Monday, December 15, 2014

Lady Macbeth by Melanie Karsak - Book Tour + Giveaway & Review

Book & Author details:

Lady Macbeth by Melanie Karsak
(Daughter of Ravens #1)
Publication date: December 3rd 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Something wicked this way comes . . .
Gruoch is born to rule, but long before she becomes Macbeth’s queen, ancient forces claim her soul.
Marked from birth by the old gods, Gruoch is initiated into the ancient religion of her ancestors and begins learning the mysteries of the Goddess Cerridwen. But not everything is as it seems. Soon the Battle Goddess Morrigu imposes her will, and Gruoch finds herself at the mercy of the Wyrd Sisters.
With King Malcolm plotting, the Wyrd Sisters schooling her in arcane craft, and haunted by dreams of a raven-haired man she’s never met, Gruoch feels her fate is not her own. That is, until she meets a druid named Banquo. Gruoch’s heart is swept away when Banquo awakens something in her more powerful than duty, magic, or destiny: love.
This retelling of Shakespeare’s classic work leads readers through an unforgettable saga of one woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.
Begin the Lady Mabeth Saga with Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens.

Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles (Chasing the Star Garden and Chasing the  Green Fairy) and the award-wining horror/dark fantasy Harvesting Series. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master’s degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Author links:

My Review
**This review may contain a couple of spoilers**

When I first heard about Lady Macbeth, I was beyond thrilled about the premise of this book. I adore Shakespeare's play Macbeth, and I even got to play Lady Macbeth in high school. I knew I had to read this book and see what it was all about.

Lady Macbeth tells the story of Gruoch, a young woman who is promised to a dark goddess at birth. Gruoch lives a pretty normal life in the castle, being cared for by her aunt, until one day she is called to start down the path she is destined for. 

Gruoch, or Corbie as her aunt calls her, is taken to meet the Wyrd Sisters, who begin teaching her magic and other arcane things. She is also given yet another new name, and becomes known as Cerridwen. However, that's not the only name she is known by. She also discovers, through dreams/visions/whatever you'd like to call them, that she was known as Queen Boudicca in a past life.

Gruoch becomes more and more powerful in her ways, and she eventually meets a man she feels drawn to. She also has visions of a raven-haired man who she feels she needs to know more about. However, the story sort of ends without really delving too much into these visions or anything about the man.

Overall, I felt Lady Macbeth had potential to be a really good story, but it sort of fell flat for me. Gruoch was a bit too naive and Mary Sue-ish for my liking. It seemed as though she didn't have to struggle or work for anything, and everyone seemed to like her. That was a tad bit frustrating.

Also, there was what I would consider a rape scene within the first 10% of the book. I found that a bit jarring, and it sort of took me out of the book for a little while. It didn't bother me much; it was more surprising to see a scene like that in such a book so early on.

I feel like the characters and the plot could have been fleshed out some more. I was hoping for excitement and magic and a book that kept me reading and on the edge of my seat. Instead, I felt sort of  blasé about the whole thing. It was mildly disappointing.

I may read the second book in the series, just to see if anything gets better or if the story picks up and makes me like Lady Macbeth a little more. As of right now, though, it's not exactly high on my priority reading list.

If you're looking for a retelling of a Shakespeare play from a different character's POV, or just a fantasy novel overall, you may want to give Lady Macbeth a chance. It isn't one I'd highly recommend, but I would give it a modest 3 stars overall.

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