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Ink and Steel: The Stratford Man, Volume I: A Novel of the Promethean Age

by

Ink and Steel: The Stratford Man, Volume I: A Novel of the Promethean Age Cover

ISBN13: 9780451462091
ISBN10: 0451462092
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On the heels of Hell and Earth

Kit Marley, playwright and spy in the service of Queen Elizabeth, has been murdered. His true gift to Her Majesty was his way with words, crafting plays infused with a subtle magic that maintained her rule. He performed this task on behalf of the Prometheus Club, a secret society of nobles engaged in battle against sorcerers determined to destroy England. Assuming Marley’s role is William Shakespeare— but he is unable to create the magic needed to hold the Queen’s enemies at bay.

Resurrected by enchantment in Faerie, Marley is England’s only hope. But before he can assist Will in the art of magic, he must uncover the traitor among the Prometheans responsible for his death…

Review:

"Campbell-winner Bear reveals the secret war between fae and the Elizabethan court in this dramatic prequel to Blood and Iron and Whiskey and Water. Framed with the intrigues of queens and courtiers, the story focuses on the mutual respect and growing love of Kit Marley (aka Christopher Marlowe) and Will Shakespeare. As Morgan le Fey rescues Kit from assassins, various factions recruit Will to bolster their political machinations with the magic of poetry. Kit pulls Will into Faerie and both are forced to face their own deepest desires and fears, which cannot be resolved until they deal with a power even higher than mortal Queen Elizabeth or fae Queen Mab. Copious quotes and intelligent speculation about their lives and works mark this sensitive and sensual look at the two supreme playwrights of the English Renaissance. The story's second half, Hell and Earth, is due out in August. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

After spending six years in the Mojave desert, Elizabeth Bear attended the University of Connecticut, where she studied anthropology and English literature.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jvstin, December 24, 2010 (view all comments by Jvstin)
In her diptych, Blood and Iron and Whiskey and Water, Elizabeth Bear shows us the end of the story of the Promethean Age, when Faerie has been fighting a long war against technology, against Hell, and against those magicians, the Prometheans, who would still see it bound.

In the second volume of that series, when Christopher Marlowe, part of Lucifer's household, appears, he blazes across the page in such a way that I knew, then, that Bear had to write more of his story, and how he had gotten to be in Lucifer's household in the first place.

In Ink and Steel, the first of another diptych, Elizabeth Bear takes us back to the days when Christopher Marlowe is still alive (although not for long), and just as importantly, the early days of the career of one William Shakespeare, whose poetry and pose is as potent an armament as any Elf-knight's sword. For such poetry and pose are strong magic, magic that can be used for good, or for ill...

Shakespeare and his world is a popular choice for fantasy and SF authors. Ruled Britannia has him writing plays for a Spanish-installed Monarch. Sarah Hoyt's trilogy has Shakeapeare tangle with the land of Faerie. Neil Gaiman had Shakespeare meet one of the Endless. Poul Anderson's Midsummer's Tempest is a fine novel where Shakespeare's plays are fact. Bear is in good company here.

With chapters arranged like acts and scenes of a play, with florid, lush descriptions and prose, and the subject matter of Shakespeare and Elizabethan England and Elizabethan Faerie, the book, at least this half, reads and feels like a prose version of one of William Shakespeare's plays. Betrayals, forbidden and denied love, politics, unusual landscapes, engaging and multisided characters convince me that these are books that Bear not only enjoyed writing, but in a sense was born to write. This book (and I am sure, the second half, Hell and Earth) are the kind of books that an author has in mind when she decides to become a writer.

I think, too, that Bear hits it out of the park. I personally know that Elizabethan England is something that Bear knows a fair amount about, and that knowledge flows out onto the page. From the minutae of the changes in the courtiers and servants to Queen Elizabeth, all the way down to what a trip through the streets of London feels like, that knowledge is not dumped on the page, but, rather, flows into that previously mentioned lush text. And then there is Faerie, and even a trip into Hell. Bear is not afraid to make things happen and deliver on the page, consistently, for the reader.

This IS the first novel of two, and so the story does not end here, which may frustrate some readers. I suspect others may object to some characterizations of Shakespeare and Marlowe, but one might consider that Bear almost certainly knows more about the subject than me or you.

I look forward to finishing the Statford Man sequence in Hell and Earth and see just how Bear finishes off the story.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780451462091
Author:
Bear, Elizabeth
Publisher:
Roc
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Fairies
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Magicians
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Series:
PROMETHEAN AGE
Series Volume:
3
Publication Date:
20080731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.92x6.04x.97 in. 1.05 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Historical

Ink and Steel: The Stratford Man, Volume I: A Novel of the Promethean Age New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$24.00 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Roc - English 9780451462091 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Campbell-winner Bear reveals the secret war between fae and the Elizabethan court in this dramatic prequel to Blood and Iron and Whiskey and Water. Framed with the intrigues of queens and courtiers, the story focuses on the mutual respect and growing love of Kit Marley (aka Christopher Marlowe) and Will Shakespeare. As Morgan le Fey rescues Kit from assassins, various factions recruit Will to bolster their political machinations with the magic of poetry. Kit pulls Will into Faerie and both are forced to face their own deepest desires and fears, which cannot be resolved until they deal with a power even higher than mortal Queen Elizabeth or fae Queen Mab. Copious quotes and intelligent speculation about their lives and works mark this sensitive and sensual look at the two supreme playwrights of the English Renaissance. The story's second half, Hell and Earth, is due out in August. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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