Read Her Majesty's Will by David Blixt Online

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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.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....

Title : Her Majesty's Will
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13624512
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 247 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Her Majesty's Will Reviews

  • Tracey
    2019-02-26 08:46

    For someone who dislikes the use of real people as characters in fiction, I do seem to keep reading it. I admit it: I see the name "Shakespeare" associated with something, it's going to attract my attention, and it's probably going to be something I'm going to take a shot on. It's also going to be something I'm going to be very hard on – not because I have Shakespeare up on a pedestal, so much, but because I know just about enough of the period and about him, and I take it seriously enough, for warning bells to go off all over the place when it's screwed up.To me, messing with the history is screwing up. I'm looking at you, Roland Emmerich.That being said, there are certainly exceptions that are the reason I keep trying despite all the miserable failures. I'm happy to excuse any number of liberties if the writing and characterization makes it worthwhile. If that Oxfordian movie which appropriately shall remain nameless had been well done, I would have forgiven some (not all) of the liberties it took. (Shakespeare killing Marlowe, though? Unforgivable.)Her Majesty's Will is very much one of the exceptions. It takes liberties – and the writing and characterization and spirit behind the book make it utterly worthwhile. The writing was a delight – Shakespearian allusions and phrasing and inside jokes scattered all throughout -"The rest, as they say, is a mystery."- and all dealt with a skill and dexterity that I loved just about every moment of the romp. (In my mind the Dark Lady will never be the same again.)And romp it was. There's no agenda. There's no attempt to put this forward as anything more than a fond and playful and knowledgeable tale which fills in some of the blanks in Shakespeare's biography. The author himself unapologetically – well, sort of apologetically – states fore and aft that that's what this is: a "what-if" pursued for pure fun. And fun it was.We first meet a young Will… er, Falstaff trying to drill a group of his students through a performance of a play he's written, and right there is a sign that this will work: if Falstaff wasn't a play on "Shakespeare", now it feels like it should have been. Which is kind of how I came to see all of it: if it's not factual, it possibly could have been, and maybe should have been. A commotion outside Will's classroom brings him to the rescue of a woman of such beauty he is instantly, utterly smitten. This lady of the raven-dark hair and eyes (yes, this Dark Lady) is not, shall we say, what she seems, and before he can catch his breath Will is off on unforeseen adventure, on a quest to safeguard the Queen at the side of the mercurial Kit Marlowe.That's how the whole book runs. Rather than something like Doctor Who's "The Shakespeare Code", in which the Doctor keeps tossing out quotes which Shakespeare catches and files away for future use verbatim, here the seeds for many a scene, many a line, many a character and plot device are planted. (I don't think anyone's ever put forward that idea for the identity of the Dark Lady. Ever.) Even the birth of Will's determination to write is here, and it's plausible, both for the character and the historical figure. And, dammit, it makes a hash out of the basis for the Oxfordian theory, which is pure cake.The relationship between Will and Kit is a tangled and complicated and, for me, absolutely enjoyable one which takes in Marlowe's historic infamy and Shakespeare's possible infamy. Kit is brilliant, funny, competitive, self-centered, and not to be trusted very far in much of any circumstance. He is a boon companion and dazzling conversationalist, unquestioningly confident in his own abilities and attractions, aware that there are people who hate him with as great a passion as he loves himself and apparently amused by it. He's Puck; he's Feste; he's Mercutio. He's exactly as he exists in my imagination.And Will? He's young, and bitter; he's brilliant and underemployed; he's eager and filled with dreams of London and – necessarily – quick to get his feet under him in any situation. He's well aware of Marlowe's interest in him, and while he shies away from it, he can't shake that initial impression Kit had on him. His life is changing, in ways he never dreamed of. I have to say, this is possibly my favorite fictional version of any person, taking into account every scant aspect of the historical Shakespeare I could think of and a few more, and fabricating a character who … works. He lives and breathes and laughs and loves, and he is utterly believable.Is this a serious attempt at filling in the blanks of the historical record? I don't think so. The author is self-deprecating in his notes, and strikes me as someone who would not presume (or bother) to put forward yet another "biography". What it is is a knowledgeable, confident, obviously loving tapestry woven out of shreds and patches and actual history into a fantasy, a what-if. Did Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe really foil the Babington Plot? No, almost certainly not. But history is written by the victors, and in this case one of the victors was also one of the most devious men who ever lived, who had every resource to shape the writing exactly as he wanted it. And he would not want those two upstart inconvenient young men to receive any particle of credit. It's lovely to imagine Walsingham thinking "Darn those meddling kids!" and ensuring that neither of them was ever mentioned in the historical record.It's fun. It's accurate in spirit if nothing else. I loved it. I'd love more. Does Kit actually face the reckoning in the small room? Or is that all a tissue of lies to cover his continued espionage (and debauchery)? *waits hopefully*“Master Hemmings, theatre is the gateway to understanding. It is not about story – stories can be told in a thousand ways: through song, through poetry, through prose, even through dance. But theatre is about character. It is the act of bringing people to life and keeping them alive. This play was written nearly two thousand years ago. Those who first peopled this story are long dead and buried. But each time it is performed, those people breathe again, as does the playwright. Can you imagine what a smith, a cobbler, a wainwright or carpenter would give to know that their craft would come alive again two thousand years from now? What has such permanence? Only God. As an actor you become a god yourself, breathing life into a statue and witness it quicken into being. You grant the people you portray, and moreover the playwright, a kind of immortality. The story may be silly, but the words are not. When they are spoken, given breath, these people become alive.”

