- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted October 20, 2001
Ill Met by Moonlight is unique among the few works of fiction that use William Shakespeare as a character. The trouble with most of those novels and films is their lack of daring. The precious few facts we know about the man are treated with such reverence that the author hardly dares to make even the most believable addition. Maybe Will played detective and investigated Kit Marlowe's death? Maybe a girl sneaked in to play a girl's part? Maybe the Queen herself dropped by to catch a performance? They amuse us by timidly stepping a toe into the great unknown sea of Shakespeare's personal history. Sarah Hoyt's Ill Met by Moonlight, on the other hand, is fired by an imagination and daring worthy of the playwright. The premise is simple and grand: what if Shakespeare based A Midsummer Night's Dream on his own encounters with the world of Faerie? And this is not the fairyland of Victorian children's stories that young Will falls into, rather it is the dark ethereal realm our ancestors thought they shared their world with. Kirk's Secret Commonwealth, inhabited by Tam Lin and Allingham's Fairies, in which a man who joins the dance in the fairy circle, may wake up the next day to find twenty years have passed in the world he knew. Will's wife Nan and young daughter Susannah are spirited away to a crystal palace that appears in an enchanted wood, and Will, going to their rescue, finds himself enmeshed in the political affairs of nearly immortal creatures who, for all their great powers, are as succeptible as mortals to lust and greed and rage and the will to power. And is seduced by the impossibly beautiful Lady Silver. And finds himself loved by Lord Quicksilver, for Quicksilver and Silver are one in the same, a shapechanger who transforms between the human sexes as others of his kind transform between species. Ill Met by Moonlight is an original and truly wonderful entertainment.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 13, 2001
Take a story that has a poor man's wife and daughter kidnapped, the mysterious death of a monarch, the rightful heir passed over due to a physical abnormality, twist them and entwine them together, and you'd have a pretty good story. Now, make the poor man none other than a young William Shakespeare, living in Stratford prior to his ascension in London. The murdered monarchs turn out to be King Oberon and Queen Titania of the fairy people. The abnormality of the rightful heir Quicksilver turns out to be the ability to shape-shift between two aspects of himself, a quality that his brother Sylvanus exploits to become the king. Now mix up these elements and you'd swear that Sarah Hoyt had three witches stirring a brew and speaking cryptic riddles in her office when she wrote 'Ill Met By Moonlight'. In this well crafted novel we meet young Will Shakespeare, before he went to London, and before he wrote his first play. Earning a meager wage as a teacher, he lives with his wife Anne and infant daughter Susannah in a small house on his father's lot. His simple life is broken apart when he returns home one night to find his family gone. In trying to locate them Will finds that Sylvanus has taken them to the fairy palace so Anne can be wet nurse for Sylvanus' daughter whose human mother has recently died. Quicksilver in turn discovers Will, and uses him as a tool, embroiling him in a plot to regain his throne that forces Will to eventually fight the powerful magic of Sylvanus not only for his family, but for his life. In the end, While the Lady Silver is captivated by Will's mortal charm, Quicksilver gains a respect for Will and looks upon him as a kindred spirit and brother. Will gains a sense of greater purpose, a deeper love for his wife, and more than a few ideas for use later in life. Hoyt's use of language not only provides the images of the places and participants, but also the feeling of the setting as it must have appeared during Shakespeare's life. She seamlessly blends the real world with that of fairy as Will moves between the two worlds to find his family, and discovers that there may be more for him in life than his role as a humble teacher. Working to stay true to what is known of Shakespeare's early life, she weaves a story full of court intrigue, mysterious deaths, and hidden motivations that introduce many character types that show up in various later plays by the as yet still mortal bard. Written for readers of the twenty-first century, using characters and locations from the sixteenth, 'Ill Met By Moonlight' is an excellent tale of heroism, conspiracy, and the search for justice. A story that would be worthy of stage presentation in five acts, if such were still being written today.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
A young Will Shakespeare is married to Nan and is a father to their baby Susannah. After a day of teaching, Will comes home to his Stratford residence only to find both his beloved females missing. He walks to her cousin¿s house to fetch Nan when he sees her dancing with a noble in a magical kingdom that cannot exist. He is unable to touch her because she is now in Fairyland. <P>Will has no hope of ever getting back Nan and his child until he meets Silverdawn in her guise as Lady Silver. She is the rightful heir to the fairy throne since her parents disappeared. However, her older brother Sylvanus has usurped the throne turning her into his supplicant. Silverdawn intends to use Will as an instrument of revenge even though she knows he will probably die for her cause. <P> ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT is a delightful Elizabethan fantasy that colorfully describes Shakespeare¿s mundane plane and the realm of fairy. Will is the hero of the tale, yet the novel belongs to Silverdawn, a fairy with heart. Hopefully Shakespeare will have more adventures in the land of the fairy. <P>Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.