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Enter Three Witches

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,347 ratings  ·  217 reviews
A fresh perspective on Macbeth from one of today's foremost YA writers. Three girls witness the action of Shakespeare's play firsthand - and their lives are forever changed because of it.

Lady Mary is a ward of Lord and Lady Macbeth whose life is forever changed when her father, Lord Cawdor, betrays the Scottish king - and is hanged as a traitor. In an instant, Mary ha
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  1,347 ratings  ·  217 reviews

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Mar 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Caroline B. Cooney strikes again! I began this book a little warily, because I am used to Cooney's realistic fiction. In this novel,Cooney uses Shakespeare's Macbeth as a springboard for her own story peopled with characters she makes up who experience the events in the play. The author's note at the end of the book encourages her readers to read Shakespeare's play (and tells them the way to get the most out of the reading). I am already itching to reread Macbeth with fresh perspective, and I ho ...more
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
3.5/5 stars

pretty much what I expected from a YA Macbeth retelling but the author didn't do a great job of making it her own ( kind of the point of retellings)
Sep 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
This novelization of Macbeth, from the point of view of an attractive peripheral player in the drama might be a good introduction to Shakespeare for some motivated readers. The plot is full of action as well as romance, so it might appeal to both boys and girls.
I have a quibble with some of the characters. Author Cooney has a very long dramatis personae (longer even than the original), so she uses some stereotypes as shortcuts.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Coming from someone who has basic knowledge of Shakespeare's Macbeth, Cooney did a great job building her own story on the play while keeping in line with the general plot. There were several instances where specific lines and scenes were described as a kind of timeline that tied Enter Three Witches to Macbeth.

Cooney told the story from many perspectives - almost too many, in my opinion. Thankfully, the whole book was in third person limited. I don't think I would be able to stand it if it had been in first person. A
Narrated by Charlotte Parry. In this retelling of Shakespeare's "Macbeth," young people witness the power-hungry rise and fall of Lord and Lady Macbeth. There is Mary, daughter of the traitor Cawdor and lady-in-waiting to Lady Macbeth. Illdreth (excuse mispellings; I listened to the book) is maid to Mary and keeps a dark secret involving Seaton. Seaton is Macbeth's lackey, facilitating murders of those who would be in Macbeth's way. Fleance is son of Banquo and seeks to avenge his father's murde ...more
Jun 11, 2010 rated it liked it
It took me a while to get into this book (and I actually put it down for a few days and read other things, which is unusual for me) because it jumps between narrators so much. I never got to know any of the characters very well, which may have been a good thing--Lady Mary is pretty stupid and boring. The other characters are right about her. Fortunately, some of the people around her are more interesting. (Also, what is it about Fleance in Macbeth fan fiction? What makes him so desirable?)
Jul 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked this book more than I thought that I would . . . I'm not a big fan of Shakespeare. The story of Macbeth told from the perspective of three women was engaging, and the language used wasn't as archaic. {My daughter loves the language of Shakespeare, but I'm not a fan :} ) Altogether, I was pleasantly surprised.
Oct 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A spin-off from Shakespeare's Macbeth. Very fun and entertaining, but I could only give it three stars since it ultimately demonstrates the author's devastatingly confused and inaccurate understanding of Shakespeare.
Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I just finished writing a small review on The Goddess of Yesterday, and I had said I didn't feel the draw to her other books like that one. Well I was wrong! lol I really enjoyed this one as well. I don't think I've been able to relate to a MacBeth character as well as the main heroin in this.
Mandi Murphy
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a great read! I've never read MacBeth, but I think I will give it a try now.
Matthew Connolly
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is sort of a Macbeth fanfiction, letting the plots of the well-known plots of the play unfold, while focusing on different characters throughout the novel. Lady Mary is a main character,not in the play, though she is the daughter of the Thane of Cawdor, who preceded Macbeth and was executed. She was a ward of the Macbeths, and was betrothed to Asleep, who she loved greatly, but Asleif was murdered in battle. Her father, thane of Cawdor, is executed and she becomes a scullery maid. She witne ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this. I am not really a fan of Shakespeare or historical fiction, but I am a fan of stories with depth and detail, which this has in spades. Cooney tells the story through the eyes of characters of her own invention- a scullery maid, a noblewoman, Macbeth's lackey- and the focus of the story is on their thoughts and stories. There's some fun historical detail- though Cooney admits in a note at the end that much of the setting is a mishmash between Macbeth's eleventh century an ...more
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book Enter the Three Witches is a very good book in my opinion because of the how the plot changes but still stick to it's meaning. I also like this book because of how it has fiction but yet still sticks to the medieval nonfiction way. I really do recommend this book to people who like to read about the time when witches were feared and Kings and Queens ruled the land.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
I generally like retellings, but there was nothing original in this one. It was a slog trying to stay engaged when I already knew (literally verbatim, oftentimes) what to expect as the story swung amongst the characters.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read Macbeth while I was in school, so I absolutely loved having a whole new perspective on what was going on and found it entertaining how the stories overlap each other but most time it is a new story.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2019
An interesting fleshing out of the story of Macbeth. Very enjoyable, and an interesting twist on a familiar tale (I especially liked Seyton being the third murderer).

