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The Dark Lady by Akala

by Sophie Green

The Dark Lady by Akala

This title is written by Akala, who is a British rapper, author, activist and poet and founder of The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company.

He describes his debut YA novel as being 'inspired by Shakespeare’s Dark Lady sonnets.' The story follows Henry, a 15 year old genius with a magical gift trying to survive in Elizabethan London’s most notorious slum, ‘the Devils gap.'


Henry is an orphan, a thief and a genius. Raised by a powerful witch, Henry is a master pickpocket and spends much of his time reading at the magical apothecary. But Henry's extraordinary gifts haven't gone unnoticed and when caught stealing, he's forced to work for an influential duke and his secret society of intellectuals. Working hard to fulfil the duke's relentless pursuit for knowledge, Henry finds solace and a friend in his idol, the young playwright, William Shakespeare. But it's his mother Henry longs for most.

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