Lady Macbeth

Del Rey: Ballantine. Aug. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780593722565. $28.99. FANTASY
Lady Roscille has left everything she knows in France to become the wife of the Thane of Glamis, Macbeth. She is aware that, as his wife, she will be subject to the whims of her warrior husband and his clan, with little agency of her own. Yet Roscille might have her own power. The whispers since her childhood, the veil she is forced to wear over her unusual eyes, and her unusual beauty all play into the rumors of her being a witch. Roscille soon learns that her husband has his own occult dealings, which lead to a prophecy few would imagine. If Roscille is herself a witch, then Macbeth will use her power to solidify his own destiny. The novel’s prose is solid, but Roscille seems to waffle at times between being a misunderstood young woman with little agency and one whose machinations set off the full course of events.

CORRECTION: This review originally misspelled the name Roscille; LJ regrets the error.

VERDICT Reid (Juniper & Thorn) takes some interesting liberties with this renowned Shakespeare character, and centering her retelling on a woman’s point of view will draw interest. The novel’s fantastical elements, like the witches, are exciting, and the multilingual prose is historically compelling.
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