The Third Witch

The Third Witch

by Rebecca Reisert
4.7 17

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The Third Witch by Rebecca Reisert

Rebecca Reisert's mesmerizing first novel re-imagines Macbeth, Shakespeare's classic tragedy of power and madness, through the eyes of a mysterious young woman on a dangerous quest for vengeance.
For the girl called Gilly, life in the wilds of Birnam Wood is little more than a desperate struggle for survival. Seven long years have passed since she was first taken in and sheltered by Nettle and Mad Helga, the hut-dwelling wise-women whose inscrutable powers of alchemy and prophecy are feared and reviled throughout good King Duncan's kingdom. Living under the threat of deadly persecution by witch-hunting villagers, the threesome ekes out a life by peddling potions and elixirs, scavenging for food, and robbing the bloodied corpses of Scotland's battle-scarred hills for precious metals and weapons.
But Gilly is haunted by recollections of a much brighter life. She clings to fading memories of a time when she was contented and adored -- until tragedy swept all that happiness away and young Gilly's life was changed forever.
I have made my life an arrow, and His heart is my home. I have made my heart a blade, and His heart is my sheath....Obsessed with avenging her loss and putting out the fire that still rages in her heart, Gilly has dedicated herself to destroying Macbeth, the boundlessly ambitious man who took away her childhood, and his goading wife. Disguising herself as a poor servant boy, she insinuates herself into their lives and, as she bears horrified witness to Macbeth's violent path to power, Gilly subtly begins to take a hand in the forces governing his fate. But as the culmination of her revenge draws near, Gilly finds her own life at risk when she confronts the troubling legacy of a long-concealed heritage.
The Third Witch is a brilliantly imagined, wonderfully satisfying novel. In a riveting story of ruthlessness and revenge, debut author Rebecca Reisert demonstrates a profound understanding of the Bard's timeless drama -- and of the real-life Macbeth upon whom Shakespeare's incarnation is modeled.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743423052
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication date: 03/02/2002
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 592,513
File size: 359 KB

About the Author

Rebecca Reisert, the author of more than thirty plays, has taught high school English, acting, and creative writing for the past twenty-six years. She has directed four productions of Macbeth. The recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, Reisert currently teaches at a nationally ranked high school in Louisville, Kentucky. She lives in Indiana, and this is her first novel.

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The Third Witch 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
-Katherine- More than 1 year ago
I say that because one of the reviews I read sounded exactly what I put last time and so I'm pretty sure it was me. Well anyway this was a great book for both guys and girls because there was no love interest to bore the guys and there were a few gory scenes that really took me off guard. Gilly is interesting and really resentful but as the story goes on it starts to make a ton of sense and its impossible not to agree with her. I loved how she made up her own curses because she didn't know any herself lol when I first read that part in the beginning I had to bookmark it and show one of my friends because I thought it was that great. This is a really bad choice for anyone who is greatly offended by violence but great if you can handle it. =]
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. In the beginning i couldn't see how Gilly could be so resentful towards this one man, but as it gets deeper and deeper inside the story you totally begin to side with her. I wouldn't suggest this story to anyone under 7th grade.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This debut novel is one that will keep the reader turning the page, and turning back to the beginning when you've finished! I found this book at a small bookstore in a third-rate strip mall. I read the first page- ''Tis time to rob the dead.' How can you not read a book after something as interesting as that? The opening sentence sort of grabs your hand and takes you through the book, with Reisert's wonderful details and dialogues. The reader falls in love with Gilly, it seems, and at the same time of your reading, you kind of accumulate her emotions: You hate Macbeth as well, you're confused at the end, and somehow you absolutely love Pod. It's a crazy mixed-up Scottish world, and if anyone even has a little bit of love for fantasy, Shakespeare, Scotland, or even just adventure, you really really want to read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Told from the viewpoint of one of the three witches in Shakespeare's MacBeth, this is a historical fiction story told almost completely in the 1st person. The story sides more with Shakespeare than it does true history, but that doesn't effect the flow. Gilly is a young teenage girl, hellbent on revenge. Her only desire in life is to kill Macbeth, and she makes many mistakes because she is so one-sighted in this. No matter how she tries to convince herself she's incapable of feeling, her true nature keeps appearing. She disguises herself as a boy and works as a kitchen scullery in order to get closer to Macbeth, which is when her life, and her plans, take a real turn. While wise in many ways, the flipside shows her immaturity in so many others. There's a nice little bit in the back for book clubs, as well as a brief interview with the author. If you like historical fiction or Shakespeare's Macbeth, you'll enjoy this.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent companion book to read in a high school classroom after students have read Macbeth. The heroine, Gilly, is highly accessible to a younger audience and takes the entire story of Macbeth from a different perspective (offering an almost 'behind the scenes' type look of the original action in Shakespeare's play.) It was full of adventure and is highly entertaining. A wonderful contrast in scope to the play!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The way she writes this book is wonderful, its like old times, but still enjoyable. The book is all about Gilly, the main character, wanting, and trying to get revenge on the man who killed her father. She meets new friends, takes on a new identity, learns new things, sees more bloodshed then anyone should, and suffers many heart aches during her path of revenge. She made her life an arrow, and his heart was her home, make your life an arrow, and this book your home, and read it
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books that I have ever read. It is very well-written, and Reisert keeps the reader involved in the fast-paced story. A good read if you want a fast and quick, yet very deep, reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderful read. Gilly is a wonderful girl. The author develops her characters well. You feel as if you are right there. I cannot wait to read more of her work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A superb novel. It's a sin not to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rebecca's detail to the time is incredible. She took me away on a journey that I really didn't want to end. I do hope that she produces more of these escapes. They are greatly needed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually picked this book up because I liked the jacket...........I was pleasantly surprized. After reading a few pages I couldn't put it down. Great read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful writing, great storyline, easy read, and funny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you can't get enough of Macbeth, or if you simply want to read a fascinating, well-written story, consider this first novel by playwright, director and teacher Rebecca Reisert. 'The Third Witch' weaves into the familiar tale of Macbeth an extraordinary fictional story that provides motivation for the three witches' predictions about the Scottish lord. Gilly, the title character, is a mysterious young woman who has been raised by two unusual women who might well be regarded by the supersitious locals as witches. She is obsessed with thoughts of revenge on a mysterious 'He,' soon revealed to be Macbeth himself. Her quest to avenge a personal loss takes her all the way to Macbeth's castle, where she disguises herself as a boy and procures a front-row seat for everything from Duncan's murder to Lady Macbeth's suicide. A memorable cast of characters, including Pod, the appealing waif Gilly takes under her wing, Lisette, a compassionate mother-figure, Fleance, Malcolm, and of course, the other two witches, make this novel a very absorbing read. I recommend it highly to all Shakespeare fans, lovers of the medieval and anyone who enjoys good literature.