  • Jim
    2019-03-14 02:55

    D'Artagnan meets Marlow on Brokeback mountain. Cute, amusing.

  • Joyfully Jay
    2019-03-17 03:56

    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.25 starsHer Majesty’s Will was a madcap romp through Elizabethan England, penned by an author who clearly has a love for the Bard and the world in which he lived. I think fans of Shakespeare will enjoy this just a shade more than other readers, but there is certainly something here for everyone to appreciate. The author has done a remarkable job of describing and setting the background. Although a working knowledge of Shakespeare will help you appreciate some of the literary subtleties, the historical framework is created in such a way to welcome those who have little knowledge of this period in history. The writing and style of speech is poetic and lyrical, which suites the book’s temperament, but that doesn’t always make it easy to read. Aside from groan-worthy puns and double entendres, there are phrases and language choices that don’t always make sense upon first reading. As a result, Her Majesty’s Will is a book that takes time, sometimes to its detriment. More about that later.Both Will and Kit pop off the page as vibrantly alive and while this is historical fiction in the truest sense of the word, there is enough realism to make them believable. Kit isn’t always likable and much of his decision making is suspect. More often than not, we wonder why Will insists upon sticking so close to him. Shakespeare himself starts off seeming a rather pathetic specimen, forced into a position he loathes, but without further prospects. We see his discovery and embracing of the arts and while it’s all a bit implausible, there is a wistfulness about his journey that is easy to enjoy.Read Sue’s review in its entirety here.

