(FREE) µ The Owl Killers ⚸ eBook or E-pub free

We do not know how strong we are until we are attacked by the evil of this world Mechthild of Magdeburg, beguine from 1230 to 1270.A great story, sort of a mix between history, religion and fantasy The writing of this author and the storytelling makes you feel and taste the Dark Ages My second Maitland, last year I read Company of Liars, both great reads Thanks Caro for the tip This is the story 1321 In the heart of the countryside in England lies an isolated village, where pagan Owl We do not know how strong we are until we are attacked by the evil of this world Mechthild of Magdeburg, beguine from 1230 to 1270.A great story, sort of a mix between history, religion and fantasy The writing of this author and the storytelling makes you feel and taste the Dark Ages My second Maitland, last year I read Company of Liars, both great reads Thanks Caro for the tip This is the story 1321 In the heart of the countryside in England lies an isolated village, where pagan Owl Masters rule through fear, superstition and murder When a group of religious women, Beguines called Marthas, ill advisedly but determined, settles outside the village, they awaken dangerous jealousies, amongst others of the corrupt parish priest, Father Ulfrid Why do their crops succeed How do their cattle survive the plague and sickness And why should they own the holy relic that protects them from harm As torment and hellfire rain down, the women must take a stand to stop this darkness from spreading its evil across the land In 1321, there were a multitude of problems Superstition ruled the day Disease lurked around every corner and famine was an ever present specter And no matter how bad that year s harvest turned out to be, the church demanded to receive its tithe Seems like that s enough suffering for one lifetime, yet the precarious lives lived by the characters in Maitland s excellent novel are made even crappier by the existence of the Owl Killers, a protection racket putting the squeeze on the village den In 1321, there were a multitude of problems Superstition ruled the day Disease lurked around every corner and famine was an ever present specter And no matter how bad that year s harvest turned out to be, the church demanded to receive its tithe Seems like that s enough suffering for one lifetime, yet the precarious lives lived by the characters in Maitland s excellent novel are made even crappier by the existence of the Owl Killers, a protection racket putting the squeeze on the village denizens to pay upor ELSE Now, it s up to an elite fighting force of women to put a stop to these dastardly brutes Well, sort ofCloistered away in an enclave, these women keep to themselves and conduct their own society They are feared and scorned by the villagers, unless, of course, the villagers need food, shelter or medical care Then, when the owl pellets hit the fan, guess who they expect to clean up the mess These gals will battle demons, money grubbing land barons, corrupt clergymen and the dreaded Owl Masters to restore peace and prosperity to the village.Girl Power Woo hoo This is only the second book I ve read by Maitland, but she is fast becoming a favorite She provides a good mix of suspense, drama, history and oomph, and I m looking forward to reading the rest of her work.But don t just take my word for itsee the excellent and informative reviews by Jeffrey EncumberedKaren Maitland s ability to create the 14th century English village scene is fantastic The tug of war between religion and superstition is ever present, and the atmosphere is full of distrust Into this fine balance comes a group of Beguine women who establish a community on their own land Their female community work hard on the land and utilise many other skills that enable them to sell goods at the markets Their independence is a threat to the church and the Lord of the region who EncumberedKaren Maitland s ability to create the 14th century English village scene is fantastic The tug of war between religion and superstition is ever present, and the atmosphere is full of distrust Into this fine balance comes a group of Beguine women who establish a community on their own land Their female community work hard on the land and utilise many other skills that enable them to sell goods at the markets Their independence is a threat to the church and the Lord of the region who control the locals and raise their money from the villagers The Beguine community is led by the capable Servant Martha and when crops fail for the villagers and hard times fall on the local community, the Beguines don t experience the same problems and provide food and shelter for the starving at no cost Obviously, the Lord and church are feeling it in their pockets and with a secret Owl Cult prepared to cause damage and harassment all is focused on making life difficult if not impossible for the Beguines The narrative comes from 5 characters including 2 Beguine women, a young village girl, the priest and the Lord s daughter Each character is fabulously drawn and the story illustrates their perspective on life, their preconception, motivations and beliefs Life is harsh for common folk and in times of plague and disaster, starvation and homelessness became prevalent The jealousies from the church caused them to be branded witches WhileGodly and Christain than the Church, they faced excommunication and also become a target from the pagan Owl Cult The Owl Cult is secret but they must come from the area.The plot is excellent, the pace is perfect, even when setting the scene, and the dialogue is captivating The atmosphere of menace and foreboding is something that Karen Maitland does extremely well and that sense of apprehension and anxiety is brilliantly captured.I would highly recommend