Book: Ill Met by Moonlight

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Ill Met by Moonlight

Author: Sarah A. Hoyt
Publisher: Ace Books
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…
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?


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

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