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Enter Three Witches
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About the Author

CAROLINE B. COONEY has written more than 75 novels for young adults. Her books have sold more than fifteen million copies and have been printed in many languages. She lived in Connecticut for many years, but has recently moved to South Carolina. Please visit her online at www.carolinebcooneybooks.com.

Reviews

Gr 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 2007 Reed Business Information.

Cooney (The Face on the Milk Carton; Code Orange) fashions a compulsively readable, behind-the-scenes peek into the rise and fall of Lord and Lady Macbeth, told from the points of view of several of the play's minor characters plus a handful of invented ones. As the central tale proceeds inexorably from triumph to betrayal to tragedy, several subplots unfold. Sweet-natured Lady Mary (daughter of the Thane of Cawdor) was sent to learn the domestic arts from elegant but icy Lady Macbeth. Her circumstances take a turn for the worse when her father is declared a traitor to the king, her fiance dies in battle, and she is offered in marriage to Seyton, Macbeth's henchman, a ruthless man who will do whatever it takes to acquire a fortune. Banquo's son fights in his first battle and then must determine where his loyalties lie when Macbeth's thugs kill his father. Sturdy, independent-minded Swin runs the kitchen with an iron fist but dispenses unexpected kindness on the sly. Meanwhile, embittered Ildred comes to terms with a terrible betrayal and eventually rediscovers a rewarding way to live. These briskly narrated plot lines and more unfold in bite-size scenes, each prefaced by a related quote from the Bard's play. Thus, each of Shakespeare's lines gets enough space so that it can be savored by readers who might otherwise be intimidated by the dense, unfamiliar language. This more human-scale vision offers an easy way in for readers new to the play, and will also reward those familiar with the grand tragedy. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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