this book as it is a joy to read This is one of those rare books that truly stand out from the crowd Having originally majored in medieval history, I have always been extremely impressed by those rare books set in the dark ages, or shortly thereafter, simply because of the reams of research that have to be done to make a book of this sort even halfway believable Not a lot of people realize just how VERY different life was at that time.This book is set in 1321 in England At that time, in Flanders, France and parts of Belgium, This is one of those rare books that truly stand out from the crowd Having originally majored in medieval history, I have always been extremely impressed by those rare books set in the dark ages, or shortly thereafter, simply because of the reams of research that have to be done to make a book of this sort even halfway believable Not a lot of people realize just how VERY different life was at that time.This book is set in 1321 in England At that time, in Flanders, France and parts of Belgium, there existed a lay order of women called the beguines They took no vows, other than celibacy, and dedicated themselves to charity and good works None of the women were bound to stay there, should they wish to return to their father s houses, or their husbands But very, very few did In a way, these beguinages were the predecessors of battered womens shelters They fed and nursed any of the sick or hungry, including lepers that had been declared dead to the world The last beguinage continued to operate until 1927 The Owl Killers is about a small village in England, where a beguinage has been bequeathed some property There is really only small evidence of a beguinage ever being in England primarily there were chased out as witches, any other false charge the Church or the ruling aristocracy could trump up to get rid of them They were dedicated to the Church, but the priests saw them only as their competition Remember, this was a time when demons were thought to roam the land, and children were beaten almost to death if their parents could not come up with their tithes, either to the Church or to their landlord After all, if the parents were beaten, they couldn t work to come up with the money, so they beat the children The Church also taught that any sins of the parents were passed directly to their children, so if a child was born mute, or crippled, they were usually abandoned to die The beguinages took in these poor souls In their way, they followed Christ s word farthan did any of the Priests or Churches.The action in this book truly begins when the third daughter of the ruling Lord D Acaster is driven to the beguinage She made the mistake of being out in the forest after hours, and witnessed a pagan ritual She was raped, and when she showed up in the morning, her father disinherited her, so she was taken in by the beguines But this girl reads, unlike any of the village occupants, and she does begin to question the need for priests or sacraments as the only way to reach God, much as Martin Luther did the next century The beguines allow the doubt of priests they doubt them as well but to doubt the sacraments is true heresy.This is a truly remarkable book, very solid in its history when one reads of children collecting dog dung for the local tanner, a modern person doubts that that might actually have occurred Not only did it occur, but these people quite literally lived in filth, at the complete mercy of the elements and their Church, who would as soon bleed them dead and dry for their tithes.I would recommend this book completely to anyone interested in the history of women, in particular A wonderful, engrossing read Having loved Company of Liars, I was excited to read Karen Maitland s next novel, The Owl Killers, set in Ulewic, a 14th century village near Norfolk.For centuries, Ulewic has been ruled by both the lord of the manor and by the Owl Masters a predatory, pagan group empowered by fear, blackmail and superstition to dispense a harsh form of law and order A group of religious women settles in a beguinage outside the village and when their crops succeed and their animals survive diseases, jealousy Having loved Company of Liars, I was excited to read Karen Maitland s next novel, The Owl Killers, set in Ulewic, a 14th century village near Norfolk.For centuries, Ulewic has been ruled by both the lord of the manor and by the Owl Masters a predatory, pagan group empowered by fear, blackmail and superstition to dispense a harsh form of law and order A group of religious women settles in a beguinage outside the village and when their crops succeed and their animals survive diseases, jealousy and conflict are brought to a head in Ulewic The author uses a multiple narrative voice flawlessly, each voice distinct and compelling I engaged with every one of the characters, whose lives are drawn out smoothly and interwoven into the main story in an unobtrusive and enjoyable way Pagan and Christian ways intermingle and clash, the story steeped in witchcraft, heresy, mystery, suspense and tragedy At times very dark and bleak, it also evokes human nature at its best, and explores the power of faith.The author has vividly brought to life a medieval community where the mind was ruled by religion and superstition Through simple, lyrical prose, she builds the plot to a conclusion that provides both resolution and the expectation of what might have happened next.Karen Maitland truly knows how to write about what interests her, and I would highly recommend The Owl Killers to fans of historical fiction and the supernatural Owls are among my favourite birds, mainly because they were important to my maternal grandmother Matilda and they will always be associated with her in my mind Anyone who kills an owl is immediately persona non grata