Monday, August 18, 2008

"Enter Three Witches" by Caroline B. Cooney

The book starts in a kitchen, with the cook, Swin, telling of her alleged  visit the Weird Ones on the moor last night. Mary of Shiel, a young ward of Lord and Lady Macbeth, is shocked, so when Swin escapes again to the moor, she follows.
In the meantime, told from the points of view of Fleance and Seyton, one the coddled son of Banquo, the other Macbeth's squire, a battle rages outside of the castle. Fleance is ordered to stay away from the fighting, with Seyton to watch over him. The shame is overwhelming – doesn't his father think he's good enough? But when Seyton kills and Fleance takes the credit, the young lord is satisfied.
Mary, however, is not. She's currently terrified out of her wits. After following Swin across the moor for a ways, she quickly got lost and ran into the Weird Ones. She demands to know what they've done with Swin – but when the three witches tell her to run, she gladly does. On the way, she sees the triumphant commanders of the army, Banquo and Macbeth, on the heath. What are they doing here?  she wonders, and listens in.
"All hail the Thane of Cawdor... All hail Macbeth, who shall be king hereafter!"
And so begins a bloodbath that leads to the rule of King and Queen Macbeth, the murder of wives and children, and moving forests come to battle the blood-crowned king...
In this clever retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth, told from five different points of view, our young heroine goes from cowardly little heiress, to cowardly little penniless girl, to brave (in some circumstances) little heiress again. The style is quite unique and sucks you into the dark story of madness, hatred, and unexpected heroics against unexpected villains. I give this book 4-5 waves (as in, ocean waves).