  • Erin Al-Mehairi
    2019-02-21 03:56

    Giveaway on my blog open until 11:59 p.m. EST Dec. 19, 2012. Enter at:http://hookofabook.wordpress.com/2012...ReviewHer Majesty's Will, by David Blixt, was an unexpected breath of fresh ink on a stage flooded with a sea of books that is today's publishing world. Blixt's novel stands out as a unique and original prose that will have you laughing so hard you'll spit out your drink. Though I knew the book was historical in nature, a period novel with a main character like William Shakespeare, I was pleasantly surprised by Blixt's writing style. Being a playwright himself, and commanding the stage and festivals that surround the works and times of Shakespeare, I found this influence in Blixt's books as well. From starting chapters proposed as "Acts" to writing to make the audience (this time the reader) laugh, with a good mix of action as well, this book was fantastic and extremely fun! It really came to life off the page and I found a new love for Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as unlikely (and sometimes bumbling) detectives. Pure genius!Blixt's vocabulary and precision in his workmanship is literary gold. The way his words seemed to flow and move around on the page, it's as if my eyes were deceiving me. They seemed to dance and joust on the iPad as if I was watching a real live production. The words were so seeped in detail and the choices so extravagant that they seemed to roll around on my tongue as I savored and swallowed the plot.I love to read novels set in the time period of the Elizabethan Age. And certainly there is alot that deal with the extravagance of court life, romance, and political intrigue. While this one deals with intrigue too, of course it was everywhere during this time period (the start of the intelligence agencies as we know them even now), it was presented through characters (commoners) that people sometimes forget were from the same jeweled era as the Tudors. An era of society transition under Queen Elizabeth, no one knew who they could trust. Blixt takes this familiar scenario and shows it to the reader from a separate angle, from the life of simple playwrights, and takes on imaginative versions of the lives of Shakespeare and Marlowe, filling all the inconsistencies and holes in their history with "what ifs" and exciting adventures. Full of puns and slapstick harmony between the two friends, Blixt spins a truly hilarious yarn that you won't want to put down.Blixt has several other books out that I can't wait to read now. His Majesty's Will was a riot, as well as a good mystery, and should be a hit with period novel readers who have a funny bone or are looking for some light-hearted entertainment.

  • Kendal
    2019-03-11 04:08

    Her Majesty's Will is a fun romp of a tale about Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe's early days in London. It is a silly story of two bungling, wannabe spies that happened upon a real threat against the Queen. I really enjoyed Mr. Blixt's version of Will Shakespeare. He has written a very unique back story for Will. The Lost Years of William Shakespeare is open to a huge amount of speculation. But, I think Mr. Blixt captured it in a fun and silly way. Who would have thought that he was on the run from the local magistrate for poaching and other ugly allegations? It provided a new spin on how Will left Stratford and ended up in London. Kit Marlowe is another major player in this silly tale. Kit is a very bombastic character. He likes his men and doesn't hide it, especially to Will. Kit uses his "gifts" for the mysterious and deadly Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster for the Queen. Kit is vain and can be a bit annoying. He throws Will into the most insane situations. Even though Will has a love/hate relationship with Kit, he is having the time of his life. My favorite part of the book are the Wits. A group of University fellows who will argue to the moon and back. My favorite scene has to be when the group of men argue over the growth of the English language. Will has a wonderful speech. Its (Latin) day is done, it is no longer vibrant, nolonger alive. So too Greek, Italian, and French -they are all codified, they have no flex, no urgency. English is a living tongue, and young! We do notyet have all the words, but we will! Only when it ceases to grow, when there are rules and strictures, will it die! God bless England, and God bless theEnglish! When you read this speech, you the Bard is screaming to come out of Will. The loved it so much! If you are looking for a light and fun book, then please pick this up. I recommend it!

  • Brandy
    2019-02-22 07:50

    If you have ever wondered about the lost years in Shakespeare’s life look no further. In Her Majesty’s Will, David Blixt has created a funny, lighthearted historical fiction where Shakespeare unwittingly joins Christopher Marlow to serve their queen as spies in a tragic comedy of their own making. While Shakespeare and Marlow work to save the queen we are taken on a tour of bawdy London taverns as they outwit many a foe. The characters in this volume are cheeky, clever, and cunning. The settings are well described and both character and time are believable and engaging. Mr. Blixt has created a story which is both grounded in history and filled with speculation. Full of action, twists, and surprises, this is a great beach read. It was a delightful change of pace to have this comic historical fiction in my reading pile. While I am not put off by this, I feel that it bears mentioning that there is some sexual tension between Will and Kit that certain readers may find unsettling. Also of note, Mr. Blixt makes use of some phrases in Latin or French throughout the story, which at times are undefined. I did not find this detracting from the story, nor did I feel that I was missing any important information by skimming over them. I could, however, see how not knowing what these phrases mean could be off putting or frustrating to some readers. I would give this book 3.5 stars. The story is fun and light and I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in Shakespeare, historical fiction, Christopher Marlow, or action/adventure stories. Full disclosure: I have been provided a copy of the book for the purpose of providing a review; however the opinions presented are my own and not influenced or dictated by publisher or author.Written for LayeredPages.com: http://layeredpages.com/2013/06/12/re...

