Friday, May 28, 2010

L is for Lady

The next letter is the Alphabet In Historical Fiction Challenge is L. I chose to Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King. Let me start by saying that I don't like the Shakespearean play, I struggled with it, it was violent and vicious. But I wanted to know the "real" Macbeth. Yep, curiosity! It's the bane of my existence!

Here's the blurb for Lady Macbeth:
I am granddaughter to a king and daughter to a prince, a wife twice over, a queen as well. I have fought with sword and bow, and struggled fierce to bear my babes into this world. I have loved deeply and hated deeply, too...

Lady Gruadh, called Rue, is the last female descendant of Scotland's most royal line. Married to a powerful northern lord, she is widowed while still carrying his child and forced to marry her husband's murderer: a rising warlord named Macbeth. Encountering danger from Vikings, Saxons, and treacherous Scottish lords, Rue begins to respect the man she once despised--and then realizes that Macbeth's complex ambitions extend beyond the borders of the vast northern region. Among the powerful warlords and their steel-games, only Macbeth can unite Scotland--and his wife's royal blood is the key to his ultimate success.

Determined to protect her small son and a proud legacy of warrior kings and strong women, Rue invokes the ancient wisdom and secret practices of her female ancestors as she strives to hold her own in a warrior society. Finally, side by side as the last Celtic king and queen of Scotland, she and Macbeth must face the gathering storm brought on by their combined destiny.

From towering crags to misted moors and staunch fortresses, Lady Macbeth transports readers to the heart of eleventh-century Scotland, painting a bold, vivid portrait of a woman much maligned by history.

I loved the book! I was hooked right from the beginning. The way that it's written it almost felt like poetry. I was experiencing everything that Rue was, the fear, the pride, the need for revenge and the emotions just kept on pilling up. And the setting was breathtaking, even the winter was something to be experienced.

Like I mentioned before I was never a big fan of William Shakespeare's MacBeth. I can't really pinpoint exactly what turned me off of the play, it could have my teacher or could have been that I truly didn't want to read it back then. But now I am curious on how the bard perceived Macbeth and his lady, I wonder if the tales he heard and then created were so one-dimensional...Man, I might just have to re-read the play.

I truly enjoyed the characters, all of them, the good and the bad. Even though at times I had a hard time pronouncing and remembering names. I ended making notes on my bookmark. I found Rue, strong, independent, and intelligent, she was comfortable with her mother's paganism and she followed herself, she was high-spirited and proud of her heritage. I instantly liked Macbeth, he was strong warrior with a sense of honor and justice that was overwhelming at times. He wanted vengeance for what had happen to his father but had the patience to wait to strike. There was a kindness about him that was very appealing.

Wonderful book! I highly recommend it.

Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King (4.5/5) Historical Fiction; Published: Crown (2/2008); New Author; Alphabet Historical Challenge (12); Year of the Historical (9); Books 2010 (58);


Marg said...

I read this a couple of years ago. I liked it, but didn't love it, mainly because I felt as though I was held at arms length away from the action.

Rowenna said...

Sounds interesting--I love reimaginings of famous stories! Makes me feel a bit rebellious :) Thanks!

Leya said...

Marg, I can understand that. :)

Rowena, I love reading different views of famous stories....even when they're slightly changed. Gives you a different perspective.