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Lady Macbeth

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3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,499 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
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 war-lord named Macbeth. Encountering danger from Vikings, Saxons, and treacherous Scottish lords, Rue begins to respect the man she once despised–and the ...more
Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Published February 12th 2008 by Crown (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Colleen Martin
This was a real disappointment. In the hands of a better writer, this could have been an amazing story, but Susan Fraser King doesn't engage the reader at all. The main character, Gruadh (Lady Macbeth), is supposed to be a fierce warrior queen, so why does the author make her sound so sniveling, weak and, well, womanish? I didn't care a fig for the secondary characters either, and try keeping them all straight in your head - they have no distinguishing characteristics whatsoever. Not recommended ...more
Lydia Presley
I love a good historic novel. Susan King delivered a solid story in Lady Macbeth. This is the story of Gruath, her journey toward becoming the wife of Macbeth and information through his battle to become the King of Scotland.

If you are wanting a Philippa Gregory-type historic novel, this is going to disappoint you. There are lots of names (many of them very difficult to pronounce), lots of facts and the characters are more dry than Gregory's. However, if you are like me, and enjoy Sharon Kay Pen
...more
Kristin
Apr 14, 2009 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has nothing to do with Shakespeare's play. Instead it is a look at the real Lady Mac Beth and some of the more current scholarly theories about MacBeth himself and his Queen.

Instead of being known as Lady MacBeth, she is Lady Gruadh, the last female of Scotland's most royal line. When her first husband, Lord of powerful northern lands is murdered she is pregnant with her child and forced to marry her husband's murderer.

The image of Gruadh as a young woman is one of a warrior, not wil
...more
Stephanie Dray
The first chapter of Lady MacBeth should humble any historical fiction writer. With prose so lyrical that you’ll want to re-read each sentence to enjoy its cadence and artistry, Susan Fraser King gives us a compelling introduction to a fascinating queen.

Lady MacBeth is a wonderful example of what historical fiction does best. It corrects the errors of Shakespearian tradition, creates a plausible narrative by filling in the gaps in the historical record, and teaches us something about a woman who
...more
tsetsi stoyanova
Feb 15, 2016 tsetsi stoyanova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Предзнаменования, пророчески сънища, древни магии и келтски легенди, разказвани от сладкодумни бардове - красота!
Много интересно ми беше да се върна едно хилядолетие назад и да науча повече за живота на келтите - за техните битки и тайни съвети, за тяхното ежедневие, обичаи и вярвания. Да раздвижа пръсти в подплатените с агнешка кожа, топли ботуши на Груад, да се разходя по поръсените с прясна тръстика, кокичета, минзухари и иглички от вечнозелени растения подове в Елгин.
И ето частица от тайното
...more
Lori
Feb 26, 2008 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Interestingly enough, I bought this book without even really knowing what it was about at a book signing.
I started reading it in the car ride home- and didn't put it down until I was finished!
It is a great historical fiction with an amazing and strong woman as the main character.
If you liked Mists of Avalon, you will LOVE Lady Macbeth. I actually enjoyed Lady Macbeth more because of the historical detail. You can tell the author did a lot of research to make this story seem very real.
Kerrie
It seems that I've gotten in the habit of comparing every fiction book with a historical 1st-person POV female narrator to Philippa Gregory's books. And why not, since she's written so many. Now some snarky people out there would say that anything would stack up favorably to those books, and to that I say, you're just a hater. I've enjoyed a few of her books that I've read - The Queen's Fool being the outstanding exception - so it's a fair way of evaluating for me.