  • TAMMY CUEVAS
    2019-02-28 04:53

    Before there was Romeo and Juliet, before there was Othello, before there was the Globe, William Shakespeare was.....what? History fails to answer that question; the early life of Shakespeare is clouded in mystery, so author David Blixt has attempted to answer that question, with his fictional novel, Her Majesty's Will. There have historically been rumors that Christopher Marlowe was a spy, and it is known that Shakespeare and Marlowe knew one another. They would have been contemporaries, and Shakespeare paid tribute to Marlowe in As You Like It, when he borrows the lines "Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, 'Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?'"from Marlowe's Hero and Leander. So, David Blixt has presented us with a rollicking tale of their first meeting and their subsequent role in the foiling of the Babington Plot. The language is that of Shakespeare's time, and the dialogue is, at times, worthy of William himself. Even before reading the author's bio, I had realized that this writer was a Shakespearean scholar. If you like Shakespeare and tales of Elizabethan England, you will love this novel. It is not for everyone's tastes, but I found it to be an enjoyable read for the most part. Be forewarned; just as Shakespeare could be rather bawdy, Blixt has written in that same vein. 4 stars Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Patty
    2019-03-15 05:53

    It took a bit to catch on that this book is a farce. Sometimes I'm slow. Once I did I just let reality go and that's when I started to enjoy the book. 'Cause if you're looking for a lot of historical fact - it ain't here. If you're looking for fun historical conjecture then this is the book for you.William Falstaff is teaching in a school when he hears a kerfuffle outside and he goes forth to rescue a damsel in distress. Using his acting skill he puts forth that he is a great swordsman and the attackers back off - vowing to return with greater forces. He sends the beautiful lady off to his rooms to recover and he soon follows for what he assumes will be his erm, reward. What he finds when he gets there will change the entire course of his life. Which incidentally has already been set asunder by having to leave the town he has known all his life under a cloud of suspicion. He can't even use his real name, William Shakespeare.What follows is a fast paced, crazy romp through Elizabethan England. Encounters with Catholics working for the imprisoned Queen Mary and the infamous Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's spymaster all come into play. As Falstaff/Shakespeare and his partner in crime, Kit Marlowe use their wit and acting abilities to get themselves out of impossible situations all the while trying to save Queen Elizabeth from a plot to kill her.It was silly, it was ridiculous, it was fun. The references to various plays of the time and the seeds planted for future Shakespeare classics made it all the more sly. I must say that I enjoyed the craziness even as I was shaking my head with the absurdity of it all. Mr. Blixt can turn a phrase.

