Before he was famous, he was a fugitive.
Before he wrote of humanity, he lived it.
Before he was the Bard of Avon, he was a spy.
A very poor spy.
England, 1586. Swept up in the skirts of a mysterious stranger, Will Shakespeare becomes entangled in a deadly and hilarious misadventure as he accidentally uncovers the Babington Plot, an attempt to murder Queen Elizabeth herself. Aided by the mercurial wit of Kit Marlowe, Will enters London for the first time, chased by rebels, spies, his own government, his past, and a bear.
Through it all he demonstrates his loyalty and genius, proving himself to be - HER MAJESTY'S WILL.
My Thoughts: I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book. I knew it was about William Shakespeare but I didn't realize that it would be so humorous. It turned out to be story about Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe whose every move turned into a comedy of errors. Will gets mixed up in Kit's plans to uncover treason and all kinds of craziness ensues. There are A LOT of twists and turns in the story and I kept thinking I had it all figured out even though I didn't.
This is definitely not your average work of historical fiction. It is a very light, silly read that is a bit more fiction than history. The story jumps right into the action, there isn't much time to get to know the characters in the very beginning. I liked the way William Shakespeare is portrayed. He seemed fairly two-dimensional in the beginning but as the story progressed he developed into a pretty interesting character. It was neat to see how the author led Will to the realization that he should work in the theatre and write plays. It kind of made me want to go out and read another one of his plays. Kit kind of got on my nerves because he was just a magnet for trouble and was always so non-chalant about all the trouble he caused for Will. One thing I really didn't like about this book is how the story would have bursts of action followed by pages of dialogue that seemed to drag. It felt like there was a lot of 'hurry up and wait' and it got really annoying at times.
Overall, this was a fun story portraying unique characters with some action and humor thrown in. If you are looking to step outside of the usual Tudor era historical fiction box, I would recommend checking this book out. 3 stars.
About the Author
Author and playwright David Blixt's work is consistently described as "intricate," "taut," and "breathtaking." A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS'D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, and FORTUNE'S FOOL) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY'S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. As the Historical Novel Society said, "Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It's well worth it."
Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as "actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order."
For more about David and his novels, visit www.davidblixt.com.
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