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Ill Met by Moonlight

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A world not of this world but in it-where a transparent palace hangs suspended in mid-air and tiny fairies twinkle here and there...where a traitorous king holds court before elven lords and ladies...and where fantastical tragedies and capricious romances reach out to entangle mortal souls... Enter: William Shakespeare This enchanting fantasy debut begins with the disappearan A world not of this world but in it-where a transparent palace hangs suspended in mid-air and tiny fairies twinkle here and there...where a traitorous king holds court before elven lords and ladies...and where fantastical tragedies and capricious romances reach out to entangle mortal souls... Enter: William Shakespeare This enchanting fantasy debut begins with the disappearance of young Will Shakespeare's wife and newborn daughter-a mystery that draws the Bard into a realm beyond imagination...and beyond reality. Held captive by the devious ruler of the elves and fairies, Shakespeare's family appears lost to him forever. But an alluring elf named Quicksilver takes a fancy to Shakespeare-and sees a chance to set things right. Can a mere schoolteacher win his wife back from a king? Or will Shakespeare fall prey to his own desires-and the cunning schemes of the unpredictable elf?


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A world not of this world but in it-where a transparent palace hangs suspended in mid-air and tiny fairies twinkle here and there...where a traitorous king holds court before elven lords and ladies...and where fantastical tragedies and capricious romances reach out to entangle mortal souls... Enter: William Shakespeare This enchanting fantasy debut begins with the disappearan A world not of this world but in it-where a transparent palace hangs suspended in mid-air and tiny fairies twinkle here and there...where a traitorous king holds court before elven lords and ladies...and where fantastical tragedies and capricious romances reach out to entangle mortal souls... Enter: William Shakespeare This enchanting fantasy debut begins with the disappearance of young Will Shakespeare's wife and newborn daughter-a mystery that draws the Bard into a realm beyond imagination...and beyond reality. Held captive by the devious ruler of the elves and fairies, Shakespeare's family appears lost to him forever. But an alluring elf named Quicksilver takes a fancy to Shakespeare-and sees a chance to set things right. Can a mere schoolteacher win his wife back from a king? Or will Shakespeare fall prey to his own desires-and the cunning schemes of the unpredictable elf?

30 review for Ill Met by Moonlight

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gergana

    DNF: 60%, up to Chapter 12 Read from April 20 to May 01, 2015 Sometimes I read a book and it takes way too long to get into it, but I am so determined to finish it that I don't realize that every time I pick up my Kindle I do it as if it is a chore, a task that I need to complete in order to move to something more enjoyable. In the meantime, my "to-read" list keeps getting bigger and bigger and I start to wonder whether I'll live long enough to read everything in there. That was pretty much my expe DNF: 60%, up to Chapter 12 Read from April 20 to May 01, 2015 Sometimes I read a book and it takes way too long to get into it, but I am so determined to finish it that I don't realize that every time I pick up my Kindle I do it as if it is a chore, a task that I need to complete in order to move to something more enjoyable. In the meantime, my "to-read" list keeps getting bigger and bigger and I start to wonder whether I'll live long enough to read everything in there. That was pretty much my experience with "Ill Met by Moonlight". Summary: William Shakespeare: Will is a financially struggling schoolteacher, who goes back home one evening to find out his wife, Nan, and child missing. He wonders around, confused and hurt, until he stumbles upon a faerie castle, half visible in the forest. Inside the lavish building, he is somehow able to see an almost unrecognizable Nan dressed in luxurious gown dancing with the King of the Elves and surrounded by his beautiful courtiers. While gazing at the impossible sight, a stunning elven maiden (who is actually a gender-shifting elf, named Quicksilver) appears in front of him and offers her help to retrieve Will's wife in return for a dangerous favor. Quicksilver: Quicksilver is cunning, intelligent and the rightful king of the faerie people who has been cheated out of the position by his older brother, Sylvanus. Unlike the majority of his kind, Quicksilver possesses the rare gift of being able to shift between a male and a female, which is rather unusual among his society and regarded with mistrust. Nevertheless, he remains in the court, plotting his revenge and fending of his brother's verbal attacks and humiliation with his quick tongue and sharp mind. His goal of retrieving the throne doesn't seem to be going anywhere until Sylvanus makes the mistake of kidnapping a mortal woman from her still-living husband - William Shakespeare. To be honest, this book is not bad. I was prepared for cheesiness and clichés, but Sarah A. Hoyt managed to keep it fairly original and unpredictable. The two main characters were alright, although William Shakespeare's narrative felt excruciatingly detailed and boring, his thoughts kept jumping around, from one topic to another, over-analyzing, remembering past events and being generally confused with every thing around him. Quicksilver on the other hand was far more compelling and interesting as a character. I loved the gender-shifting aspect of him and I absolutely adored his selfishness and willingness to use other people's love and attraction to him in order to achieve his goals. But, as the game gets more intense, he begins to realize how risky it is to play with people's lives and how afraid he is to loose the few who consider themselves his friends. If you are into books about (Victorian) England, politics, intrigues, fairie courts, William Shakespeare etc. there is a mighty big chance you might enjoy "Ill Met by Moonlight". The reason why I couldn't finish it was my impatience - sometimes the characters "thought" too much. Oh yes, one of the advantages of books over movies is that you can get inside another person's mind and many people would probably enjoy this. But for me, there was waaay to much thinking and not enough doing. The progress was very slow and at one point, I just couldn't care less about William's feelings for Nan and the elven maiden, the constant flashbacks and self-doubt. I was just bored, plain and simple. But I also blame my busy life at the moment.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lis Carey

