This omnibus contains three tales, the first set when Will Shakespeare is still a young man, before he goes to London - embroiled in a fairy plot, he must save his new wife and baby daughter from Sylvanus, the usurper of the throne of elfland. The true heir Quicksilver thinks to use Will as his cat's-paw in a scheme to avenge his murdered parents and reclaim his throne, but finds in the young Will a mortal spirit far more than he bargained!
The second tale is set in London, where Will has gone to seek his fortune as a poet and playwright - and has found no success in a city dogged by plague and starvation. Meanwhile in the realms of magic, Sylvanus has escaped his magical imprisonment, becoming a life-devouring monster bent on slaying the Queen of England in a rite that will grant him enormous power over both human and elf worlds. Quicksilver, rightful King of Fairyland, flies to London in pursuit, knowing the mortal most dear to his heart is in perilous danger, and never dreaming that he'll find another past lover caught in the usurper's power as well. Meshed in schemes both mortal and immortal, Will must find a way to rescue the King and Queen of Fairyland as well as the Queen of England from Sylvanus - but how does famous playwright Kit Marlowe fit into the chaos of a world going mad? And just when Marlowe's introduction to high society had given Will the patronage he needed to start making his way in London, too!
The third tale... I can't really summarize without giving away plot points from the first two. Suffice to say, Quicksilver's being an idiot (again) and Will, now an established playwright in London, is going to get caught up (again) into a fairy realm rent by royal family plotting against the King! A ghost haunting, kidnapped children, a civil war in fairyland, a lost princess duped by a cunning elf in league with rebellious centaurs - and a story that ends much better than Romeo and Juliet did!
As far as the story goes, I have no complaints - although I will warn others that there's a great variety of non-graphic sex referenced in all three stories, though true love conquers all and nobody's marriage ends up ruined forever, there are negative consequences for those being lead around by their genitals (and positive consequences for resisting temptation). There's also gore and violence and messy death of innocents, so no giving these stories to kids!
Not really a problem with the writing - but the formatting for the last story is kind of rough, and the font is much more difficult to read than the font used for the first two tales. I gave four stars because I doubt I'll be re-reading this work over and over again, which is how I rate a five-star story! It's a pity Sarah Hoyt isn't likely to write more in this genre, because it's one I enjoy and her characters have more humanity to them (even the elves!) than a certain other bestselling author. Maybe they were both pretty much commanded by their publishers to write such stories, but I have to say that Hoyt did a better job of giving her Magical Shakespeare characters life than Lackey has done with most of the Five Hundred Kingdoms characters (though I enjoy those stories too). I don't think I'll be forgetting Quicksilver and Will anytime soon!