  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    2019-03-17 01:07

    I love William Shakespeare. I love his plays. He's just a really fascinating person in general so I was really excited to read this book. T I loved learning about The inspiration behind Blixt's Her Majesty's Will is how William Shakespeare, infamous playwright, ended up coming from Avon to London and becoming the man that we now remember him for being. So how does Blixt imagine Shakespeare made that journey? Well, he was a spy. Mr. Shakespeare was definitely not a very good spy but a spy all the same. In this book, Will and Kit foil the plans for the Babington Plot to kill the one and only Queen Elizabeth. So even though they sort of initially bumble some of their journey to figure out what is going on, in the end, they truly save the day.With as off kilter as this basis sounds, it makes for a great story that is often times very funny. Will Shakespeare teams up with Christopher Marlowe, better known as Kit, in this story to become a spy. In real life, it was suspected that Kit really was a spy. One thing that I loved about this book is the mix between fact and fiction. It just worked so well and made for a really intriguing story that definitely seemed plausible.While Will was a good character, I loved, loved, loved Kit. He is so funny in this book. He's witty and has so many great one liners. A couple of them had me laughing out loud. He makes a good foil for Mr. Shakespeare who is a lot more staid and serious in this book. Kit is such a great, larger than life character.Bottom line: A fun read about Will Shakespeare's lost years!

  • C C Cedras
    2019-03-04 02:59

    Her Majesty's Will was the first David Blixt novel I've read, but certainly hasn't been the last. What a great one to start with! I had no preconceptions or advance knowledge about this book before downloading it onto my Kindle app, so it was to my delight to find that this book takes up the young Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as somewhat hapless spies trying to thwart a conspiracy to assassinate Queen Bess and get their early introduction into playwriting and acting. Oh my God, the wit! The laughs! The action and thrills! This novel has it all and I defy anyone to start reading it and be able to put it down. I think this is the first of another excellent series by Mr. Blixt and I can't wait for the next adventure of the intrepid Will and Kit!Not enough to deduct a star in my rating because this book and Blixt's story-telling is JUST THAT GOOD, but there are a number of editing errors throughout the novel (is it a problem only with the Kindle edition?). Usually word misplacements and the like are like "speed bumps" to me as I'm reading and if they accumulate it can have an overall negative effect on my enjoyment and assessment of the book and the writer. Not in this case; however, I do wish that Blixt had been able to settle on either White Hart or White Stag for the pub/inn that plays a somewhat pivotal role in the action. Oh, well! Didn't slow me down enough to count.Highly recommended! Get this book!

  • Sarah
    2019-02-26 05:59

    See the full review on Short & Sweet Reviews.The author does a a great job of giving you a feel for London in the late 1500s, both for the society and the environment. Many famous landmarks which still stand today, including the Tower of London, are featured in the book. The story is entertaining but complicated, with a whole host of characters and intrigues to keep track of. Spies, thieves, beggars, assassins, and more cross the pages of the book, and there is a lot of moving about, through the English countryside and then London itself -- not to mention all of the twists and turns as Will and Kit try to uncover the full depths of the Babington Plot. And while parts of the story may not necessarily make sense, it all works, because Will is left in the dark about half of the details, and Kit jumps to conclusions with often disastrous effect. When your main characters don't know what's going on, it seems less important to make the plot clear to the readers, especially when all comes out in the end.

  • Kathy
    2019-02-24 06:44

    Historical with humor. Think Shakespeare in Love with espionage. There were a few things that were disconcerting to me, as I know too danged much about Tudor history. Everyone calling Mary Queen of Scots Mary de Guise was one. Marie de Guise was Mary Stewart's mother. There were no house numbers in use yet, either, and some of the London references are . . . odd. But the spirit of the piece went a long way toward making me overlook minor errors. Fictional explanations for Shakespeare's marriage, his ending up in London, and his reasons for leaving Stratford make as much sense as some I've heard proposed by scholars. Who knows? It could have happened this way.

  • Natasha
    2019-03-03 04:43

    In which Will and Kit (yes, those) flirt and word-play their way through a plot full of spies, daring escapes, and more Shakespearean/Early Modern references than you can shake a stick at. Almost entirely delightful -- I kept stopping to grin at the puns and allusions -- through badly in need of a copyeditor. (The author's note at the end cites Dorothy Dunnett as a source, and I was entirely unsurprised, since all his quotations are also my quotations.)

