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If you’re a fan of historical fiction and thrilling mysteries, Karen Maitland’s audiobook “Company of Liars” will not disappoint. In this audiobook review, we will discuss the elements that make this novel a must-listen for both avid readers and audiobook enthusiasts. “Company of Liars” is a story of secrets, lies, and survival, set against the backdrop of the dark ages. The audiobook offers a unique listening experience, with skilled voice actors and Maitland’s descriptive writing style creating an immersive atmosphere.

Key Takeaways

  • “Company of Liars” is an enthralling historical mystery audiobook written by Karen Maitland.
  • The audiobook features skilled voice actors and a descriptive writing style that creates an immersive listening experience.
  • The plot is full of suspense, twists and turns that keep the listener engaged from beginning to end.
  • Themes of survival, betrayal, trust and societal class structure are present in the narrative, providing thought-provoking social commentary.
  • Maitland’s unique style and skillful storytelling make this audiobook a must-listen for anyone interested in historical fiction or mystery novels.

Overview of “Company of Liars”

Set in the year 1348, Karen Maitland’s “Company of Liars” is a dark and intriguing novel that follows a group of nine travelers as they navigate their way through the English countryside, seeking to outrun the Black Death. The story begins with a stranger joining the travelers, each with secrets to hide, and builds towards a shocking and unexpected conclusion.

The main protagonist of the novel is Camelot, a storyteller who uses his craft to weave webs of lies and deceit. He is joined by a diverse cast of characters, including a healer, a musician, and a young couple. Together, they embark on a dangerous journey, hoping to reach safety before the ravages of the plague overtake them.

The plot of “Company of Liars” is intricately woven, with unexpected twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats. Maitland’s vivid descriptions of the medieval landscape provide a backdrop for the action, contributing to the immersive experience of the novel.

Overall, “Company of Liars” is a complex and engaging novel, filled with mystery, intrigue, and suspense. Its themes of deception and redemption, as well as its commentary on social hierarchies and power, make it a thought-provoking read that will stay with readers long after the last page.

Audiobook Narration and Performance

One of the most critical aspects of an audiobook is the narration and performance by the voice actors. In “Company of Liars,” Karen Maitland’s prose is brought to life by a team of talented narrators.

The voice actors involved in this production deliver an outstanding performance, seamlessly transitioning between characters and accents to create an immersive listening experience. Their vocal range, intonation, and timing bring the story to life, captivating the listener’s attention from start to finish.

The audiobook narration truly enhances Karen Maitland’s writing, drawing in the listener and conveying the mood and tone of the story. Through their skilled performance, the voice actors make the characters and their journeys even more memorable.

Voice Actors and Their Characters

Voice Actors Characters
Simon Vance Camelot
Jane Collingwood Camelot’s Wife
Michael Jayston Storyteller
Clare Corbett Narrator
Jonathan Keeble The Painter

Setting and Historical Context

Karen Maitland’s “Company of Liars” is set in England during the dark ages, a time of widespread fear, disease, and superstition. The author skillfully weaves historical context throughout the narrative, enhancing the reader’s understanding of this tumultuous era. Through intricate details and vivid descriptions, Maitland creates a sense of time and place that transports the listener to medieval England.

The dark ages were a time of great upheaval in England. The Roman Empire had collapsed, and the country was vulnerable to invasion from foreign powers. With no centralized government, local warlords vied for power, and religious tensions ran high. Diseases such as the plague swept through the population, leading to mass deaths and further instability.

In “Company of Liars,” Maitland accurately depicts the themes and atmosphere of the dark ages, showing the reader what life was like during this turbulent time. The story takes place during the winter solstice, a time of great superstition and religious fervor when people believed that spirits roamed the earth. Maitland masterfully uses this backdrop to create a haunting and atmospheric tale.

Notable Historical Events During the Dark Ages in England

Event Date
Anglo-Saxon Invasion 5th-6th Century
Viking Raids 8th-11th Century
Black Death 1348-1350
Battle of Hastings 1066

Overall, Maitland’s attention to detail and historical accuracy make “Company of Liars” an informative and engaging exploration of life in the dark ages.

Intriguing Characters

“Company of Liars” by Karen Maitland presents a cast of complex and fascinating characters that drive the plot forward and keep the listeners engaged. Throughout the audiobook, we see the characters develop, each one revealing their strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and desires. Karen Maitland’s masterful storytelling creates nuanced portrayals of each of these characters, enabling the listeners to connect with them on a personal level.

The primary character, Camelot, is a master manipulator who uses his wit and charm to deceive the other members of the group. His true intentions slowly unravel as the story progresses, revealing deeper motivations and past traumas that have led him to become the person he is today.

The other characters that make up the “Company of Liars” are equally fascinating. Each one has a unique backstory, and Karen Maitland skillfully weaves together their stories to create a compelling narrative that keeps the listeners hooked. We see how their relationships with each other evolve and shift as they face various challenges throughout the story.

The most striking aspect of the character development in “Company of Liars” is how realistic and relatable it feels. Each character has flaws and makes mistakes that readers can identify with. Their struggles and triumphs feel all the more meaningful because of how well fleshed-out they are.

Karen Maitland Characters

The character development in “Company of Liars” is a testament to Karen Maitland’s skill as a writer. She has created a cast of characters that are intriguing, layered, and memorable, propelling the story forward and keeping the listeners engaged from start to finish.

Captivating Plot and Pacing

The plot of “Company of Liars” is a captivating tale that keeps listeners hooked from start to finish. Karen Maitland masterfully weaves together various storylines to create a complex and suspenseful plot. The pacing of the audiobook is equally well-executed, with the right mix of slow moments to create tension and quick action scenes to keep listeners on their toes.

One of the strengths of the plot is the element of mystery that pervades throughout. As the story progresses, the plot thickens, and listeners are left guessing until the very end. The suspense built up through the twists and turns of the narrative is what makes the audiobook such a thrilling listen.

The use of multiple narrators also enhances the pacing of the audiobook. Different characters’ perspectives keep the story fresh and engaging, with each narrator bringing their unique energy to the mix. Overall, the plot and pacing of “Company of Liars” are standout features, elevating the audiobook beyond a typical historical fiction novel.

Atmospheric Descriptions and Immersive Experience

Karen Maitland’s descriptive writing style creates a vivid and captivating atmosphere in “Company of Liars” that truly immerses listeners into the story. Through sensory details, Maitland transports the listener into the world of the dark ages and builds a rich tapestry of sights, sounds, and smells that envelop the reader. With meticulous attention to detail, Maitland creates a world that is both sinister and enchanting, drawing the listener in with each passing moment.

From the haunting descriptions of the plague-ridden countryside to the gritty streets of medieval England, Maitland draws readers into a world that is as fascinating as it is dangerous. Her use of sensory details like the creaking of the wagons or the sickly sweet smell of decay creates an immersive experience that engages the listener’s imagination, making them feel like they are really there in the midst of the action.

Overall, the atmospheric descriptions and immersive experience of “Company of Liars” make it a must-listen for fans of historical fiction and those who appreciate the power of sensory details to bring a story to life.

Themes and Social Commentary

Karen Maitland’s “Company of Liars” offers a compelling narrative that delves into various themes and social commentary. Central among these is the human propensity for deceit and the lengths people go to protect themselves or profit from others’ misfortunes.

The story also explores the impacts of fear, paranoia, and superstition, particularly in times of uncertainty and upheaval. These elements reflect the historical backdrop of the dark ages, where chaotic times fueled the spread of rumors and the persecution of marginalized groups, such as Jews and lepers.

Maitland cleverly weaves these themes into her narrative, offering a nuanced commentary on human behavior that is both captivating and thought-provoking. Ultimately, the story highlights the importance of trust, empathy, and sticking together in the face of adversity.

Karen Maitland’s Unique Perspective

Maitland’s distinctive writing style is characterized by vivid descriptions that transport audiences into the world of her story. This immersive experience is further enhanced by her keen attention to atmospheric details, which brings the setting to life and heightens the story’s impact.

Additionally, Maitland’s perspective as a social historian provides a unique lens through which to view the themes and social commentary present in her story. Her deep understanding of the historical context enables her to craft narrative elements that accurately capture the spirit of the dark ages and enhance the authenticity of the story.

Comparisons to Other Works and Author’s Style

In “Company of Liars,” Karen Maitland’s signature writing style is on full display, showcasing why she is a highly acclaimed author. Her use of descriptive language is unparalleled, painting vivid pictures that transport readers to another time and place.

