The second half of Bear's Stratford
Man duology (after Ink and Steel) is
a tightly plotted and fast-paced book,
a nonstop cascade of events. Bear's protagonists continue to be deeply compelling, and their relationship is
one of equals, despite Kit's strange faerie powers and Will's increasingly mortal frailty.

Will Shakespeare and Kit Marley are engaged in a war on all sides, not knowing who they can trust and hardly daring to trust themselves. All the chess pieces are in place, and with the inevitable decline of Queen Elizabeth I, the game is truly afoot.

Dark magic stirs throughout the realm as Will and Kit desperately search for allies -- mortal and faerie alike -- in their quest to save England from those who would use her and her faerie allies to suit their own needs and not those of the realm. (Roc, Aug., 432 pp., $14.00)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs