The Witch’s Trinity by Erika Mailman

What a fascinating and beautifully well-written first novel.  It’s Germany in the year 1507, a time when pagan beliefs had not yet totally given over to Christianity.  The hamlet of Tierkinddorf is experiencing a devastating famine, and all are nearly crazed with hunger and desperate to discover the “witch” who has caused the misery.   Suspicion soon falls on Gude, an an elderly and sometimes confused woman who lives with her son Jost, his wife Irmeltrud and their two children, Alke and Matern.  This is familiar territory, with hysteria spreading throughout the town (Arthur Miller’s The Crucible) and the arrival of the friar who carries with him a copy of Malleus Maleficarum, a guide to extracting confessions from accused witches.  Nonetheless, it is riveting and will remain with you long after you read the last page.  Highly recommended.

My rating: 

6 thoughts on “The Witch’s Trinity by Erika Mailman

  1. I really liked this novel. Mailman did a wonderful job of evoking the atmosphere of a medieval village and the horror of the witchcraft hysteria. Mailman’s pacing is absolutely spirited as she takes the reader from one moment to the next without losing a beat. The novel read like an old Grimm fairy tale before they were sanitized. My only issues were that some of the characters were a little too black and white and the ending was pulled a little too neatly for my tastes. However, overall it was an enjoyable read that stays with you long after you put it down.

  2. Thanks for your comments. I love the comparison to the old Grimm’s fairy tales. Can’t wait to hear your comments on Oryx and Crake.

  3. I will check out the book you mention; thanks for that. I always keep a running list of books to read. For modern historical fiction (if that’s not an oxymoron), I also love Sarah Waters’ work, esp. Tipping the Velvet. 🙂

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