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Marilyn StasioMaitland's…narrative strength is her skill at setting scenes that connect the harsh realities of medieval life with the no less cruel pagan customs and Christian rituals meant to explain and contain those realities. At every stop, the travelers become participants in some sad or horrific event, from the macabre "cripples' wedding" meant to fend off disease to the live burial of a suspected witch. Throughout it all, they remain pariahs, abandoned outside the walls of the not-so-civilized society of their day. No wonder they told stories to keep themselves warm.
—The New York Times