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The Third Witch: A Novel Paperback – 1 Oct 2002

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (1 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743417720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743417723
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,062,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The Birmingham Post" (U.K.)

One of the most original first novels you're likely to find.



Betsy Tobin

Author of "Bone House"

A gripping tale of revenge and betrayal that yokes the reader from the early pages.



"Publishers Weekly"

Audacious....The supple language distantly evokes the poetry of the original.What's best here is the fetid atmosphere, and the intriguing exploration of the place of women in macho Scotland.



"The Birmingham Post" (U.K.)One of the most original first novels you're likely to find.

Betsy TobinAuthor of "Bone House"A gripping tale of revenge and betrayal that yokes the reader from the early pages.

"Publishers Weekly"Audacious....The supple language distantly evokes the poetry of the original.?What's best here is the fetid atmosphere, and the intriguing exploration of the place of women in macho Scotland.

"The Birmingham Post" (U.K.) One of the most original first novels you're likely to find.

Betsy Tobin Author of "Bone House" A gripping tale of revenge and betrayal that yokes the reader from the early pages.

"Publishers Weekly" Audacious....The supple language distantly evokes the poetry of the original. What's best here is the fetid atmosphere, and the intriguing exploration of the place of women in macho Scotland."

Book Description

R. S. Reisert's first novel takes one of the most celebrated stories of power and madness ever written and makes it her own by seeing its events through the eyes of a dispossessed young girl. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What an amazing story. It's written so descriptively that you feel you're there with Gilly, experiencing the elements, smelling the foul breath of the gatehouse keeper, feeling nervous for her when she gets into a 'tight fix', everything. You even find yourself sympathising with her lust for revenge, although it's not until later that you find out why it's so strong.

I loved the way the tale was interwoven within the storyline of 'Macbeth' but seen through the eyes of a young girl. For me (not being familiar with Macbeth) it brought the story to life and has given me a urge to read 'the original' for myself, just to see how the events depicted here fit into it.
This is one of those books that you just can't put down.
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Format: Paperback
I was hooked from page 1 and couldn't put this book down. I did not lose interest in a single paragraph.
The author who has been teaching William Shakespeare's Macbeth for decades has provided an exciting flip side if you will of the play, with the story of Gillyflower, a teenage girl, who is adopted by two old crones who live in the woods and are involved in herb lore and the like. This is not the first time , having viewed several movie versions of Shakespeare's Macbeth where the third witch is young and fairly attractive.

Gill is obsessed by her singleminded quest to kill Macbeth in revenge for the destruction of her homestead and the end of her idyllic childhood when she was a little girl. We are to find out a great secret of her parentage later in the book.
Gilly gets herself a job as a kitchen hand after disguising herself as a boy, the girl being disguised as a boy a common theme in many of Shakespeare's comedies.
Thereby we get to see something of what life would have been like for common folk, including the servants and serfs of the castle which Macbeth lived in, at the time
The narrative weaves in and out of the play , but in all parts we are rapt with attention to see that happens next until it all comes together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Gilly's plans help to put some very horrific acts by Macbeth into place, including murders and destruction of those she cares for.
It was quite difficult getting to grips with the benign presentation of the witches in Macbeth giving their own long speeches and dialogue which present a different story. but the author too has an explanation for this.
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Format: Paperback
Gillyflower is the third witch, one of the three crones who foretell his future to Macbeth in Shakespeare's play... but here, we have Gilly's own side of the story. She lives amongst the woods with Nettle and Mad Helga, robbing the dead of the battlefields of Scotland and selling potions to suspicious villagers, never far from accusations of witchcraft. She remembers the happier life she once led, and the man who destroyed it, whom she has sworn to destroy in her turn. When he saves her life, she finds out his identity, but for a peasant girl to come close enough to the greatest lord in the kingdom to kill him seems an impossible task, and would be, for anyone less than the resourceful Gilly.

Disguising herself as a servant boy, she gets work in the castle, moving ever closer to Macbeth. But in doing so, she risks not only her own life, but the lives of the servants who have befriended her, as well as Nettle and Mad Helga when she tries to persuade them to perform outlawed witchcraft.

This is a fabulous story, wonderfully told and full of humour to offset the harsher realities of mediaeval Scotland. Anyone who knows Macbeth will be amused by the intrusions of Shakespeare's lines into the dialogue, but it isn't absolutely necessary to know the play well (or maybe even at all) to enjoy the book. Though the twist in the tail is somewhat predictable, and the ending is pure gilt-covered romance, this is still a highly enjoyable combination of historical novel and boy's own adventure.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this up not quite knowing what to expect; the cover and blurb don't give much away! I'd never read Macbeth at school, on which this novel is based, and rather ashamedly confess to not knowing even the basic storyline! However, I am a big fan of historical novels, and anything with a hint of the dark arts or supernatural is a winner for me. I won't go into the story, but suffice it to say I was truly transported to the court of Macbeth; Rebeccar Reisert is such a talented writer. Her descriptions of people/places/situations are so thorough and tangible, it's almost as though you can see it played out in front of you. Her use of old Scottish expressions gave it a briliant authentic quality (I actually found myself reading it in a Scottish accent!) and added an extra dimension to the novel. I have recommended this book to several other friends who are also keen readers, and I hope they enjoy it as much as I did. Easily the best book I have read all year. (Oh, and I'll be getting a copy of Macbeth from the library to brush up on my Shakespeare!)
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