  • Argum
    2019-02-20 02:42

    Silly little book of an imagined meeting between Shakespeare and Marlowe. Fills the void without trodding on known facts about how Will ended up a playwright in London instead of a glover in Stratford. Colorful characters - some real- populate a London teeming with intrigue against Queen Elizabeth. Fun book will be putting his others on my to read list.

  • Audrey
    2019-02-27 01:58

    Shakespeare and Marlowe running around and being the World's Worst Spies -- I reread this book every year or so and one time I forgot what it was called and thought I might've imagined it because it is so close to my platonic ideal of a book, it is pure kinda trashy fun, what I'm saying is that this would possibly be one of the books i'd take to a desert island

  • Library Maven
    2019-03-03 02:42

    Jim tagged this right when he wrote: D'Artagnan meets Marlow on Brokeback mountain. Cute, amusing." This a delightful romp through Elizabethan England with amateur playwrights and bumbling spies, Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, trying to make their way in London amid intrigues, threats, and the need to foil a plot against Eliz I. A witty alternate view of Will and Kit.

  • E
    2019-03-19 03:06

    Absolutely delightful romp through Elizabethan London featuring a young Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe. Together they fight crime! Or rather try to foil a plot against the queen while avoiding arrest. Filled with banter, sword fights, flirting and references to the playwrights' future works, this is a fast fun read.

  • Maggie
    2019-02-24 09:05

    I enjoyed this tale. I want to encourage COM ARTS teachers to read this and determine if it would appeal to their reluctant readers before introducing one of the plays. Perhaps if they view Will as a spy first, they will be more interested in the play.

  • Loretta
    2019-03-08 02:46

    Wooohoo! I won this! My first ever giveaway prize! I dived straight in. An amusing romp through life in Elizabethan London. David Blixt writes with wit. I did get a little lost towards the end with all the espionage and counter espionage. Good fun though. My thanks to the author.

  • stormie
    2019-03-12 00:55

    this was a lighthearted, ridiculous read, in no way meant to be taken seriously. the language used is witty and the story is fast paced; i've no complaints there.

  • Anna
    2019-03-22 08:55

    Silly and fun with just enough depth to keep you anxiously turning pages.

  • Jill
    2019-03-03 05:06

    I consider this a guy's adventure book. It is the fictional account of some of William Shakespeare's "lost years", which according to this book he spent marauding with Christopher Marlowe as a spy in the service of the Queen--kind of. It is meant to be entertaining (which it was especially later in the story), but lacked the depth that I tend to appreciate in stories.

  • Helen Hollick
    2019-03-17 08:56

    This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review: Helen Hollickfounder #DDRevs"brilliant swordfights, absorbing intrigues, laugh-out-loud humour, delightful (and groan-type) puns ... I loved it!"

  • Michelle Powers
    2019-03-09 04:58

    I really, really, really wanted to like this book and I tried- I tried!

  • Tanya
    2019-03-18 08:07

    Kit considered for some little time. "It is a plan both reasonable and wise." "And therefore you loathe it." "Exactly. But I see little choice in the matter." [loc. 1856]A frivolous and light-hearted novel, based on the premise that Shakespeare met Marlowe in the 1580s and got caught up in the world of Elizabethan spycraft: with, as they used to say in the Radio Times, hilarious results.There are occasional anachronisms and the authorial voice is sometimes intrusive -- but this was a fun read with a nice frisson between stolid, more-or-less sensible Will and mercurial Kit.

