cover image Miranda and Caliban

Miranda and Caliban

Jacqueline Carey. Tor, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8679-3

Carey (the Santa Olivia series) turns Shakespeare’s Tempest on its head, in ways that are always supportable by the original text, with this brilliant deconstruction. On the deserted island where Miranda grows up, her magician father, Prospero, keeps mostly to himself for the sake of his magical studies. Miranda is the childhood playmate and teacher of the orphan Caliban, the island’s original inhabitant, but when they come of age, their friendship grows into romance, which Prospero cannot tolerate. The magician has had plans for Miranda for years—plans involving his enemies, a love spell, and, of course, a tempest. Carey’s version of Prospero is unable to see his daughter as more than a tool, and unable to see Caliban through his preconceptions and academic prejudices. The foreordained pattern of the play mixes beautifully with Carey’s intricate characterization and eye for sensory detail, building mercilessly to dazzling, and devastating, tragic effect. (Feb.)