Hoyt, Sarah (de) A(lmeida)
HOYT, Sarah (de) A(lmeida)
PERSONAL: Born in Porto, Portugal; married; children: two sons. Education: M.A. (English and literature).
SHAKESPEAREAN FANTASY NOVELS
Ill Met by Moonlight, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2001.
All Night Awake, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Any Man So Daring, Ace Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Crawling between Heaven and Earth (stories), Dark Regions Press (Concord, CA), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals, including Weird Tales and Absolute Magnitude.
SIDELIGHTS: Sarah Hoyt's fantasy novels Ill Met by Moonlight, All Night Awake, and Any Man So Daring turn on the unusual premise that William Shakespeare not only wrote about fairies, but was personally involved with them as well. In Hoyt's debut novel, Shakespeare first appears as a struggling schoolmaster, happily married to his wife, Nan, and concerned only with being able to provide for his family. Then Nan and their daughter Susanna inexplicably vanish. Shakespeare eventually tracks them to a fairy court, where they are being held prisoner. Though he can see them, he cannot reach them. A changeling fairy named Quicksilver, who feels he has been cheated of his right to the fairy throne, enlists Shakespeare in his intrigue against the court. "This is an enjoyable story, full of great bits of historical and fairy lore," suggested Charles de Lint in a Fantasy & Science Fiction review. Booklist contributor Paula Luedtke called it "wildly imaginative and poetic," and a Publishers Weekly writer noted that Hoyt's depiction of Shakespeare "makes an engaging main character, and the book generally romps along."
In All Night Awake Shakespeare finds that he cannot continue with life as it was before he encountered the fairies. He turns to writing and learns that his chief rival in the literary world, Christopher Marlowe, was also touched by fairy enchantment. Besides being great writers, Marlowe and Shakespeare have something else in common: both were seduced by Quicksilver, who is known as Lady Silver when in feminine form. Complications arise when Lady Silver appears in London, warning of a creature who seeks to rule both human and fairy worlds. Reviewing the book for Chronicle, Don D'Ammassa noted that whether imaginary or historical, Hoyt's characters are "deftly drawn and completely believable."
In the third volume of the series, Any Man So Daring, Marlowe has sacrificed himself to save his own soul and the life of his son. Now suspended between Heaven and Hell, he haunts Shakespeare. Meanwhile, although Shakespeare has become the most successful writer in the world, he is uneasy with his new life, and he begins to struggle with writer's block. Another fairy plot unfolds, this one threatening Will's son Hamnet. Some reviewers noted that while Hoyt's plots are engaging in themselves, the quality of her writing is also noteworthy. "Hoyt's language is so evocative and lyrical that readers are instantly involved with the characters and story," wrote Jane Halsall in School Library Journal. In a similar vein, Paula Luedtke noted in Booklist: "A great story accounts for only half the book's success; the rest depends on Hoyt's beautiful prose."
Some of Hoyt's shorter fiction is collected in Crawling between Heaven and Earth. Unusual plot twists and unique protagonists give the stories appeal, according to SF Site writer Matthew Peckham. He noted that many of the characters are "caught in that metaphorical limbo-land between heaven and earth, and so, ironically, are the stories, careening from mostly polished to occasionally jolting with overwrought phrases that refuse to sit still." Despite some flaws, Peckham believed the stories in Crawling between Heaven and Earth "reveal a talent for conjuring the exceptionally unusual," and he concluded: "It will certainly be interesting to see what [Hoyt produces] … in the years ahead."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2001, Paula Luedtke, review of Ill Met by Moonlight, p. 305; September 15, 2002, Joanne Wilkinson, review of All Night Awake, p. 212; November 1, 2003, Paula Luedtke, review of Any Man So Daring, p. 486.
Chronicle, November, 2002, Don D'Ammassa, review of All Night Awake, p. 28; December, 2002, Don D'Ammassa, review of Crawling between Heaven and Earth, p. 45; December, 2003, Don D'Ammassa, review of Any Man So Daring, p. 40.
Denver Post, October 28, 2001, Fred Cleaver, review of Ill Met by Moonlight, p. FF2; November 23, 2003, Fred Cleaver, review of Any Man So Daring, p. F14.
Fantasy & Science Fiction, September, 2001, Charles de Lint, review of Ill Met by Moonlight, p. 96.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2001, review of Ill Met by Moonlight, p. 1330.
Library Journal, October 15, 2001, Jackie Cassada, review of Ill Met by Midnight, p. 112; October 15, 2002, Jackie Cassada, review of All Night Awake, p. 97; November 15, 2003, Jackie Cassada, review of Any Man So Daring, p. 101.
Publishers Weekly, October 1, 2001, review of Ill Met by Moonlight, p. 43; September 23, 2002, review of All Night Awake, p. 55; October 13, 2003, review of Any Man So Daring, p. 61.
School Library Journal, February, 2004, Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, review of Ill Met by Moonlight, p. 83; April, 2004, Jane Halsall, review of Any Man So Daring, p. 182.
Best Reviews Web site, http://pnr.thebestreviews.com/ (September 15, 2002), Harriet Klausner, review of All Night Awake.
Bookslut.com, http://www.bookslut.com/ (February 8, 2005), Joseph J. Finn, review of All Night Awake.
Mythopoeic Society Web site, http://www.mythsoc.org/ (February 8, 2005), Matthew Scott Winslow, review of Ill Met by Moonlight.
Sarah Hoyt Home Page, http://www.sarahahoyt.com (February 8, 2005).
SFSite.com, http://www.sfsite.com/ (February 8, 2005), Matthew Peckham, review of Crawling between Heaven and Earth.