Monday, June 23, 2008

Hell and Earth-Elizabeth Bear

Hell and Earth
Elizabeth Bear
Roc, Aug 2008, $14.00
ISBN: 9780451462183

Two kingdoms in two different worlds but tied together as both ruled by queens bound by magic but each in jeopardy of seeing their regime end. For England’s Queen Elizbath I, Prometheus Club playwrights Will Shakespeare and Kit Marley risk their lives to keep her safe and on the throne; Faerie Queen Mab’s only wordsmith is Kit who crosses the veil between the two realms, but has other supporters too.

However, now even the prominent Prometheus Club members feel the curtain is closing on their Queen. Fearing for England, they argue over whether it is time for a regime change rather than wait for nature to do the inevitable. Kit believes both worlds need their queens to remain in power and seeks allies from both sides to insure this happens as dark magic has surfaced; Will is beginning to show his age as he enters the fourth act of life. Humans, faeries, and malevolent monsters want to end the Promethean Age and begin a new eon of darkness.

The latest Promethean Age historical fantasy thriller continues the exciting The Stratford Man saga, but series fans need to read INK AND STEEL before HELL AND EARTH to learn how events got to where they are. The story line is fast-paced from the onset yet also contains intriguing references to the real Marlowe and Shakespeare, which in turn makes the magic of their words seem even more genuine as well as their relationship. Elizabeth Bear’s terrific two-book entry is the Promethean Age at its seditious best with treachery threatening to destroy the reigns Queens Mab and Elizabeth.
Harriet Klausner

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