Review: Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

In this extraordinary novel, Karen Maitland delivers a dazzling reinterpretation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales—an ingenious alchemy of history, mystery, and powerful human drama.

The year is 1348. The Black Plague grips the country. In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward them.

Each member of this motley company has a story to tell. From Camelot, the relic-seller who will become the group’s leader, to Cygnus, the one-armed storyteller . . . from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter and his pregnant wife, each has a secret. None is what they seem. And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all—propelling these liars to a destiny they never saw coming.
There's not a better way to end the year of great reads in 2008 than to end it with Karen Maitland's first book, Company of Liars. This book has everything: love, death, friendship, witchcraft,'s a little historical fiction mixed with a little fantasy rolled in to one yummy nugget of a novel.

The plot was excellent, the storytelling was just amazing and the characters are ones you are not soon to forget. This is one of those that stay with you a while. I find myself missing Camelot the most.

My favorite quote: "Home is the place you return to when you have finally lost your soul. Home is the place where life is born, not the place of your birth, but the place where you seek rebirth". - Camelot

I recommend Company of Liars to anyone who appreciates good storytelling.

Amy Says: 5 / 5
Karen Maitland website - her new book, The Owl-Killers is due out in the UK on March 26, 2009. Click here for more information.


  1. I'm glad you liked this one....I need to dig thru my shelves/piles and see if I have this one.

  2. I have been wanting to read this since I first heard of it. So glad it is as good as I'm hoping. Will push it to the top of the stack. Thanks so much for the review.

  3. Great review Amy! I will definitely read this one. I am putting in on my Shelfari TBR/wishlist.

  4. Yay! Another person who's been converted to Company of Liars. I loved this book.

  5. I also want to read this book because you left such a nice quote on my blog from it and even though it was simple, it was just what I needed and i think this book will be what I need.

  6. I reviewed this a few months ago and I loved it. I never suspected that twist at the end. I love it when an author can surprise me like that!

  7. Lilly: I'm so glad that it helped if even a little. Take care.

    Ruth: You're such a sweetie! I hope you keep coming back!

    Tome: I KNOW!!! That was a great little twist to end the book.


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