Ms. Bear's prose is utterly beautiful and suits this Faerie story perfectly. But - these are NOT the fairies of fairy tales, these are the strong-minded, wilful, and (when necessary) vicious, inhabitants of a parallel universe, where time flows at a different rate, but whose borders with our own (or in this case, Elizabethan) world are blurred.
The adventures of Christopher (Kit) Marlowe (tragically, but not permanently, dead), along with a certain Mr. Shakespeare, and a cast of dubious supporting characters, faeries, goblins, lunatics, queens (real and faerie), lords, ladies and assorted low-life, are an absolute treat.
You could read the books just for the elegant poetic prose, which envelops you and the story with a style that is perfect - and then, almost as a bonus, you have this well plotted, intriguing, and surprising tale.
Highly recommended for anyone who has enjoyed Mary Gentle's alternate worlds of Ash, or the harder works of Ursula Le Guin, as well as the wonderful world of Neal Stephenson's baroque trilogy.