  • Heather
    2019-02-24 07:05

    This was a sort of different HF read than I am typically used to – one full of comedy and wit and William Shakespeare. I have read historical fiction interpretations of some of Shakespeare’s plays but never read a historical fiction where he is actually a character – and before he was a playwright none the less! This would best be described as a buddy story as the plot’s antics revolve around Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe and focus on their relationship in its various forms.I certainly enjoyed the characters – how they were portrayed, their comedy, and relationships with those around them. As this is a story from the bottom of Elizabethan society looking up we encounter a lot of the “riff-raff” and personages you would not want to meet in a dark alley. I enjoyed seeing this side of things because in a typical Tudor or Elizabethan novel we are usually set within the court itself or with one of the noble families. This was a refreshing change – there were only a couple of characters from the upper class and they were bit parts.This novel sets out to give us a potential option for what Shakespeare was doing during his “lost years” between Stratford and his London playwright days – in Blixt’s view, he might have been a very terrible and unwilling spy. While I enjoyed this unique plot idea and the vastly ridiculous amount of trouble the main characters find themselves in, I had a problem with it. My problem was that the fact that Shakespeare and Marlowe were the adventurous heroes didn’t seem to make a bit of difference to the story. It really could have been two fictional characters and the story would have come off every bit the same. For me there wasn’t much that made it important that Will and Kit were the duo of this story – I didn’t really “recognize them”.Overall this was a laugh-a-minute tale that certainly should be read as a breather from the more serious and heavy novels. It will lift your spirits if you are having a bad day.This review was previously posted @ The Maiden's Court. Was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Shannon
    2019-02-19 05:43

    This book has lots of subtle humor if you read carefully, but not too carefully because the character Kit apparently likes to hear himself talk and doesn't always make sense. I struggled through some of the dialogue just to find out that the other character Will didn't understand him either.Reading the difficult, twisty dialogue full of quotes (not always in English) took more concentration than what I'm used to. It made me tired and after a while I wanted to read something easier to grasp. I enjoyed the narration much more than the dialogue. I especially liked an action scene towards the end.I was criticized on Amazon for not understanding "ye olde English". I think the person who left the comment was trying to criticize, but there is some truth to that observation. I had a difficult time on and off with this book. At times it was more work than enjoyment.

  • Steven
    2019-03-16 06:41

    This could have been a five-star review. I really like David Blixt's books. He's clever, witty, and engaging. His plots are superbly crafted, his characters are interesting, and his historical scholarship is impeccable. This book was intended to be a madcap romp, and it was. I just found the homosexual element between Shakespeare and Marlowe to be distasteful and distracting. I know it's very vogue to throw homosexual themes into almost everything these days, but this can only be described as gratuitous. No, it wasn't explicit, it was just unnecessary. There was no historical justification for it, and it did absolutely nothing to further the story. It's like it was just pasted on to check off some cultural expectation. It was kind of like finding a cockroach in your ice cream sundae. It was really good, except for that one bad part.

  • Sue Millard
    2019-03-03 04:58

    I like the premise of this - a romp through Elizabethan England with Kit Marlowe and Will Shakespeare (Falstaff) during Kit's spy career and before Will was famous. OK it's intended to be silly. Some parts are amusing, and while the play on Kit's bisexual nature and Will's unwilling attraction is sometimes uncomfortable it is historically believable. What did irritate me was the narrator's language, which is often much more florid than that of Marlowe or Shakespeare's own work and often feels intrusive. There are some geographical oddities, like going from northern England into London via the south side of the Thames, and some preoccupations with weaponry yet total ignorance of horsemanship. The accounts of theatrical and tumbling work are probably the best part of this. I'm not sure whether I'll finish reading it, to be honest.

  • J.
    2019-03-20 01:00

    It's difficult to say why this story didn't appeal more to me. It's funny as hell, well written in a sort of comic book style that reminded me of Peter David at his funniest, the characters are fully fledged and delightful, there's a decent plotline and some character development and I've no idea why it didn't suck me straight in. With Marlowe and Shakespeare and Walsingham, a hilarious sort-of spy story, learnéd jokes, ruddy awful (meaning fabulous) puns, and good solid action… Maybe it was the author's slightly wordy style? (Asks the wordiest author on the block.) Maybe the bent toward bathroom and sexual humor, which tends to turn me off? (In which case the fault lies not in our stars but in this reader.) Three and a half stars, and a baffled shrug.