The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland

bookshelves: cover-love, published-2014, winter-20142015, under-500-ratings, medieval5c-16c, historical-fiction, plantagenet-1154-1485, paper-read

Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Pat
Read from November 27, 2012 to May 23, 2015
Description: The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland, author of the hugely popular Company of Liars will thrill fans of CJ Sansom and Kate Mosse with its chilling recreation of the Peasants’ Revolt.

It offers an intelligent, beautifully researched glimpse of a more deadly, superstitious era…

‘A compelling blend of historical grit and supernatural twists’ Daily Mail on The Falcons of Fire and Ice

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.

Cast of Characters
Historical Notes

Opening: While I lived I was never one of those who could see ghosts. I thought those who claimed they did were even moon-touched or liars. But when you are dead, my darlings, you find yourself amazed at what you didn’t see when you were alive. I exist now in a strange half-light.

Richard II (6 January 1367 – February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed on 30 September 1399.

Juicy beginning or what!?

5* Company of Liars
5* The Owl Killers
4* The Gallows Curse
3* The Falcons of Fire and Ice
CR The Vanishing Witch
WL The Raven’s Head

Hattip Pat: Plucked straight from the website – Latest Myth & Magic: Witch-napping: A witch who lived in Berkeley, Gloucestershire had a ‘familiar’ (a bid) in the form of a jackdaw who could read the future. One day the jackdaw warned her that she would shortly endure a great tragedy and would die soon after. When news came that her son and his family had all been killed, the witch became extremely alarmed and sent for her daughter who was a nun and her second son who was monk. She told them that while her soul could not be saved they must save her body.

After her death the witch’s body was to be sewn up in a stag’s hide and placed in a stone coffin bound with three iron chains and left in the church for three nights, while her children kept vigil. After that she considered that they might safely bury her body.

The first night demons entered the church and broke the first chain. The second night they shattered the second chain and on the third night the devil himself appeared in a great thunderstorm. He broke the last chain and dragged her from the coffin and led her to a black horse which had iron hooks protruding from it all over its hide. The devil impaled her on the hooks on the horse’s back and all three of them vanished. The screams of the witch could be heard for miles as they galloped away through the night.

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