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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  15 reviews
I was born of the Devil. That is what they said. I was a conjure of night and fog, and the grave was the womb from which I emerged.
Abandoned as a baby outside the cemetery gates and raised by the town's executioner, Marcus grows into a giant as unfeeling as Death.

Traveling fanatics arrive in his Bavarian town bringing not the Word of God, but the Great Dying. As plague c
Paperback, 180 pages
Published May 17th 2012 by Grunaskhan Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A quick, but not necessarily easy read - by that I mean you'll find the protagonist, Marcus - an executioner in Bavaria escaping the plague - unlovable, unsympathetic and a tad inaccessible, but if you stick with him on his journey of redemption, it will be well worth it.
The writing is tight, painterly but not flowery (no flowers could grow in that snowy landscape hah!).
Kerry Olivetti
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Topically, it's similar stomping ground to The Hangman's Daughter but ten times better. Should be read after a good snow storm. ...more
Ponder the Page
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adore Plaguewalker by Gemma Tarlach. It is a dark tale that blankets you in the fear, superstition, and ignorance of the Middle Ages.

Marcus of Ansberg lives a grim life as the town Scharfrichter (executioner, confession extractor, and ironically healer) in 14th century Bavaria during the Black Plague. He is despised and ostracized by all, forbidden from many normal things like walking in town or showing his face, and makes his living by committing heinous acts of violence against his fellow ma
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed every minute of this book, not to be compared with Hangman's Daughter; its a wonderful story in its own class. Character development was delightful and I think I related to the main character a little. Between the plague, the isolation and the myriad of other struggles; the internal conflict of Marcus were the loudest. His transformation in the story is satisfying, and realistic. The what I find to be fascinating lifestyle of an executioner and his family is described in great detail; ...more
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Plaguewalker is an interesting exploration in prejudice and social ostracism based on superficial behaviors. Marcus of Ansberg is the Scharfrichter (executioner) of the town he lives in, and as such, he is not allowed to hunt, live with others, walk through the marketplace without his black and hot executioner's mask on. What is his right is torture for information, execution, and running the town's brothels. Several whores live with him, including one, Elise, who is the mother of Marcus' daught ...more
Ryan Finney
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This book is like a hidden gem. From the first sentence to the last the story is captivating in a unique way. I love how she made the protagonist an odd one, which adds a delightful feel of originality. The story follows Marcus, who's the town's executioner, and through certain circumstances, he finds himself in the odd situation of tracking down a girl who he just learned was his daughter from one of the prostitutes in a brothel he lived in during 14th century Germany amongst the Black Plague. ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: b-good
This was told from a very interesting point of view. The plot itself isn't much new, but the journey was worth it. The ending was alright, but felt a bit abrupt -- the story was long enough, but could definitely have been a bit longer, it hadn't overstayed its welcome yet. ...more
Jan 14, 2013 marked it as abandoned
Fifty pages in and I really don't like the main character, and neither the beautiful cover nor the Plague setting overcomes my distaste for multipage torture scenes. ...more
Todd Roufs
Sep 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Really atmospheric and quietly disturbing. I recommend reading it at night, especially in the winter.
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Definitely different. The author was able to convey the feeling of living in the middle ages. I enjoyed the story but don't think I will recommend it to my friends. ...more
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well said Gemma Tarlach
Tim Lo
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting concept. A little outside of the usual style of books I read, but I very much enjoyed it.
Mike Stuchbery
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Who woulda thought: a gritty, *feelgood* novel about the Black Death? For a debut this is pretty stunning!
Rich Tate
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A fascinating look into the Black Plague told from a unique perspective. This book feels like a Poe story from start to finish.
Jason Bell
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I have been, among other things, a journalist, a diplomat, and a pastry chef. I've lived on four continents and traveled through the other three. Wherever I wander, writing has been the one constant in my life.

I began researching the story that would ultimately become Plaguewalker while living in Bavaria in the early 1990s. It would be the first novel I wrote that was inspired by my travels. I am

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