INK AND STEEL by Elizabeth Bear

Set in Tudor England during Elizabeth Tudor’s sunset years and in the parallel world of Faerie, INK AND STEEL is a highly unusual, poetic and sensual cross between alternate history and mythic fantasy, written in the opulent style of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Playwright Kit Marley has been rescued from a grisly murder, but exiled to the Faerie realm by the seductive but treacherous Morgan Le Fey.  Kit’s dearest friend and his secret crush, fellow playwright Will Shakespeare, lives in a hell of his own devising, separated from his beloved wife and wracked by guilt for the death of his son Hamnet.  The two authors weave spells into their plays to shore up the last Tudor’s dying realm, but the fanatical sorcerers of the Prometheus Club are determined to bring the realm crashing down—and the two heretical playwrights with it. 

What a rare and splendid treat this novel was!  Fans of Tudor fiction, high fantasy, and two of England’s most famous playwrights are going to love this one.  After finishing the read, I promptly rushed out and bought the sequel, HELL AND EARTH. 


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