The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland

The Bandwagon is a huge fan of Karen Maitland. She’s one of our favourite authors; not only because of her brilliant books, but also because she’s a wonderful woman. So of course I jumped at the chance to review her latest installment, The Plague Charmer.

Many thanks to Karen, her publisher, and Lovereading for providing me with a review copy.

The Plague Charmer, by Queen of the Dark Ages and bestselling author of Company of Liars, Karen Maitland, will chill and delight fans of Kate Mosse and C.J. Sansom in equal measure. ‘A compelling blend of historical grit and supernatural twists’ -Daily Mail

‘Something was approaching, something evil, I could feel it. As if in some distant land the devil had just unfurled his wings and was even now flying over the sea towards us, his shadow reaching out before him to cover the land.’

1361. As the plague sweeps England for the second time, a wild woman is pulled from the black waters of the Exmoor coast.

Under the shadow of an eclipse, a village boy steals a box from the sea – a box the woman insists was never meant to be found.

When two more bodies wash up on the shore, their corpses stained with the marks of pestilence, the woman from the sea swears she knows how to save them all. But for a price that no one is willing to pay.

And then, one by one, the villagers begin to die…


Karen Maitland is known for writing about medieval England in a gruesome, honest way. But the best part, for me, is always her characters. Maitland manages to create realistic, relatable characters, who never fail to thrill and entice you.

In The Plague Charmer, Will is by far my favourite character. A regular Tyrion, Will is witty yet deep; he is one of those rare characters who, despite living an unfortunate life, is still kind. Sara follows closely behind, a strong woman who does what needs to be done, battling through grief and pain.

I always enjoy Maitland’s historical notes, paying particular attention to them after I’ve finished the book. I always come away from reading Maitland feeling as if I’ve learnt something, as well as having enjoyed a good story.

There are many aspects to The Plague Charmer, several different situations and a host of characters, and I hesitate to spoil any part of it, so my review is briefer than usual. But I urge you to read this fantastic addition to Maitland’s excellent collection.

Dark and atmospheric, Maitland does it yet again with her chilling evocation of the Dark Ages.

The Plague Charmer will be released on 20th October 2016.

Goodreads | Amazon


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