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Enter Three Witches Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2008
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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.
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.
Top customer reviews
Macbeth is not a story about the horrible monster who is justly slain by a valliant hero. The "heros" are a pack of loathsome, snivelling cowards. Macbeth, on the other hand, although I can't deny he's evil, is a compelling character who holds the reader's sympathies until his death. And after. Mrs. Cooney, however, removes Macbeth almost completely from the story. The parts of the original plot that are shown seem contrived, and its characters are either wholly goodhearted and virtuous or wicked beyond hope of redemption, which leaves all of them seeming empty and inhuman.
I also don't understand why Macbeth's wickedness should autumatically carry down the chain of command to his servants. I like Seyton.
As a matter of fact, I STILL liked Seyton in Mrs. Cooney's version, mostly because I hoped he really would kill that little brat of a girl.
Anyway, I'd only recommend this to someone who either does not know or care about or ever intends to read the play, or to somebody who is idealistic beyond the point of sanity.
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.
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.
Living in the castle with the new Queen, who keeps washing her hands, Mary tries to figure out a way to save herself as well as all of Scotland from Macbeth. But who can she trust? The book follows her, Fleance, Swin and Ildred as they sort out the truth and their futures.
Stick with this story through the introduction of the characters. The action builds, and readers soon will be turning pages as terrible evil fights with heroic deeds. ENTER THREE WITCHES may even inspire young people to read (or re-read) MACBETH!
--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
Lady Mary is set for life. She has a bright future complete with a betrothal to a handsome boy, a castle of her own, and more than she could ever want. When her father is hanged for treachery, that bright future is ripped from her fingers. Instead, she becomes a maid in the household of Lord and Lady Macbeth, a dangerously powerful couple who will do anything to get their way.
As people drop dead and the events from Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library) unfold around Mary, she finds that life is harder than she once believed.
This novel is enchanting, but difficult to follow at times. It bounces from character to character within the chapter, allowing you to see all that is happening at once. Ms. Cooney ties the novel in with Shakespeare's Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library) using both events and quotes taken directly from the play. This is definitely recommended for the history buff or Shakespeare fan.
Reviewed by: Jessica Cave