I received a copy of Samantha Grosser’s Shakespeare’s Witch for review purposes. As always, this review reflects only my honest thoughts on the book.
by Samantha Grosser
Publication Date: March 20, 2019
Sam Grosser Books
eBook & Paperback; 358 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Love, Witchcraft, Sorcery, Madness.
A fortune told …
When Sarah Stone foresees Will Shakespeare’s latest play has opened doors to evil, she begs the playwright to abandon it. But Will refuses, aware the play is one of his best. And so rehearsals for Macbeth begin.
Forbidden desires …
After her vision, Sarah fears for her life – she has never known the shewstone to lie, and she turns to her brother Tom for comfort. A strange darkness seems to haunt the playhouse, and when Tom sets out to seduce John Upton, the boy actor who plays Lady Macbeth, the boy sees the hand of witchcraft in his own forbidden desires for men. Then Sarah weaves a spell to win the love of the new lead actor, and John, terrified for the safety of his soul, begins to make his accusations.
The Spirits have spoken …
As rehearsals continue, Sarah and Tom must struggle to convince John he is mistaken and that his sins are his own – their lives and the fortune of the play are at stake. But the Spirits have spoken – will the fate that Sarah foresaw come to pass or is their destiny their own to decide?
Set against the first production of Macbeth in 1606, Shakespeare’s Witch is a seductive tale of the origins of the curse of the Scottish Play.
After taking part in the cover reveal for Shakespeare’s Witch, I couldn’t wait to dive into the novel for myself. The premise caught my attention from the start and the stunning cover art captured it beautifully–I was immediately transported to my own visit to the (new) Globe a few years ago. I only wish I got to wander the streets in such a gorgeous cape!
In all seriousness, though, this book caught my eye from the start. Macbeth and I have a complicated relationship, but I was eager to read this fictional interpretation of the backstory of the Scottish play. I’m happy to report that, after finishing this novel, I picked up the play itself the next day and read it for the first time in years. I had vivid images of Grosser’s characters in mind throughout reading Shakespeare’s Witch and it was awesome to see that transcribed to their Macbeth characters.
Admittedly this book may not be for everyone. It’s dark and filled with magick and images of the occult and forbidden desires. For me, that makes the novel all the better. Grosser tackles these topics wonderfully and I was entranced by the story throughout. If you think the Harry Potter series is a temptation from the Devil, maybe you shouldn’t pick up this book–but I think that’s pretty clear from just reading a synopsis. At the risk of touching upon spoilers, none of the darkest bits of this book are anything you can’t at least suspect from the back cover or the first few chapters.
That being said, if you like Shakespeare or witchcraft or historical fiction, or think you might be drawn into the 17th century version of V.C. Andrews (I found myself drawing parallels in the novel’s content and themes), then I can’t recommend enough that you pick up a copy.
Be prepared to be at the edge of your seat wondering what might happen next–and even when you think you know for sure, you might not be so certain after all. Something wicked this way comes . . . .
About the Author
Historical fiction author Samantha Grosser originally hails from England, but now lives on the sunny Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband, son and a very small dog called Livvy.
Combining a lifelong love of history with a compulsion to write that dates from childhood, Samantha is now bringing her passion for telling compelling stories to the world.
Samantha has an Honours Degree in English Literature and taught English for many years in Asia and Australia. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place and The Officer’s Affair, and The King James Men, set during the turbulent early years of 17th Century.
Blog Tour Schedule
Wednesday, March 20
Review at Passages to the Past
Thursday, March 21
Review at Book Reviews from Canada
Friday, March 22
Interview at Jathan & Heather
Saturday, March 23
Feature at Broken Teepee
Monday, March 25
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Tuesday, March 26
Feature at What Is That Book About
Wednesday, March 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Friday, March 29
Interview at Passages to the Past
Sunday, March 31
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All
Monday, April 1
Review at For the Sake of Good Taste
Tuesday, April 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, April 4
Interview at Hisdoryan
Monday, April 8
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Tuesday, April 9
Review at Bibliophile Reviews
Wednesday, April 10
Review at Macsbooks
Friday, April 12
Review at A Book Geek
Tuesday, April 16
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of Shakespeare’s Witch! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– Only one entry per household.
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– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen.