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The Gallows Curse | [Karen Maitland]

The Gallows Curse

The year is 1210 and a black force is sweeping England. A vengeful King John has seized control of the Church, leaving corpses to lie in consecrated ground, babies unbaptized, and the people terrified of dying in sin. In the village of Gastmere, the consequences grow darker still when Elena, a servant girl, is dragged into a conspiracy to absolve the sins of the lord of the manor. In desperation she visits the cunning woman, who has been waiting for just such an opportunity to fulfil an ancient curse conjured at the gallows.
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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1210 and a black force is sweeping England. A vengeful King John has seized control of the Church, leaving corpses to lie in consecrated ground, babies unbaptized, and the people terrified of dying in sin. In the village of Gastmere, the consequences grow darker still when Elena, a servant girl, is dragged into a conspiracy to absolve the sins of the lord of the manor. In desperation she visits the cunning woman, who has been waiting for just such an opportunity to fulfil an ancient curse conjured at the gallows.

©2011 Karen Maitland (P)2011 Oakhill Publishing Limited

What the Critics Say

"Atmospheric and original." (Woman and Home)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (98 )
5 star
 (43)
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Overall
3.8 (56 )
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2 star
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Story
4.0 (57 )
5 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    kmcca5 Brighton, Sussex By The Sea, UK 24/10/2012
    kmcca5 Brighton, Sussex By The Sea, UK 24/10/2012 Member Since 2009

    I am addicted to audio books... please send help!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bloody, Brilliant and Bloody Brilliant!"

    The third Karen Maitland book I have listened to and the best so far. An absolute belter, if you enjoyed the Owl Killers and the Company of Liars you will love this. Extremely well narrated this audio book is the audio equivalent of an “UNPUTDOWNABLE” book. I seriously can’t wait for her next book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sally Nelson, New Zealand 22/07/2012
    sally Nelson, New Zealand 22/07/2012 Member Since 2008
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    "Dark times but en lighting reading"

    Another Karen Maitland , lots of wonderful ideas and conspiracies. I love the ideas and information how saints and cults are given and underpin the story. I had to google to find out where the fact and fiction intertwine. Makes you cry and wonder what else. Very gory but with wonderful twists and turns.
    The reading a bit like the last needs a review of the narration but still worth the journey.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Worcester park, United Kingdom 17/05/2012
    Paul Worcester park, United Kingdom 17/05/2012 Member Since 2006
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    "A very good listen"

    The story is very interesting and its very well read. If you enjoyed her other books you will enjoy this. One of the main characters has been castrated so speaks in a very high voice. This is a bit odd to begin with but you soon get used to it. The Mandrake root is important to the story and if it's a good story it doesn't matter who or what is telling it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Newcastle, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom 06/03/2014
    David Newcastle, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom 06/03/2014
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    "Fascinating"
    Where does The Gallows Curse rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I really enjoyed this book, I've loved all of Maitland's book. Regarding Rafael's voice. It was odd at first but the narrator did a fine job with that and all of the characters. I think reading the printed copy wouldn't have the same impact as hearing Rafael and trying to imagine why people were sniggering at him. Some wonderful characters in the plot, I couldn't wait to see what happened to them all. As with the other books I can't wait to download the latest one to listen to.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather 26/11/2012
    Heather 26/11/2012
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    "Loved it"

    My first Karen Maitland book and wow—amazing, compelling and so imaginative, I just gobbled it up and I can't wait to get stuck into the next one. Having said that, the narration is rather annoying in places but the character is a castrati and described as having a high voice so I can't see how he could have portrayed it in any other way. Great stuff.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08/07/2013
    08/07/2013 Member Since 2008
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    "Yet another fantastic book from Karen Maitland"
    If you could sum up The Gallows Curse in three words, what would they be?

    Absolutely fantastic book


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gallows Curse?

    All of it


    What does David Thorpe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Character accents and who they are


    Any additional comments?

    As good as company of liars writer and narrator

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    v.jeffs Prenton, United Kingdom 05/06/2013
    v.jeffs Prenton, United Kingdom 05/06/2013 Member Since 2013
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    "Superb"

    After listening the Company of Liars three times, I knew this book would give all sorts of twists, turns and intrigue to keep me glued to my audio devices. I was not disappointed.
    The only thing that grated was the voice of Rafael which , to me, was not believable for a man with a girls voice. A minor quibble which did not put me off enough to not want to leave the book un-listened to. I have already downloaded her other books and will I look forward too and listen too with relish.
    A superb book from a brilliant author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Glos, United Kingdom 17/03/2013
    Wendy Glos, United Kingdom 17/03/2013 Member Since 2009

    I live in the centre of the Cotswolds and totally love books. I especially love historical fiction.....Ken Follett is my favourite.

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    "just couldnt stop listening"

    This is the 3rd book by Karen Maitland that I have read, and it hasn't failed to deliver. With David Thorpe narating; the book comes alive with characters. I am only sorry that I have come to the end, this book has given me so much pleasure. Thank you Karen! I look forward to your next story with bated breath.



    Karen Maitland is up there at the top with Ken Follett. if you know of other writers with similar story telling skills please let me know.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette England 12/12/2012
    Jeanette England 12/12/2012 Member Since 2012

    Retired and doing what I like now...

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    "the gallows curse,"

    I loved this book from the start, the voices were Fantastic !!! I forgot it was a "Mandrake Root" reading it sounded so good.

    the character's you will really enjoy, a good plot and terrific ending... try it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ALison Brighton, United Kingdom 19/07/2013
    ALison Brighton, United Kingdom 19/07/2013 Member Since 2012
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    "The longest few hours of my life"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I usually love books with historical/witchcraft/murder elements but this book was so boring, I could hardly bear to listen to it. If it hadn't have been an audio book I would have skim read it - I even tried it on double speed but couldn't make out the words. There is a huge amount of repetition, the characterisation is terrible - I just didn't care about any of the barely credible characters, and there is very little suspense. The performance is poor too - the narrator for some reason has a faux foreign accent throughout, and his voice is very irritating. One to avoid


    Would you ever listen to anything by Karen Maitland again?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Thorpe’s performances?

    No


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It ended


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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