The Owl Killers

Karen Maitland, Author
Karen Maitland, Author . Delacorte $26 (509p) ISBN 978-0-385-34170-7
Reviewed on: 08/24/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Paperback - 509 pages - 978-0-440-24443-1
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-440-33888-8
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-07152-0
Hardcover - 978-0-14-104773-7
Hardcover - 13 pages - 978-0-85735-039-8
Hardcover - 13 pages - 978-0-85735-040-4
Paperback - 562 pages - 978-0-14-103189-7
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In the tiny English village of Ulewic in 1321, a struggle brews between the Owl Masters, who want to bring back pagan worship, and a group of pious Christian women, called beguines, who merely wish to be left in peace. Having suffered from floods and famine, the town takes bitter notice of the Christian women, who are continually spared. As suspicion grows, the Owl Masters find aid from an unlikely source, the village priest, who's determined to pursue the “criminal” women in order to hide his own sins. U.K. novelist Maitland's jumpy narrative is, unfortunately, a poor showcase for the fascinating conflict, and she never seems to decide whether the Owlman is demon or myth, and other loose threads are left to dangle. Still, she produces an interesting examination of an unfamiliar time and place, finding effective lures in lessons on sexism and xenophobia. (Oct.)

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