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Ill Met by Moonlight (Shakespearean Fantasies, #1)
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Ill Met by Moonlight (Shakespearean Fantasies #1)

3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  219 Ratings  ·  33 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...

William Shakespeare

This enchanting fantasy debut begins with the disappearan
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 24th 2002 by Ace (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 522)
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Jan 27, 2016 Gergana marked it as zzz-books-not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
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
Lis Carey
Feb 20, 2011 Lis Carey rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-sf
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
Apr 25, 2013 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 07, 2010 Cyrano rated it it was ok
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
Feb 13, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it
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 nursema ...more
Fantasy Literature
May 22, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
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
May 15, 2015 Tracey rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one who enjoys Shakespeare
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.
Nicole Chase
Feb 21, 2013 Nicole Chase rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 08, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 24, 2010 Kristen rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 15, 2008 Raven rated it really liked it
Shelves: mindcandy
A very intriguing alternative history of William Shakespeare that interweaves British fairytales with true facts of the Bard's life. A fun read.
Apr 22, 2014 Jenn rated it really liked it

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
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
Denyse Loeb
Jan 01, 2013 Denyse Loeb rated it it was ok
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 wishlist. Regardless, this was not what I expected when I actually read it. The writing is good en
Rita Flaherty
Apr 27, 2016 Rita Flaherty rated it it was amazing
Based on the ratings of others, I was almost pessimistic to begin this book, but the synopsis on the back cover had me too intrigued not to read it. I LOVED it.

There was a great respect for Shakespeare's stories and his fictionalized life. The fantasy that was created around it was also fun and enjoyable. It makes me want to dive in and read Tempest or Midsummer Night's Dream all over again!
Florence Wall
Mar 23, 2016 Florence Wall rated it really liked it
I actually listened to the audiobook version narrated by Jason Carter on a long road trip last week. It was Mr. Carter's rendition of this book that kept me enthralled and glossed over the shortcomings in the writing (repetitive phrasing and use of adjectives for example). Highly recommend the audio version as opposed to the written one.
Jun 04, 2014 Nichola rated it it was ok
Shelves: shakespeare
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.
Sep 08, 2015 Jerry rated it really liked it
This is a very joyful book. After Dhalgren it really refreshed my spirits. Shakespeare’s wife is stolen by elves. With the help of a very wronged elvish prince, he precapitulates the Shakespearean oeuvre as he attempts to win her back. A lot of fun.
Jul 02, 2012 Heidijo rated it did not like it
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
Feb 02, 2011 Lana. rated it did not like it
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
Nov 01, 2011 Elsiekate rated it really liked it
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
Jessica Haynes
Apr 05, 2016 Jessica Haynes rated it it was ok
A little too sensual for me. Good concept though!
Apr 26, 2016 Mjmahoney rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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 ...more
Aug 10, 2012 M— rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
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.
Miriam Garcia
Sweet, earnest story about a couple of self-centered manboys who eventually grow up and learn true love. One of whom is William Shakespeare and the other being a shapechanging gender-switching elf-prince. No delicious yaoi occurs, unfortunately. But it was okay, on the whole, if a bit heavy on the Shakespeare theme in both plot and prose.
Jan 15, 2012 Ellen rated it liked it
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!)
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.
May 27, 2008 Clarice rated it really liked it
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.
May 20, 2013 B.E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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