    Who was Shakespeare's Dark Lady, and where did he get some of his most memorable lines? Hoyt tells a tale of a power struggle amongst the elves, in which young Will Shakespeare (he's just nineteen at this point) and his family get sideswiped. Quicksilver, a young elf who is mostly male but sometimes female, is the rightful heir to the throne of the elvish kingdom, but he's been displaced by his elder brother. This seems reasonable, when we first meet them, because while the brother's arrogant, Qu Who was Shakespeare's Dark Lady, and where did he get some of his most memorable lines? Hoyt tells a tale of a power struggle amongst the elves, in which young Will Shakespeare (he's just nineteen at this point) and his family get sideswiped. Quicksilver, a young elf who is mostly male but sometimes female, is the rightful heir to the throne of the elvish kingdom, but he's been displaced by his elder brother. This seems reasonable, when we first meet them, because while the brother's arrogant, Quicksilver is entirely self-absorbed, unable to see beyond his own wants and his own "rights," without the slightest regard for duty, responsibility, or the feelings of others. Any ra tional set of noblemen would have preferred the arrogant Sylvanus to the wholly irresponsible Quicksilver--especially since they don't know that Sylvanus murdered his parents, Oberon and Titania. Sylvanus had taken a human wife, and the wife has now died, leaving an infant daughter in need of a wetnurse. To fill this need, the king has kidnapped another human woman with a young daughter--Nan Shakespeare, and baby Susanna. He also intends that Nan will be his new wife, a plan that doesn't please Nan. When Quicksilver meets the worried Will Shakespeare, looking for his missing wife and child, the young elf has the beginnings of a plan to get his revenge on his brother and regain his rightful place in the elvish scheme of things. Quicksilver needs someone else to strike the fatal blow against his brother, because whoever strikes that blow will die. Impetuous young Will, eager to be a man in the support and protection of his young family, will be easily persuaded, and not know enough to ask the right questions. It's a neat scheme, which will cost him nothing; the human will die, but human lives are so short anyway, that doesn't matter. Quicksilver presents himself to Shakespeare as the Lady Silver, and promises to help him regain his family in exchange for his help in avenging "her" parents' deaths. And, of course, things immediately stop being neat. Quicksilver, despite his extreme self-involvement, does have a few real friends, especially the lovely Ariel and her brother Pyrite, and Ariel in particular attempts t o give him good advice. Will Shakespeare is a genuinely decent young man, who wants to help the distressed Lady Silver even while keeping focussed on trying to get his wife back from the elf king. The more Quicksilver has to pay attention to other people in order to get them to play their assigned parts in his scheme, the more he starts to see a reflection of himself in their eyes, and it isn't pretty. I think it's fair to say that Quicksilver gets the kicking around he deserves in this story., while other characters do the growing up that they need to do. Interestingly, the only false notes I found were the intrusions of Shakespeare's lines into the mouths of the elves at critical moments. It's a clever touch, I suppose, but I think in this case it was a little too clever for an otherwise delightful book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Nelson

