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Enter Three Witches Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-This is a novelized version of Shakespeare's grim tale of the depths to which the lust for power can plunge the human soul. Fourteen-year-old Lady Mary, a ward of Lord and Lady Macbeth, tells of the interweaving of events that cause her master's downfall and thrust her world into turmoil. She is a court favorite, being groomed to be mistress of her own castle when she weds. However, when her father betrays King Duncan and is hanged as a traitor, she is suddenly an outcast–demoted to the position of a mere scullery maid–whose very life is in constant danger. How she grows from being a pampered child to a young woman of strength and courage who must face her fate and try to prevent more lives from being crushed by her power-hungry guardians is the crux of this engaging tale. Both the chapters and their parts are introduced with pertinent lines from the play, and the text uses some of the actual dialogue as well. While it may be difficult at first, the language is so interesting and appropriate that readers will soon become comfortable with the elevated tone. Mary's fully developed character is plagued with doubts and fears, yet driven to do what is right and just. As part of the ever-growing genre of prose adaptations of the Bard's works, Cooney's novel can take its place at the top with Lisa Klein's Ophelia (Bloomsbury, 2006), providing its readers with an engaging, realistic tale that will catapult them toward wanting to experience Shakespeare's original play.–Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth, this novel follows the events of the play through the eyes of Lady Mary, the 14-year-old ward of Lord and Lady Macbeth. Quiet Mary is in a position to engage with various characters--from the kitchen staff to the witches to the Scottish royalty--and observe what goes on around her. After her father is killed as a traitor, Mary becomes vulnerable to the maelstrom of ambition and violence that sweeps through the Scottish court. Cooney writes an involving story that is laced with quotes from the play, but she isn't slavishly bound to the drama. Readers who know Macbeth will find this a fascinating, humanizing sidelight on the characters, while those new to the story will find Lady Mary's adventures reason enough to enjoy this unusual historical novel. In the appended author's note, Cooney comments on both the historical Macbeth and Shakespeare's play and instructs her audience "Now read Shakespeare's Macbeth." Given this reader-friendly introduction to the story, they might actually do so. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439711576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439711579
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
wow, this was a great novel, very suspenseful, and, although cooney has a different take on the story, it may be a great way to introduce middle school aged kids to shakespeare.
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Format: Hardcover
Caroline B. Cooney, author of FLIGHT #116 IS DOWN and many other action-packed teen novels, brings the story of Macbeth to life in ENTER THREE WITCHES. Murder, witches, betrayal, battles and even love are themes in this powerful historical tale.

Readers meet a teenager named Mary, ward of Lord Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth. Mary is the source of envy and disdain by the household staff, including Swin, the cook who knows about magic, and Ildred, full of sadness and desire for a better life. Mary thinks only of her betrothed and her father, far away while she learns about castle life.

However, a terrible battle changes everything. Mary's father is hanged as a traitor to the King, and Macbeth and his loyal followers --- Banquo, Fleance and Seyton --- are called heroes for killing enemies. Seyton turns out to have dark ambitions of his own and carries evil secrets. Mary now has no future and worries that she herself will be hanged.

When the King is murdered in Lord Macbeth's castle and his sons run away, Macbeth and his wife become king and queen. But something is wrong. Did the Princes or the King's servants kill him? Mary heard the Witches' predictions and knows that the murderer is still at large. Meanwhile, no one embraces the new king and queen. Anyone who goes against them in any way is murdered, and the body count piles up with suspicion.

One day, while riding, Fleance and his father are stopped by supposed robbers. But they are not interested in goods or horses and instead wield axes. Fleance fights and then flees to find the Princes and reclaim the throne from Macbeth. He also wants to learn the identities of the robbers and who sent them.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great retelling of the Macbeth story from the perspective of off stage or fictional characters. The main focus is Mary, daughter of the Thane of Cawdor who is a ward of the Macbeths. We also see the Macbeths from the point of view of two women servants and of Fleance, son of Banquo. We only see the Macbeths through these people's perspectives. Mary and Fleance grow as people throughout the book. It is a credible and engrossing variation on the familiar story, adding new insights into the drama.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
My first review was back in 2011. I just reread this again this past month and realized why I fell in love with this book in the first place. I have been in love with all of Shakespeare's plays. I didn't start with Romeo and Juliet like everyone else, I started with Macbeth.
Enter Three Witches is not remake like I thought it was but it actually tells the tale of the others in the play. It gives the play a completely different aspect and compliments the play in a way even Shakespeare would appreciate.
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Format: Hardcover
Caroline Cooney's ENTER THREE WITCHES tells of teen Lady Mary, a ward of the Macbeths whose life is changed when her father betrays the king and is hanged as a traitor. Mary's sent off the become a maid, but when King Duncan is murdered, Mary finds her new world is again threatened by court politics and intrigue. The fine representation of Shakespearian drama is well done and realistic here.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Love this book. I read it every time I want a story that will take over my life for a few days. Nice suspense, characters that grab you, and a creative take on an old story. The Scottish play is not my favorite of Shakespeare's, but this book is one I pick up with a smile every time.
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