Miranda in Milan
"A haunting story that reimagines the consequences of Shakespeare’s The Tempest."After the tempest, after the reunion, after her father drowned his books, Miranda was meant to enter a brave new world. Naples awaited her, and Ferdinand, and a throne. Instead she finds herself in Milan, in her father’s castle, surrounded by hostile servants who treat her like a ghost. Whispers cling to her like spiderwebs, whispers that carry her dead mother’s name. And though he promised to give away his power, Milan is once again contorting around Prospero’s dark arts. With only Dorothea, her sole companion and confidant to aid her, Miranda must cut through the mystery and find the truth about her father, her mother, and herself.

Miranda in Milan Details

TitleMiranda in Milan
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 26th, 2019
PublisherTor.com
Rating
GenreFantasy, Retellings, LGBT, Fiction

Miranda in Milan Review

  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    A sapphic retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest? Excuse me while I free my schedule for five hours of uninterrupted crying reading.
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.I loved this! RTC soon! <3 ✨Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch
  • Hiu Gregg
    January 1, 1970
    A slightly strange, slightly unsettling, but very sweet story. I was a huge fan of the romance, and the writing flows together so well. Read it all in two sittings, and it would have been one if life didn't get in the way.
  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/04/14/...Miranda in Milan isn’t so much a retelling than a sequel, reimagining of the events after The Tempest by William Shakespeare, picking up the tale at the play’s end where everyone including the magician Prospero and his daughter Miranda are getting ready to head back to Naples. But instead, they end up in Milan. Miranda and Ferdinand are to be married in celebration of their triumphant return, and Prospero himself is to rec 3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/04/14/...Miranda in Milan isn’t so much a retelling than a sequel, reimagining of the events after The Tempest by William Shakespeare, picking up the tale at the play’s end where everyone including the magician Prospero and his daughter Miranda are getting ready to head back to Naples. But instead, they end up in Milan. Miranda and Ferdinand are to be married in celebration of their triumphant return, and Prospero himself is to reclaim his dukedom. Rather than the joy she expected, however, Miranda is met with fear and distrust at her destination, shunned and shut away in her chambers at the castle. Whispers of Miranda’s resemblance to her dead mother Beatrice follow her everywhere, and she is forced to wear a veil to hide her face whenever she ventures outside.Isolated and friendless, abandoned by her father who has gone on to do bigger things and with no word when her wedding will happen, Miranda begins to lose hope. That is until she meets her new maid Dorothea. As a Moor, Dorothea is just as ostracized as Miranda, and she doesn’t seem bothered by the rumors about the duke’s daughter. The two of them start to grow close, with the friendship swiftly blossoming to become something even more. Meanwhile, it appears Prospero has not been entirely truthful in his proclamations to abandon his magic. As everything begins to fall under the threat of his dark schemes, Miranda and Dorothea must work together to uncover the truth and save Milan.In the original play The Tempest, Prospero is the main character, portrayed as an unfortunate exile. Miranda is but a mere side note, her actions and behavior completely dictated by her father. In Miranda in Milan, however, it is she who gets to feature as the story’s protagonist, while Prospero is cast as its villain. Admittedly, I might have been more taken with author Katharine Duckett’s direction of these roles had I not read 2017’s Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey. While there are many differences between the two books, at their heart, both shine the spotlight on Prospero’s kind and compassionate daughter, both reimagine her in a coming-of-age romance, and both depict her father as a domineering and menacing figure in her life. There are just enough parallels to invoke comparisons between how the characters, relationships and themes are handled, and in almost every way—e.g. character development, romance, world-building, storytelling, etc.—I felt Miranda in Milan fell short.Part of the issue could be due to its length. At just a sliver over 200 pages, this novella had a lot to convey and yet not enough time to do it. I hate to say it, but this is why I’m typically wary of short fiction because more often than not, I come away from short works wishing they had been more, and this was one of those cases. To wit, there’s a lot going on in this book: first, the Shakespearean elements, and contextual details of the original play that had to included; second, there were the relationships—and that means not only of the romance between Miranda and Dorothea, but also the complexities and nuances in the dynamics between Miranda and Prospero, Miranda and Ferdinand, etc.; and third was the overall plot itself, which sought to incorporate a bit of mystery related to Miranda’s mother along with the intrigue and conspiracy of Prospero’s dastardly plans.With all this in play, there was barely enough time to properly explore the world’s secrets or its magic, or go any deeper into characters’ backgrounds, personalities, and motivations. As a result of this, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I want to praise this book for its ambitions and its integration of so many interesting and rich concepts, but on the other, I can’t say it managed to develop any of them very well. This ineffectual build-up ultimately led to very little pay payoff and satisfaction, sad to say. For example, Miranda and Dorothea’s romance—which I considered to be the most notable aspect of this tale and thus expected quite a lot from—ended up being nice and sweet but also rather superficial and uninspired. As well, the ending which I thought contained several unique twists and revelations was nonetheless anticlimactic simply because the story’s foundations were not developed enough to make me feel much of anything for the characters or their conflicts. Miranda in Milan being Duckett’s debut, I also wasn’t surprised to run into pacing problems. Understandably, some things cannot be rushed, but I did feel the early sections of this book moved too slowly and were bogged down by unnecessary diversions.All in all, I can’t say I loved this book, but that being said, I didn’t dislike it either. In the end, I think I just wanted more—more depth, more clarity, more detail. More feeling. It’s possible that tighter pacing and more pages could have provided all that, but as it is, Miranda in Milan gets an average rating from me, though I will keep watching to see what Katharine Duckett writes next.
