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The Vanishing Witch Audiobook

The Vanishing Witch

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Publisher's Summary

The critically acclaimed Queen of the Dark Ages, author of Company of Liars, introduces a chilling novel set against the backdrop of the Peasants' Revolt.

Take one wealthy merchant. Add one charming widow. And one dying wife.

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.

©2014 Karen Maitland (P)2014 Headline Digital

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (222 )
5 star
 (112)
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3 star
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4.1 (205 )
5 star
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Story
4.6 (207 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (14)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    KAREN 06/08/2015
    KAREN 06/08/2015 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    "My first read of Maitland but not my last!"
    What did you like most about The Vanishing Witch?

    The characterisation and the period


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator


    Have you listened to any of Jonathan Keeble’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Don't know


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    a clever woman had to be a witch in the middle ages!


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth a read, the characters were all engaging and the story rich and captivating.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Magikmum 15/09/2014
    Magikmum 15/09/2014 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "A bit disappointed with this one"
    What did you like most about The Vanishing Witch?

    I love Karen Maitland books and was so excited when this one was published as it seemed a long time coming. However, this book was disappointing and didn't have the "excitement" and surprise element of previous books. I did not sympathise with many of the characters and it appeared that the book was completed in a hurry. Was there a deadline?


    Would you be willing to try another book from Karen Maitland? Why or why not?

    I love Karen Maitland's books and have her full collection and would always give another of her novels another go.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    None really entranced me


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirstine 11/09/2014
    Kirstine 11/09/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Entertaining Medieval Tale of Good versus Evil"

    If you’ve listened to earlier books by this author you’ll know how she weaves a strong story into a backdrop of mysticism and creates a powerful atmosphere of medieval life. Set in the 12th C this book has rulers and employers mercilessly exploiting the hard-working poor as they try to scrap a living burdened by taxes and low wages. Corruption is everywhere and superstition haunts all walks of life. Death and witchcraft abounds in the central story as rich cloth merchant, Robert, is captivated by a widow newly arrived in Lincoln and his troubles begin. Don’t expect subtle characterisation or nuanced morality: this is good old-fashioned good versus evil battling it out: simplistic but enjoyable nevertheless. I was intrigued by the references at the beginning of each chapter to superstitious beliefs of the period which seem preposterous to modern ears but held sway in medieval times.

    There’s some pacey writing in this book, particularly the description of the rampage through London during the Peasants’ Revolt led by Wat Tyler

    The narrator is outstandingly good.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate 01/09/2017
    Kate 01/09/2017 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "spellbinding"

    The plots twist and thicken ... who will survive, who will die? Loved the ending.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Overton Epsom, Surrey 08/10/2016
    H. Overton Epsom, Surrey 08/10/2016 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    7
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    "Maitland at her best"

    I love her books but this one had as many twists and turns as a twisty turny thing. Keeps you guessing until the end and you'll still be surprised by the outcome.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patabee Notts., United Kingdom 11/06/2016
    Patabee Notts., United Kingdom 11/06/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "Happy to read again"

    Gripping story and excellently read. The narrative illustrates the life and colour of the time (Richard II) and brings it all to life.
    Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Cambs 08/06/2016
    Adrienne Cambs 08/06/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "a great yarn.."

    I didn't think I was going to enjoy this story. It started slowly but became a fantastic listen. the characters are well defined and you become very involved in their lives. an enjoyable story and we'll worth listening

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W United Kingdom 26/10/2015
    W United Kingdom 26/10/2015 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    80
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    Story
    "The Vanishing Interest"

    This started out really well, but I felt it ran out of steam towards the end and I wasn't sure all ends were tied up. There were elements that were definitely not for children, but overall this did feel like a book for younger readers. To me, a better book in a similar vein would be Witch Child by Celia Rees. There were a few twists and turns here and there, but they were fairly predictable and the central character, Robert, wasn't very likeable.
    The narration was excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lesleyboyd scarborough, United Kingdom 04/11/2014
    Lesleyboyd scarborough, United Kingdom 04/11/2014 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
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    "Brilliant"

    This book is marvellous. A really good story with rich characters. I loved the period it was set in and found myself rooting for some people whilst detesting others and couldn't wait to find out what happens next. Would love for there to be a sequel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12/06/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
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    "Excellent narration"
    If you could sum up The Vanishing Witch in three words, what would they be?

    Educational, Historical (brings to life the character of the 1300s) and Eclectic (incorporating witchcraft and many facets of this period of time).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Adam - young vulnerable boy, could really relate to this character.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The peasants revolt and Gunter seeking Hankin


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The descriptions of the suffering caused by the excessive poll tax imposed on the peasants.


    Any additional comments?

    The descriptions of a Wooolwalker were particularly interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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