to me My one disappointment with this book was that the followers of the pagan religion in this book turned out to be bad guys, killing owls to warn people that they were next if they didn t conform and murdering people just as readily However, in this novel, there is plenty of b Owls are among my favourite birds, mainly because they were important to my maternal grandmother Matilda and they will always be associated with her in my mind Anyone who kills an owl is immediately persona non grata to me My one disappointment with this book was that the followers of the pagan religion in this book turned out to be bad guys, killing owls to warn people that they were next if they didn t conform and murdering people just as readily However, in this novel, there is plenty of bad behaviour to go around, no matter which religion a villager adheres to Religion, whether nature based or not, is used in this medieval society as a means of social control as it still is in our century, let s be honest.I had no idea there were Beguinages in the Middle Ages communities built for and by women, to escape the male dominated church and male dominated society In the beguinage, women could still engage with the world, unlike nuns, who were expected to withdraw from worldly pursuits this is shown starkly by the comparison between Servant Martha and the Anchorite known as Andrew Women in a beguinage could pursue their own economic interests and intellectual interests with fewer barriers andpersonal independence The book is full of strong women from the many Marthas who run the beguinage, to the old witch woman who is feared by all, to the village women who work like horses while raising children, to even the girl children who are beaten and worked hard, even while half starved As Eleanor Roosevelt said, A woman is like a tea bag you never know how strong it is until it s in hot water I know that I derive encouragement from the stories of women in my family tree the circumstances that they endured, the events that they participated in, and the toughness that they exhibited Although we are gradually emerging from the societal mindset that says that history is made by men, it is important to acknowledge that the men were able to do the historical things only because they had a female support system at home As a single straight working woman, I have often proclaimed that I do not need a husband, but I could sure as heck use a wife However, my woman s wages would not supportthan one person, so I am stuck doing all the support work as well as the wage earning but after reading this book, I shall not be whining too often about this situation.I also appreciated that medieval life is portrayed as I think it really was medicine is next to nonexistent, crops fail, natural disasters happen, superstition is rampant, education is only for the rich, and life is difficult for everyone, but especially the average villager If you escape plague or starvation, you still have to manoeuver through village and church politics I know that as a teen, I had idealized visions of how people in earlier eras lived and a book like this would have opened my eyes There was a time that I believed that I had been born too late I think I had read too many romantic frontier novels by the likes of Zane Grey and have since learnedabout the experiences of my home steading grandmothers I now know very definitely that I am a 21st century woman, through and through I picked up Karen Maitland s third novel, The Owl Killers, at my local library, on not much else than an interest in the cover artwork Add to that my intrigue in a story about the dark, religious goings on of medieval England and to all of those who thought it was too dark what in the world have you been reading all your life I mean, it s about the goddamn Middle Ages , and I thought I d really discovered a winner.What I found was, indeed, a rather interesting story of battle lines drawn I picked up Karen Maitland s third novel, The Owl Killers, at my local library, on not much else than an interest in the cover artwork Add to that my intrigue in a story about the dark, religious goings on of medieval England and to all of those who thought it was too dark what in the world have you been reading all your life I mean, it s about the goddamn Middle Ages , and I thought I d really discovered a winner.What I found was, indeed, a rather interesting story of battle lines drawn amongst warring factions of religion from the old pagan cunning women to the stodgy old Catholic church to a new breed of Christian women teaching and healing to the tribalistic Owl Masters, the mafia like old world clan that give the book its title And that twisting, flipping story was enough to get me through to the book s end a feat I could not have otherwise achieved on the rest of the novel s laurels.Maitland s prose is heavy handed in its attempt to sound Olde Englishy, but her use of successive first person cripples any attempt at distinct voice anyway Each section is told from the point of view of a different main character, but despite their differences a stoic old beguine, a shamed priest, a fat little serf girl , each has the exact same voice At times, it is difficult to even glean a difference at all when the sections start to change often, and it is needed to look back to figure out who you are even listening to bitch at that particular moment And bitch do they ever, in their pseudo medieval speak No less than half the book seems like a bunch of catty little girls pulling punches on each other.It s a shame, because Maitland so badly wants to make a feminist statement with her novel The other half of the book that isn t made up with people clawing each other s eyes out for no reason is populated with overzealous, way too obvious You Go Girl s I m as