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Extended Audio Sample Lady Macbeth: A Novel Audiobook, by Susan Fraser King Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (855 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Fraser King, Wanda McCaddon Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2008 ISBN: 9781400176151
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Lady Macbeth as you’ve never seen her …

Lady Gruadh, called Rue, is the last female descendant of Scotland’s most royal line. Married to a powerful northern lord, she is widowed while still carrying his child and forced to marry her husband’s murderer: a rising warlord named Macbeth. Encountering danger from Vikings, Saxons, and treacherous Scottish lords, Rue begins to respect the man she once despised—and then realizes that Macbeth’s complex ambitions extend beyond the borders of the vast northern region. Among the powerful warlords and their steel games, only Macbeth can unite Scotland—but his wife’s royal blood is the key to his ultimate success.  

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Based on historical evidence and recent theories of the era, this is an epic tale written in high-voltage prose. King’s novel will thrill lovers of Shakespeare adaptations and delight anyone who wants to enjoy a ripping tale of love and ambition.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 2/20/2014

    " Good book, but liked "Ahab's Wife" by Sena Jeter Naslund better. (Similar ideas: fictional stories of wives of famous men, though one couple was completely fictional while this novel could fit with historical references to the MacBeth and his queen.) Glad to find a historical fiction from female viewpoint that isn't filled with romance. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lucie Mckenna | 2/19/2014

    " Struggled desperately to finish this one. I was interested to start, but the story lost momentum half way through and I stopped caring about the characters. Overall the best thing about it was getting some insight into Celtic history - history buffs may enjoy more than I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cece | 2/16/2014

    " This was the sort of book you read at high speed to see what happens next-the counterpoint to Shakespeare's story is interesting and this version is plausible. I do agree with another reviewer, though, that the characters are somewhat underdeveloped, for all the book's length. It was a good read, the plot moved quickly, but I don't expect these characters to stay with me as others I have read. I was not noticeably moved by their joys or sorrows-they were just part of the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 2/7/2014

    " I LOVED this book. However much I love Shakespeare--and I DO LOVE SHAKESPEARE--the man was writing for the good graces and on the good will of the Tudors and the Stuarts. To do that, he often had to write Tudor-supporting propaganda (which is why Richard III is evil in his book, when actually he was quite an amicable man). Susan Fraser King wrote a novel more in line with historical fact. Her characters are flawed, they are human, but they have hearts and are pushed and prodded by circumstance more than by ambition. In this realm, Macbeth and his wife are loved by their people and their country; he actually holds the knife when he would have done them all more good by "plunging it in!" He is not the pitiable murderer we have all come to know and does not live under/behind his lady-wife's skirts; he is actually a king who has his country's best interests at heart. The writing is magnificent as well. King pulls you in with her first line and keeps you hooked until the last. I felt an aching loss when I finished this book. Like the play however, Macbeth dies at the end, so there won't be a sequel, unless Lady Macbeth's fate ties in with that of some other clan. It may, but I doubt she'll be the central character again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Callum | 2/2/2014

    " This book really deserves a proper review, but I am afraid I don't have the time to do one at the moment. What I can say is that the story quickly draws you in and brings you close to the persona of the infamous Lady Macbeth. Of course here she is the main character and heroine and though at times leaning towards an over-romancing of Scotland's Celtic ancestry, her story tends towards the believable since it is not too hard to think of Lady Macbeth truly imagining herself as the inheritor of that tradition. Macbeth was also portrayed well, in fact he almost steals the show completely. It is also significant to note that as the book progresses King becomes more and more confident with her style, as well as the material she is working with, and as a result the quality really shines from the middle to the conclusion. The end begs for a sequel elucidating the other side of events, in order to bring us the same level of perspective we gained from learning Lady Macbeth's story. If nothing else, "Lady Macbeth" illustrates the most important aspect of our 21st century lives, that there are many points of view to any possible construct and though conclusions are possible, to be valid they have to seriously consider and attempt to interpret all sides. Fortunately for the reader, this is a fun ride to a serious lesson. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 AnnP Palomo | 1/10/2014

