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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.

Shakespeare’s Witch
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.

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My Review

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 .…

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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.

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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 Pen­cils & Pages

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

Mon­day, April 15
Review at Don­na’s Book Blog
Excerpt at Myths, Leg­ends, Books & Cof­fee Pots

Tues­day, April 16
Fea­ture at Celti­cLa­dy’s Reviews

Wednes­day, April 17
Review at Bookram­blings
Review at Cof­fee and Ink


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 Rules

– Give­away ends at 11:59pm EST on April 17th. You must be 18 or old­er to enter.
– Give­away is open to res­i­dents in the US & UK only.
– Only one entry per household.
– No sweep­stakes accounts please.
– All give­away entrants agree to be hon­est and not cheat the sys­tems; any sus­pi­cion of fraud is decid­ed upon by blog/site own­er and the spon­sor, and entrants may be dis­qual­i­fied at our discretion.
– The win­ner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new win­ner will be chosen.

Shake­speare’s Witch


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