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Company of Liars cover art

Company of Liars

By: Karen Maitland
Narrated by: David Thorpe
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Summary

On this day of ill omen, plague makes its entrance. Within weeks, swathes of England will be darkened by death's shadow. While panic and suspicion flood the land, a small band of travelers comes together to outrun the breakdown in law and order.

But when one of their number is found hanging from a tree, the chilling discovery confirms that something more sinister than plague is in their midst. And as the runes warn of treachery, it appears no one is quite what they seem, least of all the child rune reader, who mercilessly compels each of her companions to tell their stories. And face the consequences...

©2008 Karen Maitland (P)2008 Oakhill Publishing Ltd

What listeners say about Company of Liars

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Medieval Road Movie - Well worth a listen

This is quite different from what I usually listen to, but I'm very glad I made the break. It's 1348 and the black death is sweeping England. Nine unlikely travel companions are thrown together and unite in their quest to outrun the pestillence by heading North.
The characters are nicely drawn and we get to know them through the stories they tell while sitting around the campfire trying to keep warm. The author evokes the mid 14th century well and the book seems to be well-researched (although I'm not an expert on medieval England, so it could all be rubbish!!). There is a bit of mystery thrown in, but although there are murders involved, it's not a traditional murder mystery. The end of the story is not as strong as it might have been, and clues to one of the twists in the tale are given early in the book. There is a final twist, which some might find cliched, but I enjoyed. Finally, what made this a 5-star for me was David Thorpe's narration - the story on its own would have been a four. The voice characterisation is great and consistent throughout - he really helps to bring the characters and the stories to life. Highly recommended!

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191 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable

I bought this on a whim and I'm really glad I did. I'll keep an eye out for Karen Maitland again.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A whodunnit stroke whydunnit

Plague is working its way up through England and this rag tag band of travellers lock together in their desire to gain protection and assistance from one another on their travels to a monastery in the north.
The characters each have a tail. Murders are being committed and covered up. Who is responsible is anyone's call. The child is scarey in a fascinating way and the twists and turns that come about are very satisfying.
The narrator is colorful and pleasing to listen to, adding to the story with good tones and inclinations.
5 stars all round

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!

Absolutely brilliant, the reviews about this book made me buy this book and I will not be forgetting it any time soon, what a wonderful book, the narration was brilliant, I could not bring myself to stop listening to it..Loved it from beginning to the end. Well done Karen Maitland, I will be looking forward to reading more of your books

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Company of Liars

This took me a little while to get into, but then very hard to put down. This is the tale of a band of people who 'fell into a group', and tried to travel through a plague ridden England without falling prey to the pestilence. It was so interesting to see their way of living and finding food and shelter.

Each character was really well defined and their reactions appropriate to that, I either loved or hated them.

Having just finished the book I am left with some thoughts and wonder why and what about a few things that were left unfinished. However this was part of the charm of the book, it was really well written.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

...and what a company!

I enjoy stories set medieval times and certainly enjoyed this one.

The author researched her subject well transferring her
knowledge into writing one of the best stories I have ever read.

The plot which kept me guessing moved on at a breathtaking
pace while the spectre of plague hung over and around the
band of travellers, waiting...

Each character was finely drawn so that I felt a familiarity
with each one shortly after he or she was introduced.

Good ending too.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Lacked depth.

The plague is the backdrop to an times meandering tale. the story was enjoyable but not amazing. characters are well written but lack depth beyond what they're hiding.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Less than the sum of its parts.

If you could sum up Company of Liars in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining but silly. Or possibly disappointing.
The story is very well written, cleverly presented and hugely entertaining.
However on reflection one does wonder why one read it allm

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I liked the literal presentation of a journey and the intelligent portrayal of characters.

Perhaps, like a house of cards, the flimsy structure was engaging at the time but easily fell apart and had little substance.

What about David Thorpe’s performance did you like?

In this audio book I found his voices and characterisation first rate. Excellent.

I think if I had read the book or heard it from a lesser narrator I may have stopped after a few chapters. Mr Thorpe genuinely entertained and made me follow the story to its bitter end.
I can not praise his performance enough on this audio book.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. It built on stock characterisation and plot devices well but did not twang any heart strings. I don't think it intended to.

Any additional comments?

Any additional comments would be spoilers.

I do feel, on reflection, to have feasted but to still be hungry.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant Narrator

Very interesting story. Transports you back in time and the narrator brings the characters alive with a whole variety of accents. Good ending and all sorts of different angles and descriptions. I enjoyed it a lot and was sorry when it came to an end.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant story, fantastically narrated

I absolutely LOVED listening to this, it's so absorbing and it's read perfectly. Highly recommended!

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