I wasn’t expecting a sequel to Ill Met by Moonlight. That novel was complete and satisfactory in itself, so the appearance of a sequel came as a pleasant surprise.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like All Night Awake quite as much as Ill Met by Moonlight, for several reasons. First, the metaphysics were more confusing than in the first book. Second, the constant use of Shakespearean quotes gets a little heavy-handed from time to time. Third, this book doesn’t stand on its own as well as Ill Met by Moonlight; it would make no sense without the first volume and too obviously sets up the third.
That said, All Night Awake is worth reading if you enjoyed Ill Met by Moonlight and want to catch up with the characters. Quicksilver, the gender-bending elf who became king of Fairyland at the end of Ill Met by Moonlight, has ruled his kingdom now for ten mortal years. At the behest of his beloved wife, Ariel, he has promised fidelity and suppressed his female aspect, Lady Silver. But when his evil brother Sylvanus hatches a diabolical plan to take over the world, Quicksilver must go to London to save both the human world and the elfin one. And there, Lady Silver demands her share of attention. Two of her ex-lovers live in the city: Will Shakespeare, starving artist, determined to remain faithful to his wife after his one lapse, and Kit Marlowe, famous and admired, but haunted by memories of his fairy lover and by the deaths of men he has betrayed over the years.
Without being preachy or pedantic, Hoyt delivers a moving story of love and honor, marriage and temptation, friendship and betrayal. And along the way, there’s a bit of humor. For example, Marlowe makes a habit of never actually calling Shakespeare “Shakespeare.” Instead he cobbles together synonyms — Wigglestick” is one example.
I would add the caveat that this book is more violent than Ill Met by Moonlight.
Shakespearean Fantasies — (2001-2003) Publisher: 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 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?