Little does she know it, but author Sally O'Reilly wrote this book just for me.
Set in London during the late 1500s and the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Dark Aemilia has it all: Shakespeare, plague, sorcery, witchcraft, witty dialogue, great writing and hot sex scenes. I mean come on! Sally O'Reilly, I love you!
And the cover, oh the cover, simply stunning.
Based on a real person, Aemilia is an inspirational woman born before her time, thought to be Shakespeare's dark muse, struggling with the role of women in society and how little power they had over their destiny. She was England's first female poet, and in O'Reilly's hands she's intelligent, proud, headstrong and passionate.
Here's a great quote from Page 129:
"...all my other little aches and torments have gone. Those besetting symptoms that all of us in London must put up with: soot-wheeze, ale-runs, head-gripe, back-ache, lassitude and dread-belly - not to mention sundry scabs, carbuncles and lesions of the skin - all such ailments have vanished."
And this from Page 270:
" 'Leave this house', I say. 'Get out, you scripture-spouting, fish-cold arse-wart. Or I'll call down a curse which'll curdle the guts in your belly'. "
Brilliant writing, richly evocative and an intelligent story, I loved and adored this novel and didn't want it to end.
Dark Aemilia is for lovers of historical fiction, witty dialogue, Shakespeare and the darker side of London in the 16th Century. Yes please! I can't wait to see what talented author Sally O'Reilly writes for me next. A tale worthy of the Bard I'm sure.
My rating = *****
And another quote from Page 270, because I just have to:
"I'll broil your brain in its shallow skull! Mangle your preachifying words into Bedlam babble, and corrupt your skin into a thousand worm-infested sores! I'll make you pray for Hades as a respite from your pain! And I'll twist your mind to such distraction that you'll tear off all your limbs to find relief and sanity! Do you hear me, you pox-groined, foul-nosed turd-stain?"