Customer Reviews for

Company of Liars

Average Rating 4.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 17 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2008

    Comany Of Liars

    Part historical novel, part horror thriller, Comapny Of Liars at first seems like it wants to be too much of everything. But this sophomore novel by British writer Karen Maitland meanages to weave all these elements into a gripping narrative which is an impressive for its psychological subtlety as it is for its page-turning plot. It is 1348 and the Black Death has England in its grasp. Camelot, a disfigured seller of the 'relics' of saints, is in the southern English town of Kilmington when a man collapses in the marketplace, covered in blue-black spots and coughing blood. After leaping to the defence of Jofre, a young musician not canny enough to tell an innkeeper that he has travelled from the north, the narrator ends up travelling with Jofre and his master, Rodrigo, moving north up the island in a bid to outrun the pandemic. They are soon joined by a creepy rune-reading child and her nursemaid, a runaway teenage couple, a mean-spirited man with a horse-drawn wagon laded with mysterious wares, and a gifted storyteller with a single white swan wing in place of a left arm. As this motley crew try to escape the pestilence pressing in from the coasts, their nights are haunted by the howls of an unseen wolf who mysteriously manages to keep pace with them. And as the dark secrets that each member of the company harbours are gradually revealed, horrific deaths occur one by one, described in stomach-churning detail. For a narrative driven by its action-packed plot, it is stunning how Maitland manages to sustain a gothic, claustrophobic air that at times recalls Edgar Allan Poe. Merry Olde England this is not. Most characters are also fully and realistically fleshed out, especially the narrator, whose own secret is handled in a clever and poignant way. The one exception is that of the rune-reader Narigorm, whose characteristics - pale, female, emotionless, speaks of doom - are rather run-of-the-mill creepy child stuff. The writer's incorporation of the actual historical customs is also fascinating, such as the village wedding held for two cripples: 'It is said that if you marry two cripples together in the graveyard at the community's expense it will turn away divine wrath and protect the village from whatever pestilence or sickness rages around it.' This is a ceremony at once comic and macabre, especially when the villagers proceed to ensure that the wedding is consummated. The only thing that spoils the novel is the rather hokey ending that calls to mind -grade horror movie franchises, the kind with a twist at tjhe end to set up the sequel. This is not a damning flaw though - there are many pages to read before that destination, and this journey really is worth experiencing in and of itself

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    CAN YOU DECIPHER THE LIES?

    The protagonist is burdened with eight seemingly helpless refugees as he flees the pestilence (later to be called ¿The Black Plague) across 1348 England. His willingness to allow them to accompany him and is refusal to sneak away from them later are among the very few clues to his secret. The other members of the party have their own secrets or lies. Revealing a lie leads to death. The reader is challenged to guess the lies or secrets. It was not too difficult to correctly guess the secret being hidden by Pleasance, Rodrigo and Jofre, Cygnus, and Narigorm. I was also close to guessing Osmond and Adela¿s secret as well. The clues for Zophiel and Camelot are much more subtle.<BR/><BR/>The author touches on the nature of truth and good and evil although perhaps a bit superficially or simplistically. However, it is important to believe in evil if you are to believe that the events that transpire are possible. If the idea of using a Ouija board is abhorrent to the reader, this is unlikely to pose a problem. Since the troupe seeks to avoid the pestilence, the reader sees the common horrors associated with The Black Plague from a distance - the mass graves, the stench, and the black crosses drawn on abandoned homes. What the reader experiences directly are the horrors of an empty stomach, lack of shelter and protection from the elements, fear of anyone encountered that could be a robber or that could carry the pestilence, and horror of a grey, wet and muddy environment without the joy of sunshine and warmth. The ending may leave some disgruntled, but few will find it other than surprising.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Characters

    The character development is rich and empathetic. Their deepth painted wonderful pictures in my mind. Their interaction with each other feels believable for a group of very different people forced to rely on each other's company for both physical and emotional survival.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 7, 2014

    It¿s been three days since I finished ¿Company of Liars¿ and I¿m

    It’s been three days since I finished “Company of Liars” and I’m still not sure what to think of it. Part of the novel is dark, disturbing and unsettling, and the other part is mostly ‘meh’. In this book, we meet with nine travellers, joined together by fate more than anything else, who try to escape from the Plague wrestling its wray through England. The protagonist, Camelot, a scarred, one-eyed seller of relics, is a cynical, sarcastic protagonist, but nevertheless enjoyable to read about. There’s a bunch of superstitution thrown in as well, folklore, and the presence of an unknown evil, which we never truly meet, but is almost certainly there. Whether it is the wolves of the Bishop, as one of the characters proclaims at some point during their trip, or destiny, or the Plague itself, its chasing them, and sending a sense of dread and foreboding at our little group.

    While I generally liked the plot, the references and reimagining of the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, I wasn’t too impressed by the writing. Some passages were pure gold, with descriptions so masterfully crafted they made me jealous. But the pacing was off sometimes, and generally very slow. It took pages and pages to progress from one place to the other, and we got way too much time stuck inside Camelot’s head, which made me feel claustrophobic.

    The ending was a bit disappointing. Up until then, most of the folklore and superstition had been reduced to just that – folklore and superstition. But then, the book takes a complete turn, throw in some supernatural elements and decides to call that an ending. Not that impressive.

    Nevertheless, I did enjoy this book. It’s an intriguing mix of historical fiction, mystery, suspense and atmospheric writing. Too bad for the ending and the dragging passages, or it would’ve been an absolutely great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2013

    mystery and middle-ages, marvelous

    Each character has a hidden secret. You'll wonder who will reveal their secret next. The beliefs and life in the middle-ages are large factors in the plot. Some members of our book club found it dark and gruesome, but that is how it was then. It is a quick read with plenty to keep the reader interested.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I really enjoyed the characters in this book and the suspense.

    I loved the main character, and how he narrates the story. Wonderful history, great characters, but my only complaint was that she could have used some humor. I enjoyed this book very much though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 17 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1