Miranda is a lonely child. For as long as she can remember, she and her father have lived in isolation in the abandoned Moorish palace. There are chickens and goats, and a terrible wailing spirit trapped in a pine tree, but the elusive wild boy who spies on her from the crumbling walls and leaves gifts on their doorstep is the isle’s only other human inhabitant. There are other memories, too: vague, dream-like memories of another time and another place. There are questions that Miranda dare not ask her stern and controlling father, who guards his secrets with zealous care: Who am I? Where did I come from? The wild boy Caliban is a lonely child, too; an orphan left to fend for himself at an early age, all language lost to him. When Caliban is summoned and bound into captivity by Miranda’s father as part of a grand experiment, he rages against his confinement; and yet he hungers for kindness and love.~Goodreads Blurb
If you were expecting a retelling similar in style to Margaret Atwood’s “Hagseed” this isn’t what you’re looking for. “Miranda and Caliban” is to “The Tempest” as “Wide Sargasso Sea” is to “Jane Eyre.” Just as WSS became a classic, my hope is that MaC is taken in by a wider audience. Instead of focusing on Prospero, author Jacqueline Carey has focused on predominantly two of the side characters. If you have any knowledge about the play it’s based on then you know where these characters will end up, but for a short time you are able to lose yourself in Carey’s excellent character development. Instead of the trope characters Shakespeare gave us, Carey has dug into their character development and fleshed out a backstory I think Billy Shakes would be proud of. (If my Shakespeare Literature professor is reading this, me and Billy go way back so I don’t feel bad about using an informal nickname.) With only so much to work with, Carey has bridged the gap between the exile and escape of Miranda and Prospero in a way that I think very few authors could. The writing is very in keeping with the source material and the sheer amount of character growth that she was able to work in, is breathtaking. Fair to say I really enjoyed having my views turned over.
This is a great read for people who enjoy YA books that don’t promise a happy ending. I would even encourage people who are planning to start reading “The Tempest” to give this a go if only to have a clearer view of the characters. With all Billy’s plays, it better to watch them while reading them, in order to understand what’s going on. For “The Tempest” I would whole heartedly push you towards Helen Mirren’s Prospero.
**This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Tor Books in exchange for honest feedback**
Jacqueline Carey (born 1964 in Highland Park, Illinois) is an author and novelist, primarily of fantasy fiction.
She attended Lake Forest College, receiving B.A.'s in psychology and English literature. During college, she spent 6 months working in a bookstore as part of a work exchange program. While there, she decided to write professionally. After returning she started her writing career while working at the art center of a local college. After ten years, she discovered success with the publication of her first book in 2001.
Currently, Carey lives in western Michigan and is a member of the oldest Mardi Gras krewe in the state.