    I couldn’t help but pick this book up: a Shakespeare historical fiction with fae? Yes, please. I figured it would be kind of silly, but at least entertaining, and it was that. Shakespeare gets home to find that his wife and daughter have been captured; he finds out that the local fae king is responsible and works to get his family back. Overall, I thought this was a fun read. It’s entertaining and I love the idea of fae elements inspiring Shakespeare. Quicksilver is a fantastic character and I ho I couldn’t help but pick this book up: a Shakespeare historical fiction with fae? Yes, please. I figured it would be kind of silly, but at least entertaining, and it was that. Shakespeare gets home to find that his wife and daughter have been captured; he finds out that the local fae king is responsible and works to get his family back. Overall, I thought this was a fun read. It’s entertaining and I love the idea of fae elements inspiring Shakespeare. Quicksilver is a fantastic character and I hope we get to see more of him in future books. I enjoyed seeing his character growth throughout the book. It was also fun to be introduced to the area where Shakespeare might have lived, and I always enjoy reading new takes on fae lore. I did have a few issues with it, though. There were a few too many direct quotes from Shakespeare’s works to make me take it too seriously. Also, not much really happens. It’s a lot of internal growth and internal thought, which is fine, but when you have a battle between Shakespeare and the fae king, I want just a tiny bit more action. I’m also not a huge fan of how most of the female characters are portrayed. Maybe it’s just looking at them through Will’s or Quicksilver’s eyes, but they were not given complex roles at all. They were either very mean or simpering, which was unfortunate. However, I still found this enjoyable and I’m interested to see what adventure awaits in the sequel. It’s a bit of a different take on both fantasy and historical fiction, so I love it for the uniqueness if nothing else. Also posted on Purple People Readers.

