I have been requested to provide some reviews of Banquo’s Son. Below are exacts from the many reviews I’ve received since the book was published. I have NOT included the bits where the reviewer has summarized the story, comment on their own knowledge of Shakespeare or how the book came to be. I’ve just selected the comments which relate directly to the quality of the story. I have NOT removed anything negative. I haven’t included any online reviews cos, if you are keen, you can google them. *grin*
the LIANZA judges' report for the 2010 Children's Book Awards:
At a times when Shakespeare is in danger of disappearing from our school curriculum, Banquo's Son can be credited with doing more to keep his books alive than many other efforts to do so.
Tania Roxborogh takes us through historic Scotland and her story picks up where Macbeth left off. The judges were pleasantly surprised at how readable this historic work proved to be. While it introduced new characters, there were some recognisable ones - it was like coming across an old friend when characters from Macbeth appeared. Tania can be commended on her attention to historic detail and adventurous writing.
“…I do not really enjoy Shakespeare for many reasons but this is not like Shakespeare…This book is really good. Sure at times I was confused as to what they were saying but I got the drift after a while, Once I started reading it was hard to stop. The characters are loveable and believable. This story seems so well thought out that I even forgot it was based on Shakespeare. When it ended, I wished it was longer so that I could read more. It was amazing. I have never before been so close to tears while reading a book. Banquo’s Son should definitely be introduced into the Shakespearian section of the school curriculum. What can I say? It’s one of the best books I’ve read.” Annie Hawker, Tearaway magazine, October 2009.
“…This novel draws readers in from the first page and will have readers eagerly awaiting the second instalment.” Stephen Clark, editor, Tomorrow’s Schools Today
“While Roxborogh, a high school English teacher, has made an effort to give the book a ‘Shakespearean’ feel names like Flea, Keavy, Rosie and Rachel, sound more appropriate in New Zealand high schools than in seventeenth –century England. The novel doesn’t uncover much regarding either Scotland or Shakespeare’s stories. Instead, the main focus is the teenage love story, and Flea’s struggles with grief over his father’s death. But perhaps this is irrelevant. Roxborogh is an author who understands her readers well, and her readers will feel completely comfortable throughout the whole sotry. While it may not help teenagers understand the finer details of Shakespeare’s work, at least Roxborogh is giving her students and other teenagers throughout the country literature that will captivate them and encourage them to read.” Sarah Gumbly, NZ Lawyer, October 2009.
“…It’s a great read – fast paced with real characters and plenty of action. It’s good to know the second book isn’t too far away…” Ingrid Tiriana, feature for Associated Press, National, April 2010
“Tania Roxborogh has excelled herself with this ambitious and absorbing tale…and has woven a fascinating story of love and honour set in 11th century Scotland…This crossover novel should be enjoyed by older teenagers and adults who like a gripping historical novel.” Maria Gill, Feb 2010
‘Thereafter followed regular meetings with eight of the 15 year-old- girls as the manuscript unfolded; the students provided feedback on the story and influenced Ms Roxborogh’s storytelling. It is this influence, perhaps, that makes it a books most suitable for this age group. The media release notes that ‘top literary agency’ has picked up this book and its agent Josh Getzler is quoted raving about, it… which perhaps raised my expectations too high – consequently, I was disappointed. But persistence paid off and the second half of the story began to gel and make more sense. The story tightened up, the writing seemed to mature and the behaviour of the characters become more believable than the first chapters, making it much more enjoyable to read in the end.” Vicki Price, Daily News, Jan 2010
"...I enjoyed the twists and turns in the tale, mildly distracted by occasional typos. There’s been some debate about whether the book is aimed at the adult or YA market but really it’s a good read for anyone with an appetite for a historical tale." Chrissi Blair, The School Library, Summer 2010