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The Third Witch

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  404 ratings  ·  59 reviews
In this stirring debut novel, Rebecca Reisert enters the world of Shakespeare's Macbeth, in which a young woman's search for vengeance plunges her into a legendary tale of deceit, murder, and retribution....
I have made my life an arrow, and His heart is my home. I have made my life a blade, and His heart is my sheath....So pledges Gilly, vowing to destroy Macbeth, the mo
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Washington Square Press (first published October 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 849)
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Lorihudeck
I absolutely LOVED this book. It may help that Macbeth was one of my favorite Shakespearan plays, but this wonderful twist on that tale is strong enough to stand on its own. Told by "the third witch" of the "bubble, bubble, toil and trouble" scenes, this is an involving, fast paced tale of revenge -- oh so fitting in Shakespeare's tale of someone who gets exactly what he deserves for his crimes. Of course, it was written by an English teacher who had taught the play for several years. It had to ...more
Gayla Bassham
Overwritten in a gratingly earnest, faux-medieval high-fantasy kind of way. By the end I was contemplating a drinking game based on the number of times characters said "'Tis" and "'Twas." Other distinguishing features: long passages in italics and an insistence on referring to one character as He and Him. The plot is fine, but the way the book was written and the ever-increasing Mary-Sue-osity of the main character irritated me beyond belief.
Jodie B
The concept for the book is very interesting. Using one of the witches to narrate the story of Macbeth is a completely novel idea, and with the proper execution, it could be a spectacular story.
There were a lot of things that I really enjoyed about the novel. I absolutely loved Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and I thought it was clever and imaginative of Rebecca Reisert to merge her story with the classic tale. It is a daunting task to transform the mystical into plausible events, and the author’s abil
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Zvi Jonathan
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
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dana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah
4.5 stars

As any worthwhile description will tell you, The Third Witch is the story of Shakespeare's MacBeth told from the point of view of one of the infamous witches.
Gilly has devoted herself to her revenge against the man she only calls "He" or "Him", which is revealed early on to be MacBeth. No reason is given - at least not until late in the novel - but her singleminded bloodthirstiness is reason enough to keep turinng the pages. Nevertheless, despite being consumed with a desire to kill, s
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Nuni
reaksi pertama setelah menutup halaman terakhir: wow....

"wow" nya itu untuk:
- keberanian untuk menceritakan ulang satu karya terkenal dan menuangkannya kembali dari sudut pandang yg berbeda...
- caranya bu guru satu ini menghidupkan karakter gilly salah satu dari three witches...

well...sampai beberapa halaman awal..agak susah untuk tetep setia baca buku ini..dengan segala upaya dari keyakinan bahwa ada sesuatu yg beda dari sekedar macbethnya ki william, kebosanan dan kaburnya cerita di awal halam
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Stacy
The Third Witch is a first novel for a teacher and Shakespere 'addict'. The premise of the book is set around the story of Macbeth and the "3 witches" he meets along the roadside. (Which is taken from the play "macbeth").
The story is told by Gilly, who starts out as a young girl. She has been befriended by two elderly ladies upon her wandering through the woods. She was raised by them after her family was 'lost' in a war-of-sorts. Gilly spends her day gathering herbs and foraging through fields
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Anne L.
The Third Witch was hard to put down. This book is a retelling of Shakespeare’s MacBeth from the perspective of the third “witch”. Gilly is a young girl living in a hut in the woods with Nettle and Helga. It’s not an easy life—gleaning small treasures from the battlefield dead and learning herb lore—but we soon learn of Gilly’s one goal in life: kill Him. It takes a long while until His identity is revealed, and longer still until you learn the impetus for Gilly’s seemingly unreasonable hatred, ...more
Ksenia
inth-grade English class. We even had to write our own added scene(s) to the play as a writing assignment, while attempting to use Shakespearean language. Last year for my birthday, Josh and I saw Patrick Stewart (yes, Mr. Jean-Luc Piccard, Professor X) play Macbeth in a stage version of the play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It made me love Macbeth even more. Normally, I am not a fan of modernizations of plays like that, especially on the stage, but that production took the cake. It was inc ...more
Daniel
I'm never quite sure how to feel about a story that picks up on a minor character from a more famous work. Sometimes it can be done quite well (see Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead) and other times be quite dull (see The Turquoise Ring).

This particular book does a great job of tying in many of the scenes from Shakespeare's Macbeth, and in that it is fun to watch the parallels ... to see what else might have been happening during some of the pivotal moments of the play, and then see how th
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Marsha
Nov 12, 2007 Marsha rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ?
This book is based on MacBeth, who was an actual historical figure, I guess. The main character is a young girl named Gilly who was taken in by two strange women when whe was found wandering as a child. It is now seven years later, and Gilly is obsessed with seeking revenge on Him, the man who violently ripped apart her childhood. The story of Gilly's past comes out slowly throughout the book, and Him ends up being MacBeth. There are some pretty violent images in the book (it is the middle ages) ...more
Grainne Rhuad
This medieval offering following the script laid down by the master bard was a rivetting and enjoyable look into behind the scenes maybes.
The story is of the "forgotten" surving child of Lady Macbeth who has made her life into a quest for revenge against her father's murderers: Her Mother and Macbeth. While the author freely admits she made a choice to adhere to Shakespeare's storyline rather than historical ones, you still get a sense that she took pains to make it as historically accurate as
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Jess Hartley
I'm a sucker for Shakespeare tie-ins, so when I saw The Third Witch was written from the perspective of one of the witches in MacBeth, I was intrigued.
I'm about halfway through, and have been nibbling at it for a few weeks now, a few pages at a time. That says something, I think - it's not driving me to gulp it down in one sitting.
It's an intriguing concept with lovely writing, but for me at least, the intrigue falls short. I figured out the "twist" in the first little bit of the book, and the l
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Marg
Jul 09, 2010 Marg rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any Shakespear or historical fiction buff.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joanna
Love Shakespeare? This book and the author's strong command of prose will feed your habit. And if you love Macbeth, then even better.