much a feminist myself as a white male can be, but this kind of hammer to the head preaching really doesn t do much to help the movement forward Rather, it is the kind of self aggrandizing grandstanding that makes no one want to listen in the first place Oh women You rock You are so much smarter than the traditions of the Catholic church Well, yeah but that s not saying much, is it And that s the only reason I d pass this book along to anyone else in place of one of my other numerous pieces of anti religion literature The best part of this book was just how stupid Maitland makes every single different type of doctrine and dogma look I m not sure if she was aiming for that because, frankly, she seemed to trying to be siding with the beguines and their liberal views of Christianity , but she succeeds beyond all doubt in making everyone involved look like a complete fool But again that s not saying much, is it I think this might be my favourite of Karen Maitland s books so far I definitely liked itthan The Gallows Curse, although it didn t grip me as tightly as Company of Liars I have nothing really to nitpick about here, though the five POVs were well done and cast interesting lights on each other, and I love the research Maitland clearly put into it The very concept of a beguinage is pretty fascinating, so that helps, but the way Maitland brought this one to life and tried to explain I think this might be my favourite of Karen Maitland s books so far I definitely liked itthan The Gallows Curse, although it didn t grip me as tightly as Company of Liars I have nothing really to nitpick about here, though the five POVs were well done and cast interesting lights on each other, and I love the research Maitland clearly put into it The very concept of a beguinage is pretty fascinating, so that helps, but the way Maitland brought this one to life and tried to explain a real historical event through it is evenso I ve always loved historical novels that take something we know a wingless Roman Eagle was found buried in Silchester, and Rosemary Sutcliff wrote The Eagle of the Ninth to explain it, for example and try to puzzle out why Karen Maitland explores why the beguinages failed to take root in Britain, despite some evidence of them existing here, and despite their longevity and appeal on the continent.As with her other books, she evokes the Middle Ages well the smells, the sounds, the sights Perhaps a little predictably, I suppose she gives us the vision of the Middle Ages we expect, dirt and plagues and superstition, but still She does her work well.I suppose I do have one nitpick, and that s the POV of Pisspuddle, which doesn t add much It does add a villagers eye view, so there s that, but mostly she s just a small child who doesn t matter that much to the events happening around her.The characters are all intriguing I really felt for Osmanna, and for Servant Martha, particularly I felt very sorry for Beatrice, even though I knew she was seeing things from a very biased point of view And Healer Martha deserved better.Oh yes, and trigger warning rape, abusive parents, sickness More or less what you might expect, but just in case (FREE) í The Owl Killers Õ Another sensational slice of Dark Ages Gothic from the author of the triumphant seller Company of LiarsEngland,Welcome to the Dark AgesIn the heart of the countryside lies an isolated village, where pagan Owl Masters rule through fear, superstition and murderWhen a group of religious women ill advisedly settles outside the village, they awaken dangerous jealousies Why do their crops succeed How do their cattle survive the plague Are they concealing a holy relic which protects them from harm The Owl Masters cry Witchcraft and sharpen their talons As torment and hellfire rain down, the women must look to their faith to save them from the darkness spreading across the landFear is a question of what you believe And death alone the answerKaren Maitland lives in Lincolnshire and is the author of The White Room, which won an Author s Club Best First Novel Award, and Company of Liars, published to outstanding critical acclaim in From my Letter to the author My complaint is that Owl Killers kept me up until 3 am this morning.At nearly 69, I am not accustomed to keeping such late hours, but I simply could not put it down I feel quite fortunate to have come to Owl Killers albeit by accident with 30 years work as an academic librarian, a life time of voracious reading centered on historical fiction and autobiography, a quality education, and a friend who is a medievalist I suppose, I was just waiting for your books to From my Letter to the author My complaint is that Owl Killers kept me up until 3 am this morning.At nearly 69, I am not accustomed to keeping such late hours, but I simply could not put it down I feel quite fortunate to have come to Owl Killers albeit by accident with 30 years work as an academic librarian, a life time of voracious reading centered on historical fiction and autobiography, a quality education, and a friend who is a medievalist I suppose, I was just waiting for your books to find their way to me.After I read the front flap of Owl Killers I laughed and thought of my friend in San Francisco who is a b guine Lillian Kaiser 53, BMC folks I appreciate the historical accuracy, the attention to detail character and location , the pre chapter snippets referring to the customs and celebrations of the period,the vivid ethnographic quality of the mass of Owl Killers that is not story line I was truly engrossed skimming was not possible The way you have written it, with numerous narrators, keeps the reader engaged and attentive to detail e g., sauvegarde , a place of refuge in the first 75 pages, and Healing Martha s gar gar don t want to give anything away here much later on