One wintry night, a woman is pulled from the sea at Porlock Weir. Most people think she is dead, but Sara and her family take the woman in and she is revived. The woman is Janiveer and she is a witch. Suddenly, the plague descends on the village and Janiveer says she will stop it but only for a price. Is anyone prepared to give their own life to save the others.
I am a fan of Karen Maitland’s medieval mysteries and this one did not disappoint. As always, the cast of characters are diverse and interesting whilst remaining true to their time. There are some really awful villains, some clear heroes and one, the dwarf Will, who may well be somewhere in between, but Maitland is able to bring all their characters to life and to make them all interesting and rounded so that one really wants to read more about them.
In this case, the heroine is Sara who “loses” her family in various ways during the advent of the plague but gets together with Will and some of the other people in the village to try and defeat Janiveer and get back to some sort of normality. Of course, those times were hard, and Maitland does not shy away from showing the really difficult lives that the people endured. Nevertheless, endure they do, and come out fighting in the end.
Another great novel by Karen Maitland and another one I highly recommend.