Not based on Shakespeare or his sources, but on the available historical sources. Since some of those are slim, this is definitely fiction. But it's very rich fiction, deep and engrossing. The focus is not on Macbeth, but on his wife, here called Rue, who is married off at about 15. But she's not a submissive girl. She talks her father into teaching her swordplay and other martial arts, which later help to save lives. She also learns magic and the healing arts. Her first husband is murdered when she is pregnant with his son; she is forced to marry the man who killed her husband. Her resentment of him turns to understanding, respect, and finally love. Her ambition ultimately matches his, and they rule Scotland together. When he is killed, she crowns her son king, as the last Gaelic king of Scotland. The descriptions of life at the time ring true, from drafty castles to Viking raids to heather on the moors. A lovely book, though violent.
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