cover image Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth

Ava Reid. Del Rey, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-72256-5

In this tour de force, bestseller Reid (A Study in Drowning) brilliantly brings to life an alternate version of Shakespeare’s villainess that leans into the play’s supernatural elements. Seventeen-year-old Roscille, the daughter of the Duke of Breizh, has been sent away from her homeland to wed Macbeth, the Thane of Glammis. Roscille is no ordinary bride, however. She is rumored to have been cursed by a witch, and, as a result, one look into her eyes is said to drive men mad. Adjusting to life with her husband is difficult; she is immediately parted from her handmaiden, whom she suspects has been killed, and is forced to care for herself. Roscille gets another shock when the thane leads her to a locked chamber in the depths of his castle, where he keeps three witches captive, who prophesy that he will gain the title of Thane of Cawder, before becoming the King of Scotland. Reid deftly subverts the expected plot beats, enhancing the play’s familiar story line by deepening not only her heroine, who is surprisingly sympathetic, but members of the supporting cast, such as Banquho’s son, Fléance. It’s a masterful reimagining. (Aug.)