Ill Met by Moonlight (Shakespearean Fantasies, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Ill Met by Moonlight (Shakespearean Fantasies #1)

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  163 ratings  ·  24 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 24th 2002 by Ace (first published 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 352)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Cyrano
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...more
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...more
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...more
Kim
Jul 12, 2008 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy, fairies, and/or Shakespeare
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 nursemai...more
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...more
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...more
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.
Raven
A very intriguing alternative history of William Shakespeare that interweaves British fairytales with true facts of the Bard's life. A fun read.
Tracey, librarian on strike
Mar 21, 2013 Tracey, librarian on strike rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one who enjoys Shakespeare
Shelves: abandoned
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.
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...more
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...more
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...more
Nicky
I thought this was an imagined history of likely events during one of Will Shakespeare's undocumented times. But it was silly- fairies have kidnapped his new wife and child. Little references to many plays are dropped in but not in a coherent sense.
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...more
Nicole
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...more
Lana.
Feb 02, 2011 Lana. rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Shakespeare enthusiasts who don't mind a little fantasy / fan-lit
Shelves: fantasy, romance
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...more
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...more
M—
DNF — With my fondness of Shakespeare this should have been a good match for me, but I found it unreadable. It just so failed to catch my attention I don't think I made it more than twenty page in, and I don't even remember the content of those twenty pages.

Two stars instead of one because I don't remember it being actively bad, just boring.
Ellen
Does what it says on the tin, but nothing beyond. I rolled my eyes a couple times at the "Shakespeare's inspiration!" bits.

(One of my goals for the year is to read through a chunk of my print backlog and determine whether to keep things. Cross one off that list! And this one's not a keeper!)
Ricki
This historical fantasy combines two subjects that I absolutely love - Will Shakespeare and Fae. However, it was so slow that I just couldn't really get into it. The climax was good, but the rising action was a very gradual slope that did not make for exciting reading.
Clarice
Nice take on a fusion of Shakespeare's possible early life with things from his plays and possible inspirations in the form of elves from faerieland. Etc. Fun and written with the idea of trying to be similar to the plays in terms of style of writing.
B.E.
Really interesting take on William Shakespeare and his chance encounter with the world of the elves. But I love Shakespeare. And I love elves. It was a natural fit for me.
Angela
Aug 02, 2013 Angela marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, baen, free, kindle
8/2/2013: $0.00 FREE on Kindle (again)
4/29/2013: Free on Kindle
Barbara
A light easy read made even better by Jason Carter's narration.
Stephen
Good book, though a little too heavy on the bodice ripping.
Diana
Diana marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
Mary-Jean Harris
Mary-Jean Harris marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Innamorati
  • Touched by Magic
  • Gossamyr (Changelings, #2)
  • Romeo's Ex: Rosaline's Story
  • A Midsummer Tempest
  • This Scepter'd Isle (Doubled Edge, #1)
  • Something Rotten (Horatio Wilkes Mysteries, #1)
  • The Third Witch
  • Enter Three Witches
  • Shakespeare and Co.: Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher and the Other Players in His Story
  • The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups
  • The Shadows of God (Age of Unreason, #4)
  • Love Disguised
  • The King's Peace (Tir Tanagiri, #1)
  • I, Iago
  • Brimstone (Earth, Air, Fire and Water , #1)
  • Shakespeare's Scribe (Shakespeare Stealer, #2)
  • The Station
DarkShip Thieves No Will But His: A Novel of Kathryn Howard Draw One in the Dark (Shifters, #1) Darkship Renegades Gentleman Takes a Chance (Shifters, #2)

Share This Book