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The Owl Killers

Karen Maitland

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Description

In 1321, the English town of Ulewic teeters between survival and destruction, faith and doubt, God and demons. Against this intense backdrop, a group of women have formed a beguinage, a self-sustaining community of women. Led by the strong-willed Servant Martha, these women are committed to a code of celibacy and prayer, hard work and charity that is unsanctioned by the all-powerful church. Still, the villagers have come to rely on this remarkable group of women for their very lives. And seeking shelter among them now is the youngest daughter of Ulewic’s lord, a man who holds power over them all.

But when a series of natural calamities strikes, the beguinage’s enemies make their move, stirring the superstitious villagers with dark rumors of unspeakable depravities and unleashing upon the defiant all-female community the full force of their vengeance in the terrifying form of the Owl Killers. Men cloaked in masks and secrecy, ruling with violence and intimidation—the Owl Killers draw battle lines. In this village ravaged by flood and disease, the women of the beguinage must draw upon their deepest strength if they are to overcome the raging storm of long-held secrets and shattering lies.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 24, 2009 – In the tiny English village of Ulewic in 1321, a struggle brews between the Owl Masters, who want to bring back pagan worship, and a group of pious Christian women, called beguines, who merely wish to be left in peace. Having suffered from floods and famine, the town takes bitter notice of the Christian women, who are continually spared. As suspicion grows, the Owl Masters find aid from an unlikely source, the village priest, who's determined to pursue the “criminal” women in order to hide his own sins. U.K. novelist Maitland's jumpy narrative is, unfortunately, a poor showcase for the fascinating conflict, and she never seems to decide whether the Owlman is demon or myth, and other loose threads are left to dangle. Still, she produces an interesting examination of an unfamiliar time and place, finding effective lures in lessons on sexism and xenophobia.
The Owl Killers
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Sep 29, 2009
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 528 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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