The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland

The Vanishing Witch by Karen MaitlandRating: 3 / 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Published: 12th March 2015
Book Depository | Goodreads

The reign of Richard II is troubled, the poor are about to become poorer still and landowners are lining their pockets. It’s a case of every man for himself, whatever his status or wealth.

But in a world where nothing can be taken at face value, who can you trust? The dour wool merchant? His impulsive son? The stepdaughter with the hypnotic eyes? Or the raven-haired widow clutching her necklace of bloodstones? And when people start dying unnatural deaths and the peasants decide it’s time to fight back, it’s all too easy to spy witchcraft at every turn.

This was a reasonably good historical fiction. The only problem I found was that I kept comparing it to The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. These two books are nothing alike but The Pillars of the Earth was so good that I can’t help but compare any historical fiction book I read to it. And I’ve found that nothing really compares to it.

I did find it a little too long for my liking. One thing I really did not like is that there is a mob scene about half way through this book. It involved lots of heads being removed from bodies and while it wasn’t that violent that is just the sort of thing I really don’t like and it scared me quite a lot. This book was okay, but not great. If you like historical fiction you would probably enjoy it, I hate saying this but its the sort of book you read while on holiday.

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*I received a copy of this book from Headline in exchange for an honest review.

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8 thoughts on “The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland

      • I think Noddfacrafts is pointing at the first passage “poorer getting poorer etc” and maybe also some from the second passage “in a world where nothing can be taken at face value, who can you trust”… it’s of course a modern book, but true sometimes, time passes, but human societies stay the same, despite modern technologies.
        It’s like Cicero has said: times are bad, everyone is writing books and children don’t respect their elders. Cicero lived about 2000 years ago, but based on this quote nothing much has changed 🙂

        Nice review again from you, Emma. And agree that it’s rather unpleasant to read about.. beheadings and such.

        • I totally did not get that. DOH! Thanks for explaining it.

          Thanks. I hate beheading and stuff like that. I basically can’t watch any historical drama on tv because of it. I watched Robin Hood once and it creeped me out so much.

  1. Might check it out I enjoy historical fictikn and the closer it matches history the better.
    Bernard Cornwell is my favourite but counting his tales are mostly militaristic and brutally realist in nature it may not be your scene.
    StoneY

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