Blixt, David. “Her Majesty’s Will.” Sordelet Ink, April 2012.
Two confessions – I love good historical fiction and I am completely enthralled with Kit Marlowe, who I firmly believe would have been more famous than Shakespeare had he not met an untimely end, most likely due to his involvement in espionage. Having said that, it is no wonder I was intrigued when I discovered this title in the NetGalley listings. And Blixt does not disappoint with this fabulously fun frolic through Elizabethan London in which Shakespeare, a naïve country lad is pulled into a twisting and turning spy adventure through the city by a charmingly roguish and well-connected Kit Marlowe. Mr. Blixt offers a intriguing explanation for Shakespeare’s “lost years” and his movement from Stratford to London as well as providing him with rich inspirational material for his future theatrical endeavors and an introduction to the London theatre community. While there are spots of uneven writing and odd notes to the reader, these small flaws cannot distract from the overall delightfulness of this historical tale. The plot is well-twisted and fast-paced with a cast of ruffians and wits that Shakespeare himself would have been proud to create and, indeed, many will seem familiar to the readers of Shakespeare’s most famous works. It is in characterization that Mr. Blixt truly excels – both Shakespeare and Marlowe are crafted with a deftness that gives them depth and charm, seducing the reader into wishing success for their quests and the supporting cast of characters, from the lowest to the highest, teems with an authenticity that helps draw this irresistible portrait of London under Good Queen Bess.
Advance reading copy received through Netgalley.