read Company of Liars. The story has a rich cast of characters from the holy sisters of the Priory of St Mary to the locals all set in the backdrop of the wilds of Dartmoor. What I also liked about the book is that there is a fairly large bit at the back giving extra information about the time and it's historical context as wel ...more
When I started reading the latest novel by Karen Maitland, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. Now, I can honestly admit that A Gathering of Ghosts is a terrific read, which deserves all praise it has received from critics and reviewers. Brilliant medieval mystery, set at the Priory of St Mary in Dartmoor in 1316, where the old beliefs meet still relatively new religion. Maitland masterfully builds the intrigue around a sacred well under the Priory chapel, and as always in her books, the atmosphe ...more
A Gathering of Ghosts is set against the backdrop of a terrible famine which caused widespread poverty, desperation and displacement of thousands of ordinary people as they were forced to travel across Europe in search of food or better conditions elsewhere.
The well or spring sited at the Priory is central to the story representing the battle between Pagan and religious beliefs at the time. The characters of the story are bogged down in their beliefs, but for me the central character is Dertemor ...more
The year of our lord, 1316 and a great famine sweeps the land. In an isolated refuge in the wilds of Dartmoor, the holy sisters of the Hospitallers’ Priory of St Mary care for the poor, the diseased and those troubled in spirit. Taking the waters at the Holy Well, once known locally as Brydes Well and dedicated to the Goddess Brigid, offers a sliver of mercy and hope of redemption. However, some pilgrims believe more in the old gods and goddesses, pagan deities who controlled thoughts and prayer ...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