Shakespeare’s Witch (Pages of Darkness)

Written by Samantha Grosser
Review by Sara Dahmen

Against the backdrop of the development and pre-production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in 1606, sorcerer siblings Tom and Sarah Wynter attempt to fulfill their deepest desires. After Shakespeare decides to produce the play regardless of Sarah’s dark visions about it, the brother and sister find themselves hurtling toward their destiny. Tom lusts for John, one of the young players at the Globe, and Sarah loves Nick, who plays one of the pivotal roles in Macbeth. Using dark magic to attempt to force their hearts’ wishes into reality, Tom and Sarah go down a path of sexual exploration, demon summoning, and pushing against society’s norms. Their journey leads to the evil Sarah saw in the beginning, where each looks death in the face, with unexpected results.

This book is certainly dark, and filled with sex and magic, though the magic itself is never explained or used for much more than to push the plot along. I thought the internal feelings of Sarah and Tom were well done and intimate, though the switching into the heads of Nick and John without warning and solely to provide narrative was jarring at times. For those who like this time period, and a dash of Shakespeare without actual interaction with either William or the history of Macbeth itself, this is a juicy, lust-driven, forbidden, winding story. It is well-written, but I found myself disappointed by the lack of historical information.