A Haunting Modern Macbeth


As I descended By Robin Talley

Summary from the publishers website:

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.
Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.
Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of asidescended-highresthe distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.
But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.
Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.
But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.
From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.


Honestly, I almost stopped reading this book about 50 pages in. It wasn’t that it was bad, I think maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind and it was a little slow at first.  I also had a hard time matching up the characters from Macbeth to the ones in the book.  But once I decided that Maria and Lily were Lord and Lady Macbeth and Delilah was the king, matching up the characters didn’t seem to matter anymore, and so I decided to keep on reading. I rarely stop reading a book once I start, I may put one down for awhile, but I always go back.  The fact that this book was fairly short helped with the decision as well.  In the end there is a lot to like about this book. There is a diverse cast of characters and almost all of them help tell the story at some point. There are lots of ghosts, spirit activity and scary scenes involving bathroom mirrors and apparitions. The book’s atmosphere certainly contributes to its spookiness.  The weather is often described as cloudy, stormy and rainy and the electricity often goes out in the old plantation house that the students live in, so they have to rely on candles to see at night.  There is also death and madness just like in Macbeth. I liked the substitution of the the ouiji board scene with the three cats in the room for the opening scene in Macbeth with the witches.  I’m not sure knowing that it was a modern retell of Macbeth helped. I think in the end it doesn’t matter that much where the inspiration of the story came from.  This story stands on its own merit with solid characters, plot and setting. This wasn’t my favorite adaptation of a Shakespeare play set in modern times with modern characters, but it was still a good read.

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