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Prospero Regained
by L. Jagi Lamplighter
A Tor Book, 2011, 2013; QPB $17.99, 476pp
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Amusing, literate, and dynamic, this book starts well and keeps getting better.

The Prospero’s Daughter trilogy, Prospero Lost, Prospero in Hell, and Prospero Regained, is the answer to the riddle: what do you get when Zelazny’s Nine Princes in Amber, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and both Dante’s Inferno and the one by Niven and Pournelle produce an offspring? Anyone who loves any of the above books, or The Dresden Files, should seriously consider adding this series to their “must have” list.

Miranda and her assorted siblings have found out what it will take to rescue their father Prospero from the Nine Circles of Hell; now they are in over their heads, sometimes quite literally, as they brave demons, devils, lost souls wedded to their convictions, and truly horrible landscapes from which none are supposed to escape.

Miranda especially has abandoned all hope, if not of finding her father and delivering him from evil, then of ever regaining her own lost powers and magical status. So she makes do without hope or powers, relying on courage and wisdom instead, and just a bit on love as well.

The sons and daughters of Prospero have been immortals for centuries, living some lifetimes as humans who shape the course of history, other times working less directly to promote enlightenment, endeavor, and discovery. They rarely get along with each other, however, but now they have to cooperate or none of them will get out of Hell. For the real journey through Hell is one of self-discovery, confronting the truths too terrible to bear the light of ordinary day or reason, which certainly aren’t the sort of things you ordinarily want your brothers, sisters, and lovers to know.

 As they slog their way through swamps and fires, fending off from without and within – and that is so much harder! – all seven of the deadly sins plus a few more that drive the count up, Miranda, Gregor, Mab, Theo, Titus, Logistilla, Ulysses, Erasmus and Cornelius bicker, squabble, joke, tease, and console each other. They also find unexpected uses for their Staffs, and learn that much more than their father’s life is in dire need of rescuing: the very soul of the world, in all its magical and mundane aspects, is in peril.

This is one of those rare books that somehow heartens you as you read it, making you feel gladder, greater, wiser and stronger. By the end you feel, and perhaps truly are - transformed. ~~ Chris R. Paige

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