Lee Leslie
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really fun spin on one of my favorite plays.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone 13 and up
Hard to get into at first, but definitely a good read.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't exactly like the whole drawn out way of the book. However, the whole plot I did love. I enjoyed the whole focus and I liked how dark everything was.
Madalena Elshoff
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cooney's re-envisioning of Shakespeare's Macbeth is an excellent read. I enjoyed watching the downfall of Lord and Lady Macbeth through female protagonists (but omniscient narrator), which offers a fresh perspective on Shakespeare's original tragedy. Although not accurate in terms of Scottish history - Shakespeare's wasn't either - it reminds us of female oppression and strength, as the women in the story are equally, if not more, complex than the male characters and face much adversity. This is ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good retelling of Macbeth.
Sue S
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great retelling of Shakespeare's "Macbeth". I wish they had this available when we were studying the play.
Usually, I'm not a fan of Caroline B. Cooney, but I really enjoyed this one.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love reading different perspectives of classic stories, and this one takes the cake.
Jan 23, 2012 added it
Mary a innocent pretty little girl is living in the castel with Lord and Lady Macbeth. She has a room and practically everything she need. While the country was at war she is living in the castel and is one of the only four girls in the castel. One is named Swin, a girl who slaughters animals and often meeting witches, Ildred a maid of Lady Macbeth she is the exact opposite of Mary her only friend is a dog. Mary sometimes have a hurting thumb which she later founds out that it means something wi ...more
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Having seen Macbeth performed live, I was really excited to read the actual play. Remembering I had this in my TBR I started it as soon as I could- and really enjoyed it!

Caroline B. Cooney is a terrific writer. One of my favorite series ever (The Face on the Milk Carton) is written by her so I was beyond excited to start this. Luckily this was another excellent read and is perfect for those who have read Shakespeare's play as well as those who haven't.

To begin with, Enter
Mar 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-in-2013
Enter Three Witches by Caroline B Cooney tries to retell that most famous Scottish play.

Her writing style is solid and comprehensive. It was what I would consider an 'easy' read, if you will but it keeps with the olden days feel and era appropriate language.

The author chose to tell the story from multiple people's perspective. She handled a large cast of characters. As anyone who knows this is aware when you have lots of characters that you try to get to know the reader can feel distanced and
Feb 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Shakespeare fans, all teens
There's a story behind my reading this book, which is appropriate given the subject matter. I had recently read "Lady Macbeth" by Susan Fraser King (a review for another day) and I also happened to have watched "Shakespeare Retold" with James McAvoy as a modern Macbeth at around the same time. I was walking down an aisle in the teen library in Louisville, when out of the corner of my eye, I happen to see "Enter Three Witches" on the top shelf facing out. I pick it up. It doesn't take even a seco ...more
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 6-8, 9-12, cdl, modern_fantasy
Cooney, Caroline B. Enter Three Witches: A Story of Macbeth. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc., 2007.

Abstract and Mini-Review
Quite a noble undertaking, and yet Cooney did not quite succeed. Very few have succeeded in doing what Shakespeare did best, taking the familiar story and making it new and exciting. In Enter Three Witches Cooney blends the historical Macbeth with the Macbeth portrayed by Shakespeare and creates the new character of Lady Mary through whom the majority of the
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
I'm about half way through this one and am a bit distraught. I LOVE Macbeth, so was really looking forward to reading this book. Enter Three Witches is about Lady Mary who is the daughter of the Thane of Cawdor (who was executed for being a traitor, then his title was given to Macbeth, which was one of the prohecies), and overheard the original 3 prophecies. I'm half way through the book, and King Duncan was finally executed...moves rather slowly. But like with Jake Reinvented, maybe it's becaus ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 05, 2016 12:15PM  

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Caroline Cooney knew in sixth grade that she wanted to be a writer when "the best teacher I ever had in my life" made writing her main focus. "He used to rip off covers from The New Yorker and pass them around and make us write a short story on whichever cover we got. I started writing then and never stopped!"
When her children were young, Caroline started writing books for young people -- wi