Ill Met by Moonlight Audio CD – Oct 30 2003
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It takes a lot of guts to write a novel about William Shakespeare, and Sarah A. Hoyt has what it takes. The deed inherently invites comparison, and of course Ill Met by Moonlight falls short of the work of the greatest writer in the English language. However, the prose is solid; the story lines are involving, tough-minded, and sexually charged; the characters are interesting and sympathetic; and echoes of Shakespeare's work ring through the novel. If you like good fantastic fiction, you will enjoy Hoyt's debut novel. If the idea of turning Shakespeare into a character in a book bothers you, or if you don't like fictional explanations of where a real person got his inspiration or ideas, then steer clear.
Young schoolteacher Will Shakespeare, struggling to support his new wife and baby daughter, is not entirely surprised to come home and discover they are missing. Believing his wife has returned to her family, he ventures into Arden Forest, heading for her village--and beholds a fine palace where no dwelling should be, with dancing lords and ladies of unearthly beauty, and his own dear wife dancing with them. He believes he is dreaming, until an impossibly beautiful young noblewoman steps forth to converse with him--and kiss him. The Dark Lady will help Will rescue his captive wife and child--if he will aid her in a soul-damning plot to kill the fairy king. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
"To be or not to be?" This is a conundrum posed not by the immortal Bard of Avon but, in newcomer Hoyt's quirky novel, by Quicksilver, heir proper to the Elven Realms Above the Air and Beneath the Hills of Avalon. William Shakespeare, who has yet to begin his career as a playwright, suffers a terrible personal blow when Sylvanus, evil king of the Elven realm, kidnaps his new wife, Nan, and their baby, Susannah. The young Shakespeare vows to get them back, but just how he'll go about it he doesn't know. Enter Quicksilver, the elf who was tricked out of his inheritance by his brother, Sylvanus. In the form of the Dark Lady (Shakespeare's supposed muse), Quicksilver allies himself with Shakespeare to bring about the downfall of Sylvanus and return Nan and Susannah to Will. Much treachery, romance and elvish behavior follow. Hoyt's Will Shakespeare makes an engaging main character, and the book generally romps along as a straightforward fantasy. Numerous references to the plays and a number of direct quotations mixed in with the text add to the fun. In her epilogue, the author discusses her sources and makes a plausible case, given the meager evidence, for assuming that the playwright was happily married. This is a literate first novel with the promise of good things to come. (Oct. 9)Forecast: The Pre-Raphaelite blonde on the jacket scarcely fits the image of the Dark Lady, but she does serve to signal that this is a quality item with crossover appeal to Shakespeare fans.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and read it in one sitting...
An interesting premise and actually not a bad little story. Some may be put off by the use of such a famous persona in such a light fantasy but as it happens I'm not one of them. I'd be willing to bet the old Bard wouldn't care all that much either, anything for a good story I'm sure. The biggest problem I had with the whole thing is the rationalization of why Will's wife Nan was picked by the usurper Sylvanus to be his wife. She was a self admitted 'old maid' and a bit of a shrew who married a much younger William out of, oh I don't know, desperation? Certainly if she were a raving beauty she would have been snapped up long before Will came along, regardless of any possible personality flaws. So why did a centuries old fairy, with all the beauty and power of his enchanted position precipitate his own ruin by kidnapping this rather ordinary human woman? Beats me, I can't figure it out. To be honest it is easier to accept the existence of fairies than this plot twist.
I will say one thing of Ms. Hoyt, she certainly knows Shakespeare's works, at least the more well know ones anyway. Inter-dispersed with almost every spoken line is a hint, and sometimes a bit more than a hint, of some famous quote from one of the Bards plays.Read more ›
The story Ms Hoyt tells belongs in the category of "it could have been." She has sufficient knowledge to weave a plausible story inside the known facts of Will Shakespeare's life. But Ms Hoyt doesn't just pile fact upon fact. She starts with a very real seeming locale in England and begins following a day in the life of a very young William Shakespeare. She follows Will as he tries to find his missing wife and child. Then in what may become her trademark Ms Hoyt starts to veer off the tried and trite everyday world. Her plots do not go exactly where we anticipate. Her plots have a way of going to a better place than we anticipated. Her story works out to leave us with warm feeling of completion -- Of course it was Ms Hoyt and her skill that made it seem to be so.
Now the unfortunate part: The writing of this book is frankly, well, just plain bad. Try as you might, you cannot become very attached to the characters. There is not enough deail and intricacy in the plot. Every thing seems very cliche. And it IS very cliche because Hoyt steals a lot of her plot from Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth, and of course, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Not only does she snatch ideas from these plays, she shamelessly pilfers exact dialogue. Perhaps she thought that putting Shakespeare's dialogue into the mouths of her characters would enhance the novel. But it does not; it fact it irks and distracts and suggests that she is unable to provide her own wording.
This incorporation of Shakespeare's lines into the novel was the number one reason that the book failed to be enjoyable (for me). At the most dramatic moments in the novel, you are pulled away from the scene because of the dialogue: "A plague. A plague on both your houses! Your houses, remember. You are both cursed." It could be that I've heard the lines so many times before in context, that they failed to impress me when I read them in Ill Met By Moonlight.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Young Will Shakespeare finds his wife and daughter missing, and soon learns they've been taken by the elf king Sylvanus. Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2003
This book is a delight. Anyone who loves Shakespeare and the faerie world will probably get something out of this. Read morePublished on Aug. 9 2003 by Basbenee
Sarah Hoyt has written a lovely fantasy that has the young Will Shakespeare saving his wife from the world of fairy, meeting his muse, and witnessing an internecine fairy conflict... Read morePublished on March 12 2003 by Richard Wells
What a wonderful idea for a book! Ill Met By Moonlight is an enchanting blending of fairylore, history, fantasy, the ballad Tam Lin and Shakespearean themes. Read morePublished on Sept. 8 2002 by Fuchsia
Sarah A. Hoyt blends magic and Shakespeare into a heady brew! Will Shakespeare is a 19-year-old school teacher, barely able to make ends meet for his wife and baby daughter. Read morePublished on June 2 2002 by Amazon Customer
Will Shakespeare is drawn into a world haunted by elves and fantasy when his wife and newborn daughter disappear in this intriguing blend of novel and fantasy. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2001 by Midwest Book Review
Quicksilver is a faery version of Prince Hamlet, the rightful ruler of his people, whose inheritance has been usurped by his murderous brother. Read morePublished on Dec 9 2001 by Kelly (Fantasy Literature)
Sarah Hoyt's debut novel, "Ill Met By Moonlight" is a wonderfully crafted tale that dances between the worlds of the historical William Shakespeare and that of the... Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2001
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