I loved this book - toss out ev
...more
Misfit
Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very different tale of Macbeth and his lady than Shakespeare's. Lady Gruadh (Rue) is descended from one of two branches of the ancient royal line of Celtic Kings. First married against her wishes to Gilcomgan of Moray, her husband is killed in battle with Macbeth, and the pregnant Rue is married to Macbeth, Rue's pure bloodline giving him a stronger claim to the throne of Scotland. Thus begins an uneasy truce between the two as they eventually make the marriage work and Macbeth schemes to take ...more
Elle
Apr 25, 2016 Elle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to this more or less neutrally, with neither low nor high expectations. Thus, I wouldn't say I was disappointed. Here's the thing: King is attempting something admirable here, but it fell desperately short of a great novel. She attempts a high degree of historical accuracy, but it lacks the marvelous insight and perspective of Hillary Mantel or Maurice Druon. She attempts magic of the Old World, and lacks the poignant lyricism of Juliet Marillier or Patricia McKillip. The result is somewh ...more
Garrett Zecker
This book is an interesting exploration into the life of the real Lady Macbeth and how she gained power and authority in the kingdom that she and her husband shared. I picked this book up simply because of the fact that I teach Macbeth just about every year and it piqued my interest at a library book sale. It was not nearly as good as I had the hopes for - but I do have to say that the book itself is an easily digestible history of the Macbeth court that keeps one from going and researching thro ...more
Laura
I LOVED this book. However much I love Shakespeare--and I DO LOVE SHAKESPEARE--the man was writing for the good graces and on the good will of the Tudors and the Stuarts. To do that, he often had to write Tudor-supporting propaganda (which is why Richard III is evil in his book, when actually he was quite an amicable man). Susan Fraser King wrote a novel more in line with historical fact. Her characters are flawed, they are human, but they have hearts and are pushed and prodded by circumstance m ...more
Mary
Lady Macbeth is the story of Queen Gruadh, who with her husband King Macbeth, rose to power in 11th century Scotland. I am not familiar with Shakespeare's version of Macbeth, so I did not have any preconceived notions about the characters other than I had heard that Susan Fraser King's version is more historically accurate, whereas Shakespeare took some liberties in order to please his English benefactor.

Lady Graudh was a Celtic warrior queen, ambitious in her pursuit of the throne, fierce in p
...more
TheFountainPenDiva
Just as amazing as The Mists of Avalon, and for me that's saying quite a bit.

This isn't Shakespeare's "out damn'd spot" schemer. This Lady Macbeth, known as Gruadh (that's Groo-ath), is more in keeping with earlier historical traditions. Proud, loyal, fierce and unwavering, Gruadh lives and loves in a world of steel, blood, magic and fire. As a girl child, she is abducted and taken as a potential bride by Orkney. She trains as a warrior, in spite of her father's misgivings as she insists the Cel
...more
Rachel
Lady Gruadh is born in 11th century Scotland into a royal (although not ruling) family, taught about--and proud of--her Celtic and Pictish heritage, groomed to become Queen of the Scots. She is a woman of her times and her culture: familiar with death and danger at an early age, a believer both in Christianity and in the Gaelic goddess Brigid--and in magic--ambitious and strong, she understands marriage as a political alliance rather than a romantic commitment, and is gifted (she hopes) with vis ...more
Melodie
If you are thinking Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth, think again. This is not even close to the Bard's tragic tale.This is the fictionalized life story of the real Lady Macbeth, though she was actually Lady Gruadh or Rue.
The lines of Scottish royalty are confusing at best, and the story weaves it's way through Rue's lineage as her story is told. From a charming but willful child she grows into a tall striking young woman, married and widowed by her early teens.
Macbeth has been on the periphery of
...more
Kris
Feb 07, 2011 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not know there was another story of Lady Macbeth, queen of Scotland. I thought Shakespeare's account was the true account, but research is uncovering a different story of this remarkable woman and her tumultous life. The story is told by Gruadh, the future Lady Macbeth, daughter of an 11th century Scottish prince...royal blood running through her veins. She is strong and determined to uphold her Celtic traditions--even learning to fight alongside the men. She survives incredible loss with ...more
Jaret
Jul 06, 2015 Jaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-5-star-books
A well-written historical fiction novel about Lady Macbeth's path to becoming queen of Scotland. The plot line dragged a little and probably would only earn a 3 star rating, but the historical descriptions bumped the rating up. King's descriptions of Celtic traditions and the world of warriors and thanes were excellent.
Dara
Apr 14, 2009 Dara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, novel
I listened to this book on the audio version, which was very entertaining due to the skill with which the narrator reads.

I am a fan of the play so I was disappointed with the cardboard natures of all of the characters save for Lady and Lord Macbeth. If the narrator was not such a good voice actress I would not have been able to tell the difference between any of the other characters.

The beginning of the book was also a bit slow. I finished reading it out of habit. I had to judge the book on it
...more
R.J.
May 03, 2009 R.J. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author, obviously enamored of Scottish history, spent way too much time impressing me with her knowledge of Gaelic tradition than weaving a thoughtful, engaging story. Too many people are introduced without one shred of notable/memorable information as to who they are or why they might be important later or transversely, she gives you oodles of info that is overwhelming about another character which is entirely superfluous.