  4. 4 out of 5

    CJ Jones

    I got about a third of the way into this book before I had to set it aside. The concept was irresistible--Shakespeare versus the fairies. I think there's a story in here, but it suffers from first novel syndrome. The writing is... something like 'florid' and close to 'purple', but the result is that everything described seems like a set piece on stage--from one angle, it looks magnificent, but step a little to one side and you see the front and the lumber propping it up. The author tries much to I got about a third of the way into this book before I had to set it aside. The concept was irresistible--Shakespeare versus the fairies. I think there's a story in here, but it suffers from first novel syndrome. The writing is... something like 'florid' and close to 'purple', but the result is that everything described seems like a set piece on stage--from one angle, it looks magnificent, but step a little to one side and you see the front and the lumber propping it up. The author tries much to hard to show how clever the story is--oh look, here's Henry IV, oh there's Hamlet, and here's Romeo and Juliet, Big Ben, Parliament... I would have been delighted by this in high school, but now I find it awkward and a bit painful. We're moving from scene to scene in a precious Shakespearean clip episode. I know the author is a Shakespearean scholar, so I trust the dialogue is accurate, but it feels very Renne Faire. I kept on reading this book long after good judgement said to move on, because I really wanted to like it. But I couldn't manage it. (Oh. I forgot the annoying bit where all the women know about fairies and have to talk about it in hushed tones away from the menfolk and it seems like that's *all* they talk about.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    The concept creating a story that is to be read as if it were the acts of to play was enjoyable. And the idea that Will Shakespeare got the ideas for his plays from another reality, the world of elves and fairies is very close. I found it interesting that the elves who are so beautiful can have anything they want but real emotion eludes them. It is true the the author borrowers from just about every Shakespearean play known but is all works al least in the audio book because the story is read by The concept creating a story that is to be read as if it were the acts of to play was enjoyable. And the idea that Will Shakespeare got the ideas for his plays from another reality, the world of elves and fairies is very close. I found it interesting that the elves who are so beautiful can have anything they want but real emotion eludes them. It is true the the author borrowers from just about every Shakespearean play known but is all works al least in the audio book because the story is read by Jason Carter has several vivid registers to his voice. And can make all characters alive and sympathetic, so its easy to like almost every being in the story. Each character male and female have a true voice. The dialogue is pretty accurate but watered down But when the story was over I wanted to reread Midsummer Nights Dream.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    My God, I remember this being bad. I generally try to give a book at least 100 pages before I give up on it - I hated everything about this so much I'd be surprised if I made it 50. Shakespeare, indeed.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    nope. ------- so i didn't expect this to be particularly good, but the premise was intriguing: young shakespeare falls in love with an elf who can shift between male and female forms (inspiring both the dark lady and young man of the sonnets, i presume). this could've been queer sexy shax! but it wasn't. at some point i just started skipping the descriptions and only reading the dialogue. this was an improvement, but the dialouge was still way too stilted (faux-elizabethan?) and no one was particu nope. ------- so i didn't expect this to be particularly good, but the premise was intriguing: young shakespeare falls in love with an elf who can shift between male and female forms (inspiring both the dark lady and young man of the sonnets, i presume). this could've been queer sexy shax! but it wasn't. at some point i just started skipping the descriptions and only reading the dialogue. this was an improvement, but the dialouge was still way too stilted (faux-elizabethan?) and no one was particularly clever or witty, least of all will himself. this fell short as a romance (no steaminess or swooniness) and as a reimagining of shax's 'lost years'. i'd be nicer, but the author justifies her book with this highly questionable dumas quote so...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    One day, a young William Shakespeare comes home from his teaching job to find his wife, Nan, and infant daughter, Susanna, missing. Stick figures have been left in their beds, which means that they haven't just left, they've been kidnapped by elves. Having no idea what to do or who to see, Will starts to think that his wife and child are gone forever. Meantime, at a nearby elven castle invisible to humans, Titania and Oberon, the King and Queen, have been murdered. Their younger son, Sylvanus, ha One day, a young William Shakespeare comes home from his teaching job to find his wife, Nan, and infant daughter, Susanna, missing. Stick figures have been left in their beds, which means that they haven't just left, they've been kidnapped by elves. Having no idea what to do or who to see, Will starts to think that his wife and child are gone forever. Meantime, at a nearby elven castle invisible to humans, Titania and Oberon, the King and Queen, have been murdered. Their younger son, Sylvanus, has taken over the throne, leaving Quicksilver, the rightful heir, out of luck. He begins to plot Sylvanus' death, something that can only be done by a human, like young William. Nan has been kidnapped to become the Royal Nursemaid. The infant's mother died in childbirth, and highborn elven women are too frail and fragile to do real work. Part of the deal is that Nan marries Sylvanus, something she refuses to do because of her marriage vow to Will. Defending Will from an attempt to permanently get him out of the way, Quicksilver is blamed for the death of another elf. Sylvanus permanently bars Quicksilver from the castle, making it invisible to him, and also cuts off Quicksilver from the elven "power source" (for lack of a better term). Being able to change back and forth between male and female, Quicksilver, as a woman, seduces Will and broaches the idea of killing Sylvanus with what turns out to be a sort of magic knife. It is made of a sepcial metal that that causes any elven wound to be fatal. Sylvanus shows Nan a recording of their lovemaking, and her resolve to not marry Sylvanus begins to weaken. After all, Will has found someone more beautiful than she (Nan) is, and it's pretty hard to give up silks and soft beds. This one is really good. For those who are into elves and fairies or William Shakespeare, it's especially worthwhile. It's a rather "quiet" story that's part of a series, but it's got good characters, it's easy to read, and it's just strange enough to be good. The reader won't go wrong with this.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Have you ever read a book for a second time and gotten so much more out of it than you had the first time you read it? That's how Ill Met by Moonlight was for me. I think I read it first in 2003, and enjoyed it, but I'm not sure I sensed just how clever the book actually was. Quicksilver is the youngest son of Titania and Oberon, by rights the heir to their kingdom after their mysterious deaths. However, his older brother Sylvanus holds the throne, and has taken a mortal woman, Nan, as nurse Have you ever read a book for a second time and gotten so much more out of it than you had the first time you read it? That's how Ill Met by Moonlight was for me. I think I read it first in 2003, and enjoyed it, but I'm not sure I sensed just how clever the book actually was. Quicksilver is the youngest son of Titania and Oberon, by rights the heir to their kingdom after their mysterious deaths. However, his older brother Sylvanus holds the throne, and has taken a mortal woman, Nan, as nursemaid for his daughter and possibly more. Suspecting foul play, Quicksilver, who switches genders at will (no pun intended), seeks out the help of a mortal to avenge his parents' death, a mortal who happens to be Nan's husband, a young petty schoolmaster named William Shakespeare. Hoyt has a lot of fun with Shakespeare in this novel, playing around with the facts of his life and the identity of his mysterious "dark lady," but also peppering her novel with references to his works, both their plots and their language. I think initially I found Quicksilver unsympathetic, but actually his behavior seems quite consistent with the portrayal of elves in Elizabethan ballads.. Nan and Will come across as likable, if flawed, human beings, and it is easy to see their appeal for their elven suitors. The dialogue is Elizabethan (and some of it will be very familiar), but not overly stilted or difficult to understand. An enjoyable read for most fantasy lovers, I think, and doubly so if they like Shakespeare as well.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    Quicksilver is a faery version of Prince Hamlet. He is the rightful ruler of his people, but his inheritance has been usurped by his murderous brother. He can only wreak revenge and claim his birthright with the help of a mortal, and Will Shakespeare seems like just the man for the job. Luckily, Quicksilver has a gender-shifting talent, and Will is much intrigued by Q's female aspect... Will has an agenda as well; his wife has been kidnapped by the aforementioned usurping king, to be a nurse to t Quicksilver is a faery version of Prince Hamlet. He is the rightful ruler of his people, but his inheritance has been usurped by his murderous brother. He can only wreak revenge and claim his birthright with the help of a mortal, and Will Shakespeare seems like just the man for the job. Luckily, Quicksilver has a gender-shifting talent, and Will is much intrigued by Q's female aspect... Will has an agenda as well; his wife has been kidnapped by the aforementioned usurping king, to be a nurse to the king's daughter. Worse, the king eventually plans to make Anne his new queen. Will must save Anne from the faery kingdom before it's too late. Ill Met by Moonlight is an amusing romp consisting of a generous helping of Hamlet, set in the world of A Midsummer Night's Dream,... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    A surprisingly good take on how Shakespeare may have found inspiration for several of his plays. I had tried reading this book about a year ago and didn't make it past the two page prologue, but upon trying it again this year, I was immediately immersed into young Will Shakespeare's world and found myself staying up late to read this one. The book does suffer from slipping in and out of Shakespearean language, but otherwise a great first novel, and a wonderful take on Shakespeare's inspiration.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Raven