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  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    This is f/f set in Italy (and in a place in Italy that isn't Venice!)It could either be great o go really wrong, I hope it's the former
  • Justine
    January 1, 1970
    Miranda in Milan started out peculiarly in my point of view, but once I get the gripping of the pacing and its standing itself in the novel; it was amazing! It is an #OwnVoices for sapphic romance read. I love to seeing development such as this; stories that are represented not only in heteronormative point of view but as a retelling that reaches the diverse community, both gender, race, and religion. It features a queer, black, Muslim, Dorothea.I adore the romance happening. It was flowing out Miranda in Milan started out peculiarly in my point of view, but once I get the gripping of the pacing and its standing itself in the novel; it was amazing! It is an #OwnVoices for sapphic romance read. I love to seeing development such as this; stories that are represented not only in heteronormative point of view but as a retelling that reaches the diverse community, both gender, race, and religion. It features a queer, black, Muslim, Dorothea.I adore the romance happening. It was flowing out innocently and naturally. I had been anticipating their interactions in the novella quite closely! And I must say that it worked out well for me. And the mystery airing the novel makes it more compelling as to why Miranda was being held in the dark.For the setting build up, I have nothing but praises. It was eerie gothic, places well. The banter amongst them as well. Their tone for the retelling is fitting. I love witnessing the tale of self-discovery in here. Definitely worth a read and rereads to come.Though, for something short it was rather slow for me. I think it was the reason I had a slightly difficult time settling in.Trigger Warning/Content: parental neglect and abuse, parental death.More Miranda in Milan • Instagram • TwitterCopy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own and don’t necessarily reflect the author, the author’s work, the publisher, nor any other group of people, nor I received any monetary compensation for doing this review.
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  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    This review can also be found on my blog!I received an ARC from Tor in exchange for an honest review!3.5/5CW: parental death and emotional abuse/neglectWhile I love Shakespeare, The Tempest is a play that I’ve enjoyed but never able to get into. I think it was because I wasn’t into the plot (although the writing is gorgeous) and I never liked Prospero. I thought he was, to put it bluntly, a bit of a dick. He wasn’t a likable character. I could never sympathize or empathize with him.Enter Chantel This review can also be found on my blog!I received an ARC from Tor in exchange for an honest review!3.5/5CW: parental death and emotional abuse/neglectWhile I love Shakespeare, The Tempest is a play that I’ve enjoyed but never able to get into. I think it was because I wasn’t into the plot (although the writing is gorgeous) and I never liked Prospero. I thought he was, to put it bluntly, a bit of a dick. He wasn’t a likable character. I could never sympathize or empathize with him.Enter Chantel telling me about this book and me deciding it sounded interesting.The basic premise is that Miranda goes home to Milan. Prospero takes back his duchy and, supposedly, all is well. Except that the court whispers about how Miranda is a monster, a wild thing. And she cannot leave her rooms unaccompanied while wearing a veil to hide herself from everyone’s sight.She befriends a maid, Dorthea, who is a black, queer, Muslim woman, and it turns into a romance of Shakespearean elements. Masked balls. Magic. Secrets in the castle. All trying to discover what happened in Miranda’s past, who her mother is, and why she’s being locked away.With that all said and done, I really enjoyed the Shakespearean elements, how there was so much pondering done on various themes, and the pure intersectionality that felt so natural to the story. It was lovely to read a “retelling” (it’s not a retelling) that included all that since there have only been a few notable colored characters that Shakespeare included in his works, and I don’t think they were in the best light.My biggest thing is that for such a short story — it’s just under 200 pages — it moves rather slow. It takes time for the story to get going, which meant that I felt like it was never quite going to take off. It just really took a whole long time for it to happen, but once it was there, I was hooked.Another, slightly more minor thing for me, was that I never felt quite convinced about Miranda and Dorthea being interested in each other. Maybe it’s because I’m aroace. Maybe it’s because it never quite got there. Either way, it distracted from the story since I kept trying to examine whether I felt convinced by their romantic interest in each other.Those two drawbacks aside, I enjoyed reading this book! It was a fun little story and part of me hopes that Duckett comes back with more queer retellings or continuations of famous stories.
