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Monday, October 12, 2009

Review: Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein

Title: Lady Macbeth's Daughter
Author: Lisa Klein
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub. Date: Oct. 13, 2009
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Retellings, Love, Family, Shakespeare's Macbeth
Pages: 304
Plot (from FantasticFiction):
The daughter Macbeth might have had, if Shakespeare had thought to create her.

Albia has grown up with no knowledge of her mother of her father, the powerful Macbeth. Instead she knows the dark lure of the Wychelm Wood and the moors, where she's been raised by three strange sisters. It's only when the ambitious Macbeth seeks out the sisters to foretell his fate that Albia's life becomes tangled with the man who leaves nothing but bloodshed in his wake. She even falls in love with Fleance, Macbeth's rival for the throne. Yet when Albia learns that she has the second sight, she must decide whether to ignore the terrible future she foresees - or to change it. Will she be able to save the man she loves from her murderous father? And can she forgive her parents their wrongs, or must she destroy them to save Scotland from tyranny?

Macbeth was never my favorite play by Shakespeare, but, after reading Lady Macbeth's Daughter, I have a newfound respect for the story. I really think that Albia made the story for me - Lisa Klein wrote Albia so perfectly that I can't believe Shakespeare left her out!

Albia was an amazing addition to Macbeth's original cast. Not only was is a resilient and strong female lead, she shows the perfect blend of characteristics one would expect her to have inherited through her birth parents and her adoptive family. I am astounded by how believable Albia's character is! It was interesting to see how Albia came to terms with learning that her birth father is the bloodthirsty and tyrannical Macbeth - a man that she has never personally met, nor has an desire to.

Lady Macbeth was must easier to understand and feel sympathy for in this version of the story. I like the idea that Lady Macbeth's insane behavior was motivated in part by her grief over the death of her infant daughter (Albia), rather than (only) greed and the need for power.

The romance between Albia and Fleance wasn't really a main part of the plot, but it was engaging and well-written. Most Shakespearean romances are doomed, but Klein's story had a twist and was surprisingly simple and without drama. It had some drama and complexity of course, but the love story didn't build you up and then rip out your heart - which is a good thing!

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
Total: 50/50 (A!!)

The idea of Macbeth and his lady having a secret daughter was a wonderfully imagined plot twist to Macbeth. I think Shakespeare would approve! I'm definitely going to read Lisa Klein's first book, Ophelia, and can't wait to see what she comes up with next!


  1. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this! I'm looking forward to reading it myself!

    I've read Ophelia and loved it, so I'd definitely recommend that you read it as well. The characterization and Klein's knowledge of Shakespeare were absolutely wonderful.

    Thanks for the review!

    Natalie @ Mindful Musings

  2. Glad to see such a rave review about this one! It's sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently for me to pick it up...

  3. Great review. Thanks.

    Being the Shakespeare fanatic that I am, this has been on my horizon for a while and I've been hopeful that it will be a good read.

    I always enjoyed Macbeth...partly because of the darker mood and partly because of some strange personal association with the story (I'm very distantly related to the Thanes of Cawdor referenced in the story). Our local opera company is doing Macbeth this week and I was hoping to get out to see it but probably won't be able to.

    Anyway, thanks so much for your review. It sounds like a great read and I look forward to picking it up. :)

  4. I love Lisa Klein! Ophelia was amazing, and made me love Hamlet even more.
    And I like that you mention that the idea that Lady Macbeth is so ruthless and blood thirsty over grief rather than power. She was never one of my favorite characters...

    I can't wait for this book to be released. Thanks for the review!

  5. really glad you liked this! I have both of this and Ophelia in my TBR pile- hopefully I can read them soon(:


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