    " Actually, good historical fiction this one. I'd thought I would probably not like it much but it was actually interesting and well done. Not one reference to anything Shakespeare--no ghost,no damn spots. The author seems to have done a lot of research on dark age Scotland and a real war lord named Macbeth. I'm guessing a lot needed to be filled in but I learned a lot on succession in the ancient Scottish monarchy, life in dark age Scotland (no thanks!) and learned quite a bit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bre'Elle | 12/19/2013

    " It was on the whole, enjoyable. The characters were strong and complex. However, I thought that it dragged at times and it could have been thinned out a bit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 12/10/2013

    " Based on history??? Great book though! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Connie | 12/2/2013

    " A book group choice about the Scottish Kings and Queens - lots of political intrigue and war. Their blend of the Celtic and Christian religion was interesting but I did not find the book compelling enough to finish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie Piert | 11/12/2013

    " This is one of my favorite settings...Scotland. This book was very entertaining and I especially appreciated the amount of work the author put into the glossery, map and family tree. I found it very helpful. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elisa | 7/19/2013

    " I read 180 pages of this book and finally came to terms with the realization that I really dont care what happens anymore. Only the old pictish/scottish traditions are of any interest. Very little happened in the 180 pages i read. Too bad because i really wanted to like it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen Rendahl | 6/7/2013

    " The attention to detail and the rich feel of the atmosphere is amazing in this book. Somehow, though, I never really connected with the main character. She's distant and chilly while I always think of Lady M. as being passionate and greedy. Still, it was an interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 stillme | 5/11/2013

    " I orginially thought this was an alternative perspective of Shakespeare's Macbeth, but it turned out to be historical fiction about the real Lady Macbeth. Really an interesting read, and a great author's note at the end laying out the fact and fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ms. Rhonda | 2/8/2013

    " absolutely loved this book, didn't want to stop reading it when it was over. I've already picked up King's 'Queen Hereafter'. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheri | 7/20/2012

    " This has to be one of my favorite books. I liked everything about it. And you have to like a book that gives you both a map and a genealogy chart. Lady Macbeth is the central figure and a very strong woman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 6/15/2012

    " I loved this book probably because it is my favrite genre - historical fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 5/26/2012

    " A nice fast light read. Historical fiction. Read another on same subject several years ago. It was along the same lines, information-wise. Wonder where Shakespeare got his information? Oh well, he was way off with Richard III's character as well.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alisha | 10/1/2011

    " This book was awesome! Historical fiction with magical twists about the actual Scottish queen Macbeth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gail/Ladyvolz Bowman | 9/9/2011

    " Excellent book on Lady Macbeth; one of the better stories on her that I have read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 8/3/2011

    " this was good, but liked the second one better. hope she writes more historical fiction "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey | 8/1/2011

    " This isn't something I would normally pick up on my own. But I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandy | 7/31/2011

    " An excellent read. All I knew previously about Lady Macbeth was Shakespeare's portrayal of her, and this is a much more human and historically accurate (given the little actually recorded of her) portrait. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Connie | 4/9/2011

    " A book group choice about the Scottish Kings and Queens - lots of political intrigue and war. Their blend of the Celtic and Christian religion was interesting but I did not find the book compelling enough to finish. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kara | 1/18/2011

    "
    So much time spent on the author showing off her exstensive reaserch that the characters are swallowed up and lost in this 500 page essay: "How People Used To Live In Ye Olden Times" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 8/17/2010

    " Loved this first foray into the novelization of the historical King and Lady Macbeth (as opposed to Shakespeare's)--my first read, obviously not the first one ever written. Opened me up to a whole new exciting topic for reading.

    Listened to the audio book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 8/10/2010

    " I could have loved this book if I didn't spend so much time trying to keep all of the Gaelic names straight. Not the fault of the authors, same reason I don't read Tolkien. My shortcoming as a reader, I know it. :-D "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 6/4/2010

    " It's not King Hereafter (what is?) but a durn fine read and telling of the Lady Macbeth story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 5/3/2010

    " A nice fast light read. Historical fiction. Read another on same subject several years ago. It was along the same lines, information-wise. Wonder where Shakespeare got his information? Oh well, he was way off with Richard III's character as well.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherrey | 3/4/2010

    " Susan Fraser King's first novel is a winner in my book (no pun intended). She did her research, and she then wrote an interesting and engaging historical novel. King may have her naysayers but for me, this was educational, fast-paced, and held my interest from beginning to end. "

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About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.