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All Night Awake Mass Market Paperback – Nov 2003

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reissue edition (Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441011128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441011124
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,822,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The nave of St. Paul's Cathedral, or Paul's Walk, as it is called in Elizabethan England. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Interesting speculation about Shakespeare 23 July 2010
By Paul Lappen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Part two of a trilogy, this novel looks at the life of a struggling young poet in Elizabethan England by the name of William Shakespeare.

Will is having a very hard time making it as a poet in London. He is not just a "struggling" poet, he is, literally, a starving poet. Will makes the acquaintance of Christopher Marlowe, the current favorite poet of Elizabeth I. Christopher has attracted the attention of the authorities, a sure route to a short life span. Back in his university days, evidently he was not diligent enough in reporting a classmate who made an unpleasant remark about the monarchy. Therefore, he has to be a sympathizer. Facing lots of torture on the rack, Christopher spins a tale about this huge conspiracy he has uncovered. He has to give the authorities somebody, so he plans on implicating Shakespeare. There is no conspiracy, and even if there was, Shakespeare is the last person who would be involved in it.

Both men received their poetry gifts through exposure to the world of faerie. An elf named Sylvanus has "gone bad" and is heading to London to create havoc. The King of faerie, Quicksilver, has no choice but to go after him. He changes into his alter ego, a beautiful woman named Silver, with whom Shakespeare has already cheated on his wife (she is back home in Stratford). Meantime, back in faerie, it is as if all of the magical energy is disappearing; elves and fairies are dying by the hundreds. Ariel, the Queen of Faerie, has no choice but to go to London and look for her husband. Also, Sylvanus takes over Marlowe's body; at night, he becomes a sort of humanoid beast who likes to disembowel people. Does Shakespeare stay out of the hands of the authorities? Does faerie get all of its magical energy removed?