    A very intriguing alternative history of William Shakespeare that interweaves British fairytales with true facts of the Bard's life. A fun read. A very intriguing alternative history of William Shakespeare that interweaves British fairytales with true facts of the Bard's life. A fun read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    This was very different than my normal "fun" reading. In looking for lists of authors to try out, Sarah Hoyt's name came up on more than one. Her "Darkship" series sounds more like what I normally read, but let's be honest -- I already have plenty of what I normally read. So a series about William Shakespeare in Faerieland? Sign me up! I thought I would be getting a standard fantasy novel. What I got was...well, different from anything I'd read before. Subtly different, sure, but different noneth This was very different than my normal "fun" reading. In looking for lists of authors to try out, Sarah Hoyt's name came up on more than one. Her "Darkship" series sounds more like what I normally read, but let's be honest -- I already have plenty of what I normally read. So a series about William Shakespeare in Faerieland? Sign me up! I thought I would be getting a standard fantasy novel. What I got was...well, different from anything I'd read before. Subtly different, sure, but different nonetheless. The prose is intentionally over-the-top, florid, almost unrelentingly so. I never felt like Hoyt was trying to "write Elizabethan" as if it were some sort of dialect, but the over-lush prose gave the sense of Elizabethan language without directly employing it. The magical world Hoyt builds is believable but "squishy" enough that it doesn't come off as an exercise in logic, physics, or mathematics (as overly-described and delineated magic systems sometimes can), and while character motivations and attitudes shift with the -- well, with the swiftness of a Shakespearean play -- all the characters end up being interesting. Though, naturally, Shakespeare himself and the main elf character, Quicksilver, are by far the two most interesting characters. Another thing: I appreciate the fact that the story actually, you know, ended. It's part of a trilogy, but you could easily read just this first book and be satisfied with that. Multi-book-spanning works of fiction are great and all, but a little closure with each volume would be nice (I'm looking at you, John C. Wright). I do intend to finish the series, but seriously, this book stands on its own. If the rest of the books in the Shakespearean Fantasies series stack up to this one, it could end up going on my "favorites" shelf. Certainly, Hoyt has -- at least on the strength of the only book of hers I've read -- joined John C. Wright, John Ringo, and Larry Correia as authors I'm willing to take a risk on, authors whose books I will buy sight unseen and without reservation. Anyone who enjoys Shakespeare and can still read fantasy with a sense of awe, without any sort of jaded cynicism, will probably love Ill Met by Moonlight. For the cynics out there, I guess there's always GRRM and his pooping-in-fields scenes? Five stars, easy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kari Reads

