Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ink and Steel-Elizabeth Bear

Ink and Steel
Elizabeth Bear
Roc, Jul 2008, $14.00
ISBN 9780451462091

Prometheus Club author and subtle supporter of Queen Elizabeth through his plays containing magic that emboldened her rule Christopher “Kit” Marlowe is reported murdered. Everyone who knows him is stunned and assumes the enemy Sorcerers assassinated the playwright who has caused them numerous problems in their effort to dethrone the monarch and destroy England.

Kit’s close friend young playwright Will Shakespeare is assigned the responsibility of the new author who spins magical spells with his literature. However, Morgan le Fey saved Kit from murderers resurrecting him in the land of Faeire. Meanwhile the talent and value of Shakespeare has made him a target of the various factions who want to control the Queen. However, Kit brings Will into Faerie where they must confront there an unknown force seemingly more powerful than queens on either side of the veil; an essence that stalks them even as Kit knows they must go home to ferret out the Prometheus traitor who set him up to die.

Set before the events of BLOOD AND IRON and WHISKEY AND WATER, INK AND STEEL is and exciting Elizabethan Era fantasy with the second part book to be published in August; which is the only issue this reviewer takes issue with as we must bear a one month’s wait for the finish. As with the previous books in the saga, the story line contains intriguing references to the real Marlowe and Shakespeare, which in turn makes the magic of their words seem even more genuine. Fantasy fans will appreciate Elizabeth Bear’s terrific historical saga as Promethean Age is at its best in the treacherous land of faerie and at the even more dangerous seditious Queen Elizabeth’s court of intrigue.

Harriet Klausner

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