BookBrowse Reviews Prospero Regained by L. Jagi Lamplighter

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Prospero Regained

Book 3

by L. Jagi Lamplighter

Prospero Regained by L. Jagi Lamplighter X
Prospero Regained by L. Jagi Lamplighter
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2011, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2013, 480 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Judy Krueger

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The third book in a Shakespeare-inspired fantasy trilogy is filled with magic, demons, and more than a little trouble.

Prospero Regained is the final book in L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy. The entire series is an impressive feat of fantasy writing that challenges the accomplishments of such bestsellers as China Mieville, Philip Pullman, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Possibly most wonderful of all, the author is female as is the main character. Miranda Prospero is as tough, resourceful, and brave as she is beautiful, spiritual, and romantic.

She is more than 400 years old, thanks to the magical Water of Life that keeps the entire Prospero family in a state of near immortality. She is the CEO of Prospero, Inc., a family business that uses magic for the good of mankind, but she is also a motherless daughter torn between two lovers and incapable of disobeying her father. Of course, Prospero is the dreaded magician of Shakespeare's The Tempest and Miranda is his beloved daughter.

Prospero, Inc. operates with the assistance of the Aerie Ones who are only half way through their 1000-year contract with the Prospero family, though they long for their freedom. Miranda's dearest wish is to become a Sybil - someone who serves the Goddess Eurynome - and gain the power to set the Aerie Ones free.

Over the years, or I should say centuries, Prospero fathered eight more children who have all worked for the family business but, as happens in families, have gone their separate ways, developing rivalries and secrets. These issues are worrisome enough, but in Book 1 (Prospero Lost), Miranda learned that her father had accidentally unleashed some very nasty enemies, known as the Three Shadowed Ones and wound up in Hell. He is now due to be executed in a few short weeks.

Book 1 and Book 2 (Prospero in Hell) lay out the family history, introduce the siblings and their magical staffs, and follow Miranda as she strives to bring the family together. By the end of Book 2, they have all set off into Hell on a rescue mission to save Prospero, accompanied by Mab, the company detective, an Aerie spirit who inhabits a Philip Marlowe-type body. On earth, the Prosperos fly in Lear jets and use email; in Hell, they depend on mythical creatures for transportation as they cross the River Styx and descend into its depths.

Prospero Regained, the third and final volume, reveals all that lies behind the mysteries, the supernatural enemies, and the purposes of the Prospero family. Each sibling must find the strength to rise above his or her flaws, overcoming the demons who plague them. Miranda's deepest desires and the future of Prospero, Inc. - not to mention the future of humanity - are all at stake.

To fully enjoy Prospero Regained, the reader really must read the whole series in order. That should not present a problem for those who already enjoy fantasy fiction because for us, 1100 pages is no hardship. That said, if a reader has contemplated dipping into the fantasy genre for the first time, he or she would be well introduced by Lamplighter's books. It is also my opinion that these books will appeal most to a female readership.

Underlying the suspense, adventure, and mystery in this tale is a strong sense of hope for mankind and the world, drawn from a deep well of mythological and centuries-old religious wisdom. I can't say it will last beyond the next horrible event I encounter, but I finished these books with much of my faith in mankind - and in the power of personal integrity - restored.

Reviewed by Judy Krueger

This review was originally published in November 2011, and has been updated for the December 2013 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



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