The idea of constructing a story out of the historical Queen of Scots
...more
Gaijinmama
Feb 23, 2014 Gaijinmama rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Macbeth is my favorite Shakespeare tragedy, but I've always felt that Lady M got a bit of a raw deal. As she and her husband were actual historical figures, the author has done some research that, while still speculative, sheds a new light on the historical truth behind the Bard's story.
It's believable, interesting, and gives her a chance to tell her side of things. She still doesn't come off as a very nice person, but she is a woman in a male-dominated society at a violent time in history. Her
...more
Catherine Gillespie
It was so interesting to read Lady Macbeth, Susan Fraser King’s first novel, after having read her next book. As I mentioned in my review of Queen Hereafter, King’s second novel, I was impressed by how well she wove a lot of backstory and historical detail into the narrative without bogging down or data dumping. Now I’m really intrigued about what she did between these two books, because she learned a lot.

Lady Macbeth is a great story, especially if you’re interested in Britain as I am, but ther
...more
Robert Palmer
Mar 04, 2015 Robert Palmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must say from the start that there is much historical accuracy in this novel, as Gruadh/Rue ( the future Lady Macbeth) is married off by her Father to Gillecomgan , who is latter killed by Macbeth during her pregnancy and than he marries her as is his right as the victor . She soon grows fond of him and stands by him in his quest to become the King of Scotland.They both have blood lines dating back to the first Scottish Kings. You might think that Macbeth would be the main character,after all ...more
Regan Walker
Well Told Story of the Real Macbeth and his Queen

This is a fictional account of the real Macbeth, King of the Scots and his wife, definitely not the ones Shakespeare created for dramatic effect. Told from the first person (Lady Macbeth’s is the only point of view), it is set, as it must be, in 11th century Scotland when warlords vied for control of the Scottish throne.

Lady Gruadh, called Rue (for the sorrow she had experienced), is the last female descendant of Scotland’s most royal line (sever
...more
Bonnie
Mar 20, 2013 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the beginning. it seemed well researched and honest without being too graphically violent. Then it skipped a lot of years and rushed the end.
Sophie
I enjoyed this book--and especially the narration by Wanda McCaddon--but I didn't love it as much as I would have liked. The story had promise, and I thought the author did a good job of creating a historically plausible atmosphere. But I didn't think the second half of the book was as good as the first. At some point, it started to feel more like a catalog of events rather than the story of characters I had come to care about. The ending, especially, felt rushed and unsatisfying, and I wasn't a ...more
Stacey
Aug 11, 2012 Stacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
This isn't something I would normally pick up on my own. But I really enjoyed it.
Holly Ites
Forget Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth. Susan Fraser King has introduced a real queen, using historical sources as a guide, and she is not the witch Shakespeare imagined, any more than Macbeth is a murderous, terrible king. In fact, history tells us Macbeth had a very successful reign, giving Scotland peace and prosperity for 17 years, until the English started meddling, which makes Shakespeare's version a clear example of "history written by the victorious."

Macbeth and his Queen were a very success
...more
Meghan
As we all know, Shakespeare wasn't afraid to take a bit of artistic license when it came to history, and his tragedy Macbeth is proof of that. In Susan Fraser King's Lady Macbeth, King shows us a woman who is a far cry from the crazy, grief-stricken she-wolf of Shakespeare's play. King does her best to piece together the little historical documentation we have to produce Lady Gruadh (Gruoch)--the real Lady Macbeth. A fierce Celtic woman, rooted in a tradition of warrior women, she is strong, cap ...more
Amalia Gavea
If you are looking for a novelized version of Shakespeare's extraordinary Scottish Play, this is not it. This is a novel about the actual king Macbeth and queen Rue. Based on the Annals of Ulster and other sources, we withness Gruadh's life from a young age to the age of forty. Through her, we experience the constant battles for the control over Scotland, and the importance of the brave warrior Macbeth, the man who has passed from history into legend.

Elements of folklore are blended into the s
...more
Anne Farmer
Mar 29, 2016 Anne Farmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you teach Macbeth, you should read this book. King has created a piece of historical fiction that gives great insight into the real Macbeth. I must say this novel makes me view Shakespeare's version as quite sensational and truly designed to appeal to man's baser nature in order to profit. I knew it to be true, and now having read King's novel, I see it even more. This book provides a greater depth of character and circumstance of Scottish life in this time period. This reminds me that we are ...more
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Susan King is the bestselling, award-winning author of over 20 historical novels and novellas, each one praised for historical accuracy, storytelling quality and lyricism. Her first novel, The Black Thorne’s Rose, was published in 1994, followed by many historical romances written as Susan King and as Sarah Gabriel. As Susan Fraser King, she is the author of Lady Macbeth: A Novel, and Queen Hereaf ...more
More about Susan Fraser King...

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“Sorrow and life go hand in hand.” 5 likes
“When I need it, I can call bitterness around me like mail armor, every thought a knot of steel, shielding the tenderness I have learned to hide as a daughter, mother, wife, and queen among warriors.” 4 likes
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