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Prospero Lost: Prospero's Daughter, Book I Hardcover – August 4, 2009

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Lamplighter's powerful debut draws inspiration from Shakespeare and world mythology, infused with humor and pure imagination. Four centuries after the events of The Tempest, Prospero's daughter Miranda runs Prospero Inc., a company with immense influence in the supernatural world. When she discovers a mysterious warning from her father, who has gone missing, Miranda sets forth accompanied by Mab, an Aerie Spirit manifested as a hard-boiled PI, to warn her far-flung, enigmatic siblings that the mysterious Shadowed Ones plan to steal their staffs of power. Every encounter brings new questions, new problems and a greater sense of what's at stake. Featuring glimpses into a rich and wondrous world of the unseen, this is no ordinary urban fantasy, but a treasure trove of nifty ideas and intriguing revelations. A cliffhanger ending will leave readers panting for sequels. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A truly original take on Shakespeare's The Tempest. Should appeal to fans of Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber series." - Best Selling author Kage Baker."

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Product Details

  • Series: Prospero's Daughter (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765319292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765319296
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,908,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

L. Jagi Lamplighter is the author of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, as well as the Prospero's Daughter Trilogy (Prospero Lost, Prospero In Hell, and Prospero Regained).She has also written a number of short stories, articles on anime, and is an author/assistant editor in the BaddAss Faeries series.

She is a graduate of the St. John's College in Annapolis, MD. When not writing, she switches to her secret identity as a stay-home mom in Centreville, VA, where she lives in fairytale happiness with her husband, author John C. Wright, and their four darling children, Orville, Ping-Ping, Roland Wilbur, and Justinian Oberon.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kirsten A. Edwards on September 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The cover is certainly very snazzy, but it's a bit misleading: it implies a kind of evocative, lush-language'd Dunsany-esque sort of story. The which this isn't: if fantasy had space operas, that's what it'd be. Which doesn't mean there aren't moments of magical beauty--there are--but they're the leaven (and the story rises higher for them), not the meat.

Imagine that Shakespeare's play, The Tempest, was actually one of his histories--a secret history ruthlessly suppressed by the Dan-Brownian Orbis Humanis society. Imagine that Miranda's story didn't end with her marriage to Ferdinand, but began when her magician father bound her in service to the goddess Euronyme to gain immortality for himself and his family; that Prospero didn't destroy his books but transformed them into the tools of power that would grant his children dominion over the powers of the earth.

Now start the story four hundred years later, with a cool and wealthy CEO-magician finding a mysterious message written in secret phoenix-fire letters: "I have woken evil powers! Warn the family! Beware the Shadowed Ones!" This is Miranda Prospero, whose global corporation acts as intermediary between the world of myth, demons, angels, powers and principalities and an unwitting humanity which has for centuries been kept (mostly) safe from them. The corporate jet (for example) is magic-enhanced, which helps (a bit) when the dragon attacks. The adventures begin when the icily virgin Miss Prospero discovers that it's not enough to send one of her airy indentured servants (the Aerie Ones themselves would say "slaves") to investigate her father's possible disappearance--the woken power (or powers) attack her in her home, destroying part of it and stealing a potent weapon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Druid63 on December 30, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An intriguing plot, well delineated characters, with personal and moral growth, and good development of personal insight. A most interesting family dynamic. Not to mention a sound knowledge of Shakespeare and various mythologies. Technically Ms Lamplighter's prose is fluid and unselfconscious. That is to say it does not intrude between reader and story. On the downside, I would advise her to pay more attention to the sage advise of 'show, don't tell'. Far too much, about a full star's worth, of prose exposition in lieu of allowing the story to do the work. Stephen Donaldson's early Thomas Covenant books had the extremely annoying flaw of hyper-vocabularism like he was joined at the hip with his Roget's. He grew out of that in a big hurry and I have high hopes that Ms. Lamplighter will similarly develop the patience needed to avoid excessive exposition. May she make it a personal crusade to eliminate shortcuts. Her books may be longer but they will be more readable, more entertaining and more rewarding for her readers.

With respect to Miranda's life-long frustration at failing to achieve Sybilhood, well there's just one hint too many. Our Miranda is no dum-dum and even if ensorcereled by daddy she really should have figured it out for herself a long time ago.

Just about to plunge into Prospero in Hell, and hoping to offer a 4 star review. Speaking of which, to put a 3 star rating in perspective, it includes much of the work of not-so-shabbies like Agatha Christie, Piers Anthony and CJ Cherryh. 4 stars would be for the best of the aforementioned Donaldson, Tolkien, Elmore Leonard and Raymond Chandler.

Regret 5 stars are reserved for the Masters: John LeCarré, Pauline Reagé, William Gibson, Tanith Lee, Doris Lessing, Umberto Eco, Orhan Pamuk and others that are so real and so gripping they are almost too hard to read.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jvstin VINE VOICE on August 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Shakespeare is a very common subject for fantasy. The fact that he has some fantasy within his own plays has proven inspirational to other authors using him and his works as inspiration for their own stories. I've read and am aware of a number of these. Sarah Hoyt's trilogy involving Shakespeare's interactions with Faerie. Elizabeth Willey's trio of novels had a Prospero as a sorcerer and estranged part of a world-spanning family, creating a land instead of exile on an island. My friend Elizabeth Bear has mined this territory in the back half of her Promethean Age novels (although she is as much a fan of Kit Marlowe as Shakespeare).

Into this field has waded L. Jagi Lamplighter. Her husband is John C. Wright, whose own style and tastes range from the Golden Age trilogy, through the Orphans of Chaos trilogy, to, of all things, a sequel to a Van Vogt novel. It would be a mistake to think, though, that Lamplighter's style and sensibilities are a clone of her husband.

No, what she has created in Prospero's Lost is quite different. Modern Day, Our Earth Fantasy is very common these days, but it seems that every other book in the F/SF section is a Vampire novel, one way or another. Fantasy is in ascendancy over Science Fiction, and Vampires are leading over other types of fantasy.

Thankfully for me, Prospero's Lost is a fantasy of a different type. It might be helpfully be classified as a Secret Arcane History. In Lamplighter's universe, there is a hierarchy of arcane beings with the detail and complexity of a Gnostic universe. The novel's heroine, Miranda, tangles and meets with demons, elves, elementals, magicians, and even Santa Claus (a depiction that reminded this reader of the Narnian version as much as traditional depictions).
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