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The Flower and The Serpent

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  11 ratings  ·  10 reviews
NOMINATED FOR AN AUSTRALIA SHADOW AWARD 2019

Mysterious disappearances, a battle for the spotlight and terrifying nightmares. It’s just another day at Beacon Hill High School. 



Auditions for Macbeth are over, and on the bus ride home, a mysterious driver gives sixteen-year-old Violet and her friends’ three strange predictions:

One of the girls will shine like a star.
One wil
...more
Kindle Edition, 324 pages
Published December 4th 2019
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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L.A.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, arc
CREEPY AND WONDERFUL!

I've just finished reading an ARC of The Flower and the Serpent by Madeleine D'Este and I am still feeling blown away.

The story is set in a high school in Hobart, Tasmania, where a group of students are rehearsing for a production of Macbeth. The dark history of the play is well-known, and D'Este's setting - on school grounds haunted by past evil- plays perfectly against it. Imbued with a sense of creeping menace, the novel is genuinely frightening at times, but the charact
...more
Jon Black
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to receive an advanced review copy of this work.

The Flower and the Serpent, by Madeline D’Este, is adult-friendly YA fiction straddling the line between horror and supernatural mystery. The year is 1992, Beacon Hill is a small community in Tasmania with a tortured past, and three young women, Violet, Holly, and Lila, are about to be swept up by their high’s schools production of Macbeth.

Many of the Scottish Play’s key themes, such as betrayal, revenge, witchcraft, and unbridled a
...more
K.M. Allan
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Flower and The Serpent is told through the different viewpoints of teenager Violet, her friends, their drama teacher, and a dark entity that haunts the Tasmanian town of Beacon Hill. It infiltrates the group of teenagers as they are preparing to put on a production of Macbeth, causing havoc and keeping the reader guessing until the reveal on the night of the play's final rehearsal. The mystery builds throughout the story, and the author does a great job of putting the reader into the minds o ...more
Elizabeth
This supernatural horror story takes place in an Australian high school which has been the site of gruesome dark deeds. It's the school holidays and the place is deserted and oozes menace. Drama students have gathered there to rehearse Macbeth, a play as cursed as the school itself. As the story progresses, prophecies, betrayals, witchcraft and ruthless ambition emerge, cleverly mirroring the themes of Macbeth.

Set in the ‘90’s, the novel has a nostalgic retro feel to it. The many switching poin
...more
Alex | | findingmontauk1
The Flower and The Serpent is a young adult dark mystery with elements of horror. The story focuses on a group of teens who are about to put on a production of Macbeth. The production is being led by an ambitious teacher, Mr. Ravenswood, and the lead role of Lady Macbeth is being eyed by the young and also ambitious Violet. Violet, however, does not get the part. She does not even get the role of understudy. Instead, she is cast as one of the Three Witches. But now Violet will do whatever it tak ...more
Emily Wrayburn
Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind 25 November 2019:

Confession: I don’t really know Macbeth that well. I don’t really like Shakespeare’s tragedies. And that probably affected by enjoyment of this book. (Someone give me a romcom set around a production of Much Ado About Nothing, please!)

Well, then, Emily, if that’s the case, why did you put your hand up for an ARC of a book about a group of teenagers staging Macbeth?

Well, because while I might have been more into musicals, I
...more
Veronica Strachan
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was much more grimdark than the high school YA horror I expected from the title and blurb. And all the better for it. Nothing like a little terror happening to a bunch of teenagers to pass the time!
The Tasmanian locale, dreary weather and spooky myths set the stage for plenty of misery and mayhem. D'Este is a great writer and has ingeniously wound a complex tale around the events of a few days as an odd group of teenagers and teachers gather to put on a play that has its own spooky history.
...more
Danielle Girl
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Creepy high school horror set in Tasmania. The bleak, spooky atmosphere in this story is amazing. I could practically feel the rain drizzling, and the mist closing in. With a performance of Macbeth, and a mysterious cult set as the background to this story, you know you are in for some high level shivers and D'Este doesn't disappoint!
Pete
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: australia, fiction
The Flower and the Serpent (2019) by Madeleine D'Este is an excellent young adult thriller. Three girls head into a production of Macbeth directed by the inexperienced new drama teacher at the school. The production is being done over the winter school holidays in June in Hobart when the days are short. The school is located on a site long associated with dark events.

The book has elements of Stranger Things with fine character development and kids that feel like real kids. The plot moves quickl
...more
Naomi Shippen
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Flower and the Serpent takes me back to the days of intense adolescent relationships, where anything seems possible, even the supernatural. The dark setting and relatable characters drew me into this intriguing and often frightening story that took me on unexpected roads right up until the final climax.
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Growing up in Tasmania, Madeleine now lives in inner city Melbourne surrounded by books. After studying law (and never practising) and travelling the world, Madeleine now lives a double life, immersed in the corporate world by day and writing female-led speculative fiction or podcasting by night.

When not writing, Madeleine enjoys podcasts, knitting, forteana, indie films, kettle bells and coffee
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