The historical Lady Macbeth was an altogether more nuanced woman than the striving, difficult character in Shakespeare's play. As novelist King reveals in this thoroughly researched and intriguing tale, the real eleventh-century Lady Gruadh turned a forced marriage to Scottish King Mac Bethad into a powerhouse partnership. Wanda McCaddon's fine, perceptive narration is key to the work's success. Her voice lilting, she enlivens the paragraphs of historical information and drives the narrative vividly through adventure, romance, and danger. She also imbues the main characters with enough personality - here an inflection, there a shift in accent - to clarify a character's motivation without getting in the way. This is just the ticket for lovers of the best-quality historical fiction.
Lady Macbeth takes listeners into the heart of 11th-century Scotland, painting a vivid picture of Gruadh, the last female descendent of the country's most royal line. Married, pregnant, then quickly widowed, she is forced to wed her husband's murderer, the warlord Macbeth. Determined to protect her interests and those of her infant son, she vows to preserve her family's legacy at any cost.
©2008 Susan Fraser King; (P)2008 Tantor
"Based on historical evidence and recent theories of the era, this is an epic tale written in high-voltage prose. King's novel will thrill lovers of Shakespeare adaptations and delight anyone who wants to enjoy a ripping tale of love and ambition." (Publishers Weekly)
This is the kind of story where nothing much happens; you're supposed to be entertained by the mere fact that it takes place in an intriguing time and place--medieval Scotland. But the plot--such as it is--does no justice to the setting. It plods on in predictable, well-worn fashion, without a shred of originality. The characters are all Celtic clich?: a feisty heroine, a brave king and his warriors, an old woman who casts spells, and here and there a wicked Viking or Catholic priest. Ugh. One good thing is that you can play this audiobook in the background while you're doing yardwork or housework and not miss anything if your attention wanders.
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