There are so many novels about medieval times but to be honest, I only enjoy a small amount of them. Many of them are either too focused on war or too focused on love and chivalry - or maybe I'm just not that easy to please. So when I was lent "A Company of Liars" written by Karen Maitland I didn't really know what to expect but actually, it was really quite good.
A lone camelot is travelling through medieval England, fleeing the plague and making a living by selling fake relics to naive people at fairs and gatherings. A series of incidents leads to him being joined by several other travellers and toghether they try to avoid the dangers of the road while keeping free of plague-ridden villages. But the people of the travelling party are not at all what they appear to be as it is slowly revealed. A magician with an embalmed merchild, a pregnant woman and her husband, two musicians, a midwife, a story-teller, an old camelot and a strange-looking child. They are all hiding something, however, one of them has a secret that is darker and more vicious than the secrets of all of the others.
I liked it, I really did. I liked the fact that it was not too easy to guess the secrets and how they would impact the travellers. It kept me on my toes guessing and following the plot as it was all unveiled.
If you like "The Owl Killers" by Karen Maitland or "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett, you will probably like "A Company of Liars" as well. It paints a picture of the medieval times which is believable yet easy to understand and it's explanation the role of religion in village life is really interesting.