Rebecca Weisert pulls apart the threads of Macbeth's story through a tapestry of prose, poetic imaginings and an alchemy of suspense, unraveling into a 'What if' re-imagining of the Scottish thane and his consort/wife. As much as I love the play and Shakespeare, it's always been, for me, about Lady Macbeth. In this, I am not alone. Rebecca Reisert obviously shares
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Carroll
Macbeth from the perspective of one of the three witchs. My friend, Peggy, and I were dancing witches in Macbeth in college, but I still didn't understand it enough to keep up with this novel.
Sue Davis
Toward the end THE THIRD WITCH turned cheesy and juvenile, melodramatic, just dumb. On the positive side, I went back to reread MACBETH
Kylin Larsson
This is the story of Shakespeare's Macbeth as told from the point of view from one of the three witches. An original back story is created to explain why the youngest witch, raised by the other two since she was seven years old, wants to take revenge on Macbeth.

The writing was okay: good enough to move the story along and not be distracting in and of itself, but I felt it dragged a bit and had to force myself to keep reading. That said, I did want to keep reading to find out what happened. I thi
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Liliya
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Jennifer
So, maybe it would have been fine, but I think I had read it before - parts of it (lots of parts of it) seemed incredibly familiar. And if I can read a book and then completely forgot that I read it, that's not a great endorsement of the book. On the other hand, this is another book of the three I got at once, without paying much attention to what they were, because I thought "it would be interesting to read three books with Witch in the title and compare them." And unlike the other one, whateve ...more
Josh
So, this book was pretty cool. Ive never read a book where the main character is so bent on revenge. And the only problem I had with this book is that after reading it, I still dont feel like Ive read a book where the main character is so bent on revenge. The girl in this story, Gilly, is so obssessed with killing MacBeth that one would think she was consumed by her desire for revenge, yet she is such a kind person. Her sweet, kind personality makes her role as hateful revenge bent witch unbelie ...more
Phair
This book was such a pleasant surprise- the first book that I felt inclined to rave about in ages. I liked the language, the pace, the characters. Loved the way she integrated the actual Shakespeare dialog into the novel without it seeming forced. Reminded me of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead in that it had the play going on in the background while we saw bits of that action from a totally different point of view. Suggested this for f2f discussion group- we read it along with the play. ...more
Susan
It's so sad that I'm so picky lately. I had high hopes for this one, but it turned out not so great. I don't know anything about Macbeth so maybe that's why I didn't like this book. I like witches and folklore, but I didn't like Gilly. She had a multiple personality disorder or something. I am going to kill Him, I guess I won't kill Him, maybe I will kill Him, maybe not, should I kill Him? Holy cow--make a decision already! If your life is an arrow, then just get the job done. If not, move on! G ...more
Wendy
This is the telling of Macbeth from the perspective of one of the three witches, a teenaged girl named Gilly. It's a coming of age story that takes place in 11th-Century Scotland and focuses on Gilly's desire for revenge. It might have been written for young adults (I don't really know), but it's an interesting story for adults as well.

Fast paced, but poetic enough to retain the mood of Macbeth:
"I am a gapeseed, a strutting hobbledee horse, full of fury and threats but able to do nothing but pl
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Clay Yearsley
Mildly entertaining. I liked how the author, who clearly has a deep understanding of MacBeth, was able to weave the dialog and scenes from the play into her story. I didn't like that it took 40% of the book to get on with it. I didn't particularly care for the main character, and since it's 1st person (except one fairly bizarre chapter), that's a hard thing to overcome. I think "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" did a much better job of molding Shakespeare into something new, yet familiar.

Peyton
I really enjoying this book. I love behind the scenes stories, and the Witches from MacBeth have always fascinated me. My one problem was the singular-minded stubbornness of the protagonist. Her refusal to listen to the wisdom of her elders got a little irritating after a while.

All in all, though, an interesting exploration of the story and characters surrounding the "Scottish Play."
Roberto
A retelling of the famous Shakespeare´s play " Macbeth". In this novel , we learn the truth about the " double, double, toil and trouble" fame witches. At first I was finding the novel a little slow but then it gathers interest as the tale is unravelled. Oh boy , this novel portrays an even more wicked Lady Macbeth... It will help if you are acquainted with the play to full understand this book.
Matty
Sep 18, 2013 Matty rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
This was a retelling of Macbeth from the perspective of the youngest of the three witches. Some times I really loved it and sometimes not so much. The main character really got on my nerves sometimes and for the first few chapters I considered giving up on the book. I'm glad I read it all though. It was interesting, had lots of twists and action, and was an easy read.
treehugger
Nov 03, 2007 treehugger rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of a good tale
Shelves: own_it
I read it a little while ago..maybe 2 years? But I do remember that this book really surprised me and surpassed any expectations I had for it. I had picked it up at a used book store and just thought it would get me through a lengthy plane ride - and it did, but also so much more! You'll just have to read it to find out, but it took me 24 hours, I just couldn't put it down.
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