This is an interesting speculation about the life of William Shakespeare before he became a Famous Person. Of course, Shakespeare fans will love it, and so will fantasy fans. It's worth reading.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
All's Well That ... 30 Aug 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I looked forward to reading this after being pleasantly surprised at 'Ill Met By Moonlight.' This book proved as entertaining, and maybe even a little more action packed than the first in what looks like is heading into a series.
Here, Faerie King Quicksilver accidently frees his evil brother, Sylvanus, who was banned from the fairy kingdom for having King Oberon and Queen Titania (Sylvanus and Quicksilver's parents) knocked off so he could assume the throne. He used the help of the Hunter, an ancient and mysterious power, to help him kill the king and queen, and now Sylvanus, having been captured, is forced to serve as one of the Hunter's hounds as his punishment. As 'Awake' gets under way, it's 10 years after 'Ill Met,' and now that Quicksilver has unwittingly set his evil brother free, now the Hunter is injured and a breach in fairy land has occurred. Now, plague is rampant, beginning at Stratford and spreading to London, where Sylvanus seeks death and destruction. Quicksilver doesn't want anyone to know, especially his wife, Queen Ariel, and he takes off to London to try to right his wrongs.
In the meantime, Shakespeare is in London trying to make it as a writer, but he's not doing too well. He's in debt, starving and basically ready to foot it back home in the country if he doesn't starve to death along the road back home. However, in steps Christopher Marlowe, who's enjoying patronship and success. Problem is, he's in hot water with the secret service, and they're badgering him more and more ruthlessly to name names in any conspiracy to off Queen Elizabeth. Marlowe sees a chance to implicate Shakespeare (the queen's men are always hungry for more), before Marlowe can make what he hopes will be a clean break from the intrigue and maybe take his illegitimate son, Imp, along with him, since Imp is the only thing Marlowe really cares about. If you're wondering, 'Hey, wasn't Marlowe gay?', well, Hoyt offers her own explanation, mainly that Marlowe had a fling with Quicksilver some years back. Quicksilver, incidentally, is a sort of gender shapeshifter, so Marlowe basically was enjoying the best of both worlds, so to speak.
Now Quicksilver arrives in London and is trying to set things straight with the help of Shakespeare. Will doesn't want any more connections with faerykind, though, as he's not happy he cheated on his wife in the first place with Quicksilver's feminine side, Silver. For a while the plot bumps back and forth between Shakespeare and Silver, Silver/Quicksilver and Marlowe, and Marlowe and Shakespeare, all of whom are trying to accomplish their own agendas, with the exception of Will, who basically wants to be a poet, earn an income and help his family out back in Stratford.
In the middle of this, Queen Ariel is basically pouting at home in faeryland, because she thinks Quicksilver has left her to find Shakespeare and resume the affair as Silver, two things he'd promised her he'd never do again. Every few chapters we see her miserable over her marriage and absent husband as faeryland unravels. She remains a passive character, no real development, and drags the story along. I read it and kept thinking, 'Stop whining!'
Eventually things tighten up storywise and the last 100 pages are the best in the book. Many can imagine roughly what happens, maybe just not exactly how, as they read this. It's fun and entertaining, but I had three other problems: One, Hoyt's not exactly clear enough for me on some of the magic principles of faeryland; two, the plot moved a bit too slowly the first two-thirds of the book; and three, her explanation for Shakespeare's gift kind of bothered me on some levels. Not necessarily a bad explanation, and it's sort of brave of her, but personally it rankled me a bit.
Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed the book, and I'll probably read the third one (it seems more than likely to be forthcoming), but hopefully Ariel gets a spine and things speed up a bit.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A pleasant surprise 8 Oct 2002
By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Lately it seems that all fantasy writers must write trilogies--even if they only have one book's worth of story--because that's what is in fashion now. I've read enough dud sequels lately to last me a few decades. This book is an exception. For starters, I wasn't even expecting a sequel to _Ill Met by Moonlight_. That novel was complete in itself and very satisfactory. So, seeing that a sequel had appeared was a pleasant surprise--since Hoyt hadn't blatantly set it up with loose ends as many authors do.
I didn't like this book quite as much as Ill Met, for three 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; it would make no sense without the first volume and too obviously sets up the third.
However, _All Night Awake_ is a good book. Quicksilver, the gender-bending elf who became king of Fairyland at the end of Ill Met, 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--for there live two of her ex-lovers. 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_.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A unique series with interesting charaters 16 April 2003
By M. Turner - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read (and thoroughly enjoyed), the first book, "Ill Met By Moonlight" I gladly picked up the second. And, while I enjoyed it a great deal, there were several points in which I was physically frustrated with the actions of some of the characters. When Quicksilver goes in search of Shakespeare to enlist Will's help, the Queen, Ariel, is not told the extent of the situation. She thus spends the entire book in a self-loathing and misunderstanding as she - and Quicksilver's own right-hand man, Malachite! - thinks naught but ill towards her missing husband. Always assuming the worst, this line of the plot was deeply frustrating for the reader who wished to slap some common sense into the Queen.
The other issue which was not expected was that this book was more about Kit Marlowe then it was about Shakespeare. This was fine enough, as the character was interesting and served the plot well, but I was certainly not expecting for Will to have a secondary role in the story.
One must certainly read the first book ("Ill Met By Moonlight") prior to starting this one however, as the basis for the story relies on your easy knowledge of the setting and characters. I had not expected a second and was pleasantly surprised when I saw it printed, but I was left a little wanting in comparison to the first, which I enjoyed cover-to-cover without pause.
Those who enjoy fantasy, historical "what if's?" and Shakespeare/Victorian literature would enjoy this book even if they generally avoided this level of "fantasy" fiction.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
entertaining blend of historical facts with fantasy lore 13 Oct 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In Arden Grove near Stratford-On-Avon lies the hill that is the heart of fairy. Once Sylvanus ruled the fey but his evil ways caught up with him and he was doomed to spend eternity as one of the Hunter's dogs. Through trickery and guile, Sylvanus plays upon the sympathies of the new king of the elves, his brother Quicksilver, into using the power of the hill to free him from his bondage.

Sylvanus, as evil as ever, makes his way to London, spreading carnage, death and illness as he passes. Realizing what he's done, Quicksilver travels to London to find a way to defeat his brother and restore the natural order of the world. Quicksilver, in his alter ego of Lady Silver, tracks down William Shakespeare to warn him to leave London for those who have been touched by fairy are forever marked and Sylvanus will be able to use him for his foul purposes. Kit Marlowe, a courier of Elizabeth I, wants Shakespeare in London as a sacrifice to those of the Queen's council who want a traitor. Sylvanus finds Marlowe more than adequate for his purposes, leaving it up to others to defeat the evil Sylvanus.

ALL NIGHT AWAKE is an entertaining blend of historical facts with fantasy lore. Readers learn how Shakespeare obtained his muse, the fate of Kit Marlowe, and the court intrigues that center on Queen Elizabeth I. The antagonist is one of the most odious creatures to grace the pages of a book so the reader wants him defeated. Sarah A. Hoyt's prose has lyrical feel that adds to a wonderful work.

Harriet Klausner
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