Cathy's Reviews > Company of Liars

Company of Liars by Karen Maitland
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's review
Dec 29, 2008

really liked it
Read in December, 2008

This was a terrific book. I am so glad I live in the 21st century! This book's atmosphere seeps into your consciousness. I swear I felt cold, wet and hungry the whole time I read this book.

Each character is a mystery, and yet sympathetic in their own way. Despite the large cast of characters, the story moves along briskly. The interplay between the travelers is the heart of the book, but the author also vividly sketches the world they live in. Even her observational asides tend haunt you, as when the main character notices a boarded-up door on a plague house. The corner of the door had been splintered from the inside. Someone had been boarded up alive with the plague victims and had been trying to claw their way out. He/she hadn't made it.

The 14th century wasn't an easy era to live in even without plagues and famine. After reading this book, you can understand why the people then thought the whole world was ending. It puts our current national problems in perspective. Considering how hysterical the news about the current crises has gotten, that's a useful reminder.

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