Shakespeare’s Witches tell Banquo, Thou Shalt Get Kings Though Thou Be None. Though Banquo is murdered, his son Fleance gets away. What happened to Fleance? As Shakespeare’s audience apparently knew, Banquo was the ancestor of the royal Stewart line. But the road to kingship had a most inauspicious beginning, and we follow Fleance into exile and death, bestowing the Witches prophecy on his illegitimate son Walter. Born in Wales and raised in disgrace, Walter’s efforts to understand Banquo’s murder and honor his lineage take him on a long and treacherous journey through England and France before facing his destiny in Scotland.
This book mostly follows Walter, but it doesn’t start there. It starts with Fleance. Walter is an interesting character to follow. However, there are lots and lots of characters that you’ll meet. This story isn’t told from their point of view but rather in a narrative voice…most of the time. Sometimes the story-line dips into third person, making the POVs fluid. This actually gibes the novel a visceral feel.
This story is not so much about characters. It is a story of lives. Lives lived and lost. Set in the 1000s. It has a historical novel feel with a overlay of a fictional backdrop. Prophecy and an established story results in many of the plot points being predictable…right up to the end. This story starts almost as abruptly as it ends—which was a bit of a bump in the road for me. It takes you on a journey though, an interesting and unexpected journey.
The writing has a historical feel and is long winded. Takes on a telling style, rather than showing, because of the narrative like writing. That being said there are some very powerful lines. However, the past and future story telling can be very jarring at times. Like someone reading a book and paraphrasing as they read. Which means it sort of meanders and then just ends. Very abruptly. The journey until you get there is interesting.
3.5 (rounded up)
Readers of historical novels and those who like Shakespeare will enjoy this book. It takes you on a winding tale.
Where did I get a copy?
Author sent me a copy. This is a voluntary review.