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  • Diana Green
    January 1, 1970
    Although this story started rather slow for me, it picked up in pacing and interest level near the midway point. Once things started moving along and developing more layers, I began enjoying my reading experience more. I was especially intrigued by Beatrice's back story and felt the creepiness of what happened to her was effectively portrayed. I also liked how Antonio and Agata were more complex than they first seemed. Miranda and Dorothea's relationship developed nicely, (if a little too quickl Although this story started rather slow for me, it picked up in pacing and interest level near the midway point. Once things started moving along and developing more layers, I began enjoying my reading experience more. I was especially intrigued by Beatrice's back story and felt the creepiness of what happened to her was effectively portrayed. I also liked how Antonio and Agata were more complex than they first seemed. Miranda and Dorothea's relationship developed nicely, (if a little too quickly), and it served to counterbalance the darkness surrounding Prospero's secrets. Overall, Miranda in Milan is a fun and imaginative sequel to the Tempest, with the added bonus of positive F/F representation. Despite the uneven pacing, the plot is entertaining and unique. So if the concept interests you, I'd definitely give it a try.
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  • Geonn Cannon
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written, a very quick read (surprisingly quick... I expected to spend a few days with this one).
  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    This novel (novella?) was sent to me to review by the publisher, Tor.com, at no cost. It will be out on 26 March, 2019. Aside from King Lear, which I loathe, I probably dislike The Tempest more than any other Shakespeare play. I don't know why; there's nothing particular I can pinpoint. But I really, really dislike it.It turns out, though, that stories of Miranda after the play are stories I can really get behind. So maybe this is part of the problem: in the play, I think Miranda is just a bit n This novel (novella?) was sent to me to review by the publisher, Tor.com, at no cost. It will be out on 26 March, 2019. Aside from King Lear, which I loathe, I probably dislike The Tempest more than any other Shakespeare play. I don't know why; there's nothing particular I can pinpoint. But I really, really dislike it.It turns out, though, that stories of Miranda after the play are stories I can really get behind. So maybe this is part of the problem: in the play, I think Miranda is just a bit nothing. But For Meadows' Coral Bones made me swoon for joy, and now Katharine Duckett's Miranda in Milan similarly plays with the aftermath of Miranda's return from the island - in a very different way from Meadows, but equally dealing with some of the issues that a young woman with such an upbringing might need to confront. Here, Miranda is returned to Milan, and basically confined to the room - she's only allowed out when wearing a veil, which she loathes. Her father is off reestablishing himself as duke, Ferdinand is in Naples, and she has no friends. Until suddenly she does develop a friendship, and she begins to discover some of what's gone on in Milan that led to Prospero's banishment - and, by extension, her own.Nicola Griffith's blurb is (unsurprisingly) apt: "Love and lust, mothers and monsters, magicians and masked balls...". That's about it. What is love and how do you know it, what makes a monster, and can magicians be trusted... Duckett writes about these things, and does it quite beautifully. 
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  • Jenia
    January 1, 1970
    Miranda in Milan is a charming book that offers a queer take on Shakespeare's The Tempest. It continues the story a few weeks after the play's ending (so SPOILERS for a 400 year old play, I guess). Miranda and her father have triumphantly returned to Milan from their remote island. But the island is the only home Miranda remembers, and despite her position as the lord's daughter, she finds herself shunned and isolated. Moreover, her father has not given up his magical powers as he had promised; Miranda in Milan is a charming book that offers a queer take on Shakespeare's The Tempest. It continues the story a few weeks after the play's ending (so SPOILERS for a 400 year old play, I guess). Miranda and