Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney

Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney

Lady Mary is a ward of Lord and Lady Macbeth whose life is forever changed when her father, Lord Cawdor, betrays the Scottish king -- and is hanged as a traitor. In an instant, Mary has lost both her father and future. Now she's trapped in a castle with a power-hungry couple who will do anything to get what they want -- and are willing to crush anyone in their way. Including Mary. As the murderous events of Shakespeare's play unfold around her, Mary must struggle to survive -- and do what she can to prevent more deaths. But can a lone girl save lives when a legion of Scottish lords cannot?


Having seen Macbeth performed live, I was really excited to read the actual play. Remembering I had this in my TBR I started it as soon as I could- and really enjoyed it!

Caroline B. Cooney is a terrific writer. One of my favorite series ever (The Face on the Milk Carton) is written by her so I was beyond excited to start this. Luckily this was another excellent read and is perfect for those who have read Shakespeare's play as well as those who haven't.

To begin with, Enter Three Witches wasn't a retelling of Macbeth, but rather a story of Macbeth. It was pretty much the entire play written into novel format with new characters, dialogue, etc. The novel started with background on the Macbeth's and the main character, Lady Mary. It was interesting to read a side of the story not introduced in the original play and to see things from the perspective of different characters.

Lady Mary was a determined and sweet character who changed a lot over the course of the novel. At first she was more timid and shy, but as the story progressed she realized how important it was to take a stand and be brave as so much turmoil was happening around her. The story was told mainly through Mary's perspective, but also through the perspective of Fleance, Seyton, and two maids.

Of those four, Fleance was the only one who had a role in the original play. Seyton was mentioned in Shakespeare's play, but not by name, and only briefly. The two maids were also of Caroline's own creation. I really liked being able to see the play through the eyes of such a variety of characters. Each of them had their own ideas/opinions of what was happening and the reader could get better involved in the story.

Enter Three Witches was exciting and suspenseful, and watching all the turmoil and death occur surrounding Macbeth kept me on the edge of my seat and I was always wondering: who will be next? There were a lot of characters, so I sometimes had a hard time keeping everyone straight, but the main characters definitely stood out and I liked reading about their trials and triumphs. There are definitely a lot of creepy, even scary, events unfolding, so younger readers might be frightened!

Readers who haven't read the original play will still understand this, and may like it even more. It's another exciting and mysterious novel by Caroline B. Cooney. I definitely recommend checking it out!

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

September 1, 2008 (paperback)/Scholastic/288 Pages/Young Adult

Source: Bought (paperback)
Other books by this author: If the Witness Lied


  1. This sounds very interesting, and look that I'm not big fan of Good Ole Will.

    But I like the idea of expanding on the play and playing with other aspects of it all.

    Thanks for the review.

  2. I havent heard of this book before, but I love that it's like a new version of the play. :) Great review.

  3. I havent heard of this book before, but Great review.

  4. So "The Scottish Play" is my favorite of Shakespeare's plays, and something about the three witches has always captures my attention!

    However, I've a bit worried about the Lady Mary character. Throwing her in there--someone sweet whom everyone seems to like--just to narrate the story makes her sound a little Mary Sue-ish. Hopefully she's not?


  5. This looks like a really interesting new angle on the traditional story. Will add it to my TBR list. Thanks for the review!

    I am spreading the word on a new radio show I recently started listening to called The Book Report - it is a fun show with a fast pace and some really interesting interviews and readings. Check out if you are interested, they have the stations and times there.

  6. Awesome! I had this book on my TBR, but I didn't realize it was an actual retelling (I thought it was a spinoff). I'm even more excited to read it now! I've wanted to read Macbeth for so long now, but I really don't like reading plays. I'm so excited to have the story in novel format now!

  7. Thanks for the comments everyone- I definitely recommend trying this book!

    Lori- I see what you mean, but I think Mary's character was integrated into the story very smoothly. I liked her a lot!

    Small- I hope you give this one a shot and that you enjoy it! It wasn't identical to the play (which I also love) but it was still very similar.

  8. Ah i am def going to give this one a shot as well!!! Also its funny you mention book report. Is that the one with Elaine Charles? I heard she was starting a book show on the radio so I assume thats it! I loved her from the miami herald.


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