‘Miranda and Caliban’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 33/100

Miranda and Caliban By Jacqueline Carey

Audiobook Edition, Narrators: Gemma Dawson and Alex Wyndham

Finished on 3/29/2017

Goodreads 

Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, YA (Sorta), Shakespearean, Tragic romance, Retelling

1 Magus and His 1 Daughter are Marooned on an Island in the Mediterranean,  with 1 Feral Boy and 1 Uncanny Sprite for Company. Can They Escape, and Will the Budding Relationship Between Miranda and Caliban Amount to Anything?

Spoiler-tastic Review

 

Fantastic story. It really made me hate Prospero and Ariel. I read ‘The Tempest’ before reading this because this is a retelling of that, so I came in with strong impressions of the characters. Carey did a fantastic job of spinning the characters/retconning them in a new direction.

I hesitate to say anything at all for fear of spoiling the trauma of this book. This book starts when Miranda is 4 years old and Caliban is 8 or so and continues on to the end of ‘The Tempest’ play, so net total this covers about 12 years. There’s a YA romance between the two title characters, but given the context it’s a very adult romance. I’m not sure I would recommend that someone under 16 or so would read this unless they are very mature.

The Setting was fantastic. Prospero’s magic was very fitting for the era, relying on elementals and constellations and the cosmos. The Island felt real, and surprisingly big. The plot was nuanced and detailed and wrapped up both in the source material and the characterization. This was VERY MUCH a character book, and both Miranda and Caliban carried it well. And the ending… well, I can’t call it bittersweet. Just bitter.

Fantastic, fantastic book. If you want to read it, spend a few hours reading ‘The Tempest’ first then read this. I would suggest that anyone 16 and up who wants to read a book with adult themes give this a shot, if they don’t mind a book with a strong romance.

 

Audiobook notes: The male and female narrators both did a great job. Good work all around!

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