    It seemed like such a good idea. Unfortunately the prose veers between Shakespeare quotes (I was prepared for some, I got a whole lot more than I expected) and prose that was overwrought, nigh onto purple. The combination was just too much. I found the plot intriguing: Nan, young Will Shakespeare's beloved wife, is taken (along with her baby) by the usurping elf king to be his wife and nursemaid to his daughter. The rightful elf king wants his throne, Nan wants to go home to Will, and Will wants It seemed like such a good idea. Unfortunately the prose veers between Shakespeare quotes (I was prepared for some, I got a whole lot more than I expected) and prose that was overwrought, nigh onto purple. The combination was just too much. I found the plot intriguing: Nan, young Will Shakespeare's beloved wife, is taken (along with her baby) by the usurping elf king to be his wife and nursemaid to his daughter. The rightful elf king wants his throne, Nan wants to go home to Will, and Will wants his wife and daughter back. I particularly appreciated a fictional Shakespeare and Ann who love one another and want to be together. Too often, Ann is either a shrew or a non-entity. But all the quotes made it feel like the book was one of those hidden object puzzles where the image exists purely for purposes of hiding other images. If you think a game of "I spy the Shakespeare reference" sounds like fun, you'll probably like the book. For me, it got tiresome quickly.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laurent T

    forget Tolkien's twee elven folk - these elves are the true sylvan spirits, the lords and ladies of the Hill, mutable, murderous and as human as we mere mortals with our vanities and power struggles. yet retaining their beguiling, glamorous out-of reach Dainnan Siddhe form [glamorous in the old sense - not the modern sense of vapid celebrities with too much money pretending to be...well, just pretending.] Add to that the flowery Elizabethan language, shakespeare and the hint that maybe, just maybe forget Tolkien's twee elven folk - these elves are the true sylvan spirits, the lords and ladies of the Hill, mutable, murderous and as human as we mere mortals with our vanities and power struggles. yet retaining their beguiling, glamorous out-of reach Dainnan Siddhe form [glamorous in the old sense - not the modern sense of vapid celebrities with too much money pretending to be...well, just pretending.] Add to that the flowery Elizabethan language, shakespeare and the hint that maybe, just maybe this this is not quite all that it seems, and you have a wonderful read or as Puck would have it "If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumbered here,While these visions did appear." Sleep-reading - that's a new one! also, The elven ball reminded me of the ones in 'Company of Wolves' and 'Labyrinth' 2 of my favourite films

  16. 5 out of 5

    David

    About 3.5 stars which I pushed up to 4 being a Bard fan. Here young Bill, a schoolteacher, arrives at home to find wife and baby missing, beginning an adventure in the forest home of elves who have their own political struggle to deal with. There are many references and quotes from the plays and I liked the characters and story. There is more pondering than action but enjoyed it. Certainly a different take on S's Dark Lady.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Coming home to find his wife and infant daughter missing, young William Shakespeare sets out in search of them. They have been spirited away to the magical Fairy Realms, and in his quest to retrieve them, Will becomes an unwitting pawn in the machinations and intrigues of the fairy courts, attracts the love of an elven prince, and finds inspiration for his life's work beyond his wildest imagining. A enchanting historical fantasy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Andruss

    Liked it enough that I'm going to go buy the next one. :-)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    errr what the heck did I just read...confusing for sure

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marsha Valance

    Will Shakespeare must rescue Anne Hathaway and their daughter Susannah from Faerie.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    William Shakespeare, aged 19 or 20, a small-town schoolteacher, comes home one day to find his wife Nan and his infant daughter gone. A small log lies in baby Susannah's crib, giving him the only clue to their whereabouts: they've been snatched by the Fair Folk. Quicksilver, heir of Oberon and Titania, comes home to find his his parents murdered and his throne usurped by his brother, Sylvanus. He enlists young Will in a scheme of revenge, with Nan as both bait and reward. Alternating between happe William Shakespeare, aged 19 or 20, a small-town schoolteacher, comes home one day to find his wife Nan and his infant daughter gone. A small log lies in baby Susannah's crib, giving him the only clue to their whereabouts: they've been snatched by the Fair Folk. Quicksilver, heir of Oberon and Titania, comes home to find his his parents murdered and his throne usurped by his brother, Sylvanus. He enlists young Will in a scheme of revenge, with Nan as both bait and reward. Alternating between happenings in the world of Faerie and events in Stratford-upon-Avon, we follow Will's desperate search for Nan, Quicksilver's desperate quest for vengeance, and Nan's indoctrination into the ways of the Fey. It's possible I might have liked this book better had I read it in one sitting. It's a short thing, less than 300 pages, but even at that it felt too long. None of the chief characters, save Nan, engendered much sympathy. Quicksilver especially annoyed me -- arrogant, duplicitous, selfish, and self-righteous, he had no qualms about using and deceiving a "mere mortal" to his own ends, and I never quite bought the idea that he fell in love with Will. Will, even given some leeway for his youth, seemed much too wishy-washy and easily led. Only Nan seemed to have any strength of character. Still, on the whole, it's not a bad story, a decent way to spend a few hours if you don't have anything better to read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Denyse Loeb

