Outdoing Shakespeare!

Miranda and Caliban Kindle Edition
by Jacqueline Carey
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
No one does Shakespeare like Shakespeare, right? I’m going to commit to cardinal sin of all English majors – yes, some \one does. Jacqueline Carey not only does Shakespeare, in a way she outdoes the master in this hypnotic, stunning retelling of The Tempest, from the viewpoint of Miranda and Caliban. Singularly talented with first person POV, she bring the world of the Tempest to life. This reminds me od MZB’s Firebrand and the way it brought ancient Greece and the Illiad into a woman’s view. Ms. Carey has always used first person POV, often rotating between two characters, to give us insights on the internal and external.
This book would be awesome as “read along with” Shakespeare’s Tempest, to fill blanks into.
The scenery is so tactility described, so full for the five senses of the reader, I could virtually taste the sweetness of the figs, hear the clucking of the hens, even feel the rough fur between the ears of the milking goat. The smell of wet dust, not something every writer would think of fills our noses as we travel the dark, dilapidated Moorish.
The story begins far before the Tempest itself, because of this we watch the way Miranda goes and the capture and forced civilizing of Caliban. It clear, even on first site for either for the of the opposite gender of their size.
Because of his maleness, and fo Prospero’s anger and madness, Miranda and Caliban walk a fine line of friend and teacher and student. As will all creatures, the human animal, particularly the female, mature, and when Miranda does, the mostly peaceful castle goes insane.
At time watching to new adolescents figure out how the pieces fit is funny, often it is sad as neither believes they are enough to other. Which is not helped by the villainous Prospero, Miranda’s own father who sees her as means to the end of his vengeance against those he believes wronged him. His character, the cold, hard man set on a singular path is very well established, with only a few glimpses of the man he might have been.
Near the end, with a grown Caliban in love Miranda and a grown Miranda is torn between her father demands, her love of Caliban and the sheer nuttiness of her father’s overarching plan. Things come to a head when the bound spirit Ariel creates a seawreck.
This of course where Shakespeare picks up and the action begins
Ms. Carey has a unique, unparalleled gift with language. She is able to set time, place and character in a matter of sentences. Her research is beyond reproach, thank goodness for the Kindle internal dictionary as some of the words have long since passed from the lexicon.
Yet with her spectacular and singular ability with words, you fly when the scenes are happy and the words themselves weep off the page.
Unfortunately, this story ends on a cliffhanger, making us beg for book 2 as soon as possible.
This receives a perfect score in every way. Again a 5 out of a 5 in some cases just doesn’t seem right, but it is all I have. Thank you, Ms. Carey for yet another thoughtful, emotionally compelling book, where you outdo the source material.

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