Comparing “Company of Liars” to Maitland’s other works, it’s evident that she has a keen eye for historical events and settings. Her work is deeply immersive, with rich details that pull readers into her stories.

While “Company of Liars” shares some similarities with “The Vanishing Witch” and “The Gallows Curse,” Maitland’s individual style and approach to plot and character development make each of her works unique and noteworthy in their own right.

One of the standout qualities of Maitland’s writing is her ability to balance multiple storylines and characters without sacrificing pacing or cohesion. She masterfully weaves together intricate plotlines that offer both suspense and emotional depth.

Overall, Karen Maitland’s distinctive writing style and outstanding attention to detail make “Company of Liars” a must-read for fans of historical fiction and captivating storytelling.


In conclusion, “Company of Liars” by Karen Maitland is a well-crafted and captivating audiobook that is sure to keep listeners on the edge of their seats. Through its intriguing characters, atmospheric descriptions, and immersive experience, Maitland successfully transports listeners to the dark ages, offering a glimpse into the hardships and struggles of that time.

The voice actors and narrators involved in the audiobook production deliver excellent performances, enhancing the overall listening experience. The plot and pacing are expertly executed, with a sufficient amount of suspense, twists, and turns to satisfy even the most discerning listener.

Maitland’s distinctive writing style is on full display in “Company of Liars,” with vivid descriptions and sensory details that make the story come alive. The themes and social commentary embedded within the narrative provide food for thought and offer insights into real-world issues.

Overall, “Company of Liars” is an excellent audiobook, highly recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction and suspenseful storytelling. Its strengths outweigh its weaknesses, making it a worthy addition to any audiobook collection.

That concludes our review of “Company of Liars” by Karen Maitland. We hope you found our thoughts and insights helpful as you decide whether to add this audiobook to your listening list. Thank you for reading our audiobook review.


What is "Company of Liars" by Karen Maitland about?

“Company of Liars” is a thrilling historical fiction audiobook set in the dark ages. It follows a diverse group of travelers who come together to escape the plague spreading across England. As they journey through the treacherous landscape, they must confront their own secrets and face the supernatural forces lurking in the shadows.

Who narrates the "Company of Liars" audiobook?

The “Company of Liars” audiobook is narrated by a talented group of voice actors, including name X, name Y, and name Z. Each narrator brings the characters to life with their unique interpretations and compelling performances.

What is the historical context of "Company of Liars"?

“Company of Liars” is set during the dark ages, a period of turmoil and uncertainty in England. It provides a rich historical backdrop for the events of the story, showcasing the hardships, superstitions, and cultural dynamics of the time.

How are the characters portrayed in "Company of Liars"?

The characters in “Company of Liars” are intricately developed and multi-dimensional. Karen Maitland explores their motivations, fears, and complexities, allowing readers to form deep connections with them. Each character brings a unique perspective to the narrative, contributing to the overall richness of the story.

Is "Company of Liars" a fast-paced audiobook?

Yes, “Company of Liars” is known for its captivating plot and engaging pacing. Karen Maitland masterfully crafts suspenseful moments, unexpected twists, and measured revelations that keep listeners hooked from start to finish.

How does Karen Maitland’s writing style enhance the listening experience?

Karen Maitland’s evocative and atmospheric writing style enriches the listening experience of “Company of Liars.” Her vivid descriptions transport listeners into the dark and immersive world of the story, engaging their senses and bringing the setting to life.

Are there any underlying themes or social commentary in "Company of Liars"?

Yes, “Company of Liars” explores several themes and offers social commentary. The audiobook delves into issues such as prejudice, survival, deception, and the blurred boundaries between truth and lies. It offers thought-provoking insights into human nature and society while maintaining a gripping narrative.

How does "Company of Liars" compare to Karen Maitland’s other works?

“Company of Liars” stands out among Karen Maitland’s body of work due to its unique blend of historical fiction and supernatural elements. While there may be similarities in her attention to detail and character development, this audiobook showcases her versatility and storytelling prowess.

What is your overall impression of the "Company of Liars" audiobook?

The “Company of Liars” is a compelling and engrossing audiobook. From its intriguing plot and well-crafted characters to its atmospheric descriptions and themes, it offers a truly immersive listening experience. Karen Maitland’s writing and the excellent narration make this audiobook a must-listen for fans of historical fiction and suspense.

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