    This book asks the question "what happened during Shakespeare's lost years?" and comes up with an answer of a fantasy nature. A young Will comes home one night to find his wife and daughter gone, and his search for them will take him to the lands of the fairy and back again. Impression: I should have read the description, I don't know why I didn't. Maybe I did at the time I added it to my amazon.com wishlist. Regardless, this was not what I expected when I actually read it. The writing is good en This book asks the question "what happened during Shakespeare's lost years?" and comes up with an answer of a fantasy nature. A young Will comes home one night to find his wife and daughter gone, and his search for them will take him to the lands of the fairy and back again. Impression: I should have read the description, I don't know why I didn't. Maybe I did at the time I added it to my amazon.com wishlist. Regardless, this was not what I expected when I actually read it. The writing is good enough, and the idea of fantasy touching Shakespeare's life in a way a little more direct than just in his head is intriguing. However, for a short read, it took me awhile to get through it. And while relatively engaging and interesting, I doubt I'll read it again. I think one of my favorite things about it was the various quotes from several of Shakespeare's plays that appeared sprinkled through out and well woven into the book. I've placed this book on my bc.com book shelf (you can see the entry for it here) and have already chosen a place for it's release. My oldest will be taking it with her to release at her high school. Update: It only took her 3 days to remember to find a place to drop it off. lol It's finally out in the wild.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lana.

    Sarah A. Hoyt may have the chops, knowledge, and research backgroup to write a very historically reasonable (aside from the faeries) protrayal of Shakespeare's early life, but, this book did not deliver. Shakespeare enthusiasts may enjoy sifting through the plot and various dialogue sequences to find and place the Shakespearean works. But, for me, this was distracting. The references I noticed, seemed heavy handed and took away from the flow of the language (infusing too much flowery to Hoyt's m Sarah A. Hoyt may have the chops, knowledge, and research backgroup to write a very historically reasonable (aside from the faeries) protrayal of Shakespeare's early life, but, this book did not deliver. Shakespeare enthusiasts may enjoy sifting through the plot and various dialogue sequences to find and place the Shakespearean works. But, for me, this was distracting. The references I noticed, seemed heavy handed and took away from the flow of the language (infusing too much flowery to Hoyt's more modern prose). While the premise was very interesting, I do not plan on reading more in this series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heidijo

    I am a huge Shakespeare fan and am always up for a good fairy story, so naturally I was very excited to find this book. The story started well and sparked my interest, but from the moment the elf prince was introduced it went downhill. The Shakespeare we know and love is here portrayed as a snivelling boy who doesn't know right from left and certainly incapable of writing the foundation of western literature, and to top it all off, Hoyt dares to present an angsty bisexual elf as Shakespeare's in I am a huge Shakespeare fan and am always up for a good fairy story, so naturally I was very excited to find this book. The story started well and sparked my interest, but from the moment the elf prince was introduced it went downhill. The Shakespeare we know and love is here portrayed as a snivelling boy who doesn't know right from left and certainly incapable of writing the foundation of western literature, and to top it all off, Hoyt dares to present an angsty bisexual elf as Shakespeare's infamous dark lady. some things may be overlooked considering that this was Hoyt's first novel, but the shaky story (tacked on to a very patched up ending) was an overall disappointment.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Chase

    Obviously, I couldn't put it down. Historical fantasy fiction! A young Will Shakespeare and the fair folk! Easter eggs of quotes sprinkled throughout! A very fun read for anyone familiar with the works of the Bard, but the story would work even for someone less so. A very enjoyable and engrossing story. As much fun as this was, I do think it could've done without the conceit of the narrator in the first and last chapters. The story stood up well enough on its own without trying to give it storyte Obviously, I couldn't put it down. Historical fantasy fiction! A young Will Shakespeare and the fair folk! Easter eggs of quotes sprinkled throughout! A very fun read for anyone familiar with the works of the Bard, but the story would work even for someone less so. A very enjoyable and engrossing story. As much fun as this was, I do think it could've done without the conceit of the narrator in the first and last chapters. The story stood up well enough on its own without trying to give it storyteller "what REALLY happened" woo. The prose can be a bit flowery in places, but it worked for me and gave the fairies the appropriately fantastical feel.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alethea

    I enjoyed the author's subtle interweaving of speeches from Shakespeare's plays into the dialogue between characters. The passages were fairly well-known ones, but I still enjoyed finding them throughout. The dialogue in this novel, however -- TERRIBLE. It felt as though Hoyt didn't much experience writing conversations and the characters came across as very one-dimensional because of it. The dialogue being stilted also affected the flow of the plot. I had picked this up b/c it had both Shakespe I enjoyed the author's subtle interweaving of speeches from Shakespeare's plays into the dialogue between characters. The passages were fairly well-known ones, but I still enjoyed finding them throughout. The dialogue in this novel, however -- TERRIBLE. It felt as though Hoyt didn't much experience writing conversations and the characters came across as very one-dimensional because of it. The dialogue being stilted also affected the flow of the plot. I had picked this up b/c it had both Shakespeare AND fairies -- how could I go wrong? But I was WAITING for this book to be over, and I am positive I will not read the subsequent novels in the trilogy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elsiekate

    i think that having a really good working knowledge of shakespeare's plays enhances the reading of this book a whole hell of a lot. it's still enjoyable without (say other friends who read it) but i think that seeing all of the items that point to things that will occur in the plays is like getting all the inside jokes. hoyt brings off something that i think is a tricky concept--shakespeare is a character in her book which could be really mawkish if she tried to write as though he had spoken the i think that having a really good working knowledge of shakespeare's plays enhances the reading of this book a whole hell of a lot. it's still enjoyable without (say other friends who read it) but i think that seeing all of the items that point to things that will occur in the plays is like getting all the inside jokes. hoyt brings off something that i think is a tricky concept--shakespeare is a character in her book which could be really mawkish if she tried to write as though he had spoken the way that the plays are written or something, but she avoids most of the traps that i could see.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Apparently I read this awhile ago - not only did I read it, but I own it, and now have two copies because I picked this copy up used for like $1. Oops. Anyway, it was a long time ago that I read it, so I didn't remember much, so the reread didn't feel all that much like a reread! I liked this - it was interesting, and sweet, and I liked the slight Tam Lin thread at the end. And all the quotes from Shakespeare's plays worked into the dialogue was a cute touch. More excitingly, the sequel - which I Apparently I read this awhile ago - not only did I read it, but I own it, and now have two copies because I picked this copy up used for like $1. Oops. Anyway, it was a long time ago that I read it, so I didn't remember much, so the reread didn't feel all that much like a reread! I liked this - it was interesting, and sweet, and I liked the slight Tam Lin thread at the end. And all the quotes from Shakespeare's plays worked into the dialogue was a cute touch. More excitingly, the sequel - which I definitely have not read - involves more Marlowe, and we all know how much I love Kit.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    I think this book is ill-served by its cover; it's the title alone which impelled to pick up this debut book by Sarah Hoyt. All I'll say that the first half is splendid and not just for readers of romantic fantasy. Startlingly well written with unpredictable reversal after reversal and enough emotional angst for two or three books. The second half, although equally well-written, was a tad too predictable. This contrast between the two halves I'll just put down to first book inexperience.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    This book tried be like a play, including having each chapter be a scene. There were many references to Shakespeare's plays in the text though I'm sure I missed a lot of them. Ultimately it didn't work for me because the chosen style resulted in lots of running around and talking a lot more in the manner of Shakespeare's plays than Shakespeare himself and his contemporaries probably did. While fairies may reasonably speak that way, Shakespeare as a young man probably didn't. The story had some i This book tried be like a play, including having each chapter be a scene. There were many references to Shakespeare's plays in the text though I'm sure I missed a lot of them. Ultimately it didn't work for me because the chosen style resulted in lots of running around and talking a lot more in the manner of Shakespeare's plays than Shakespeare himself and his contemporaries probably did. While fairies may reasonably speak that way, Shakespeare as a young man probably didn't. The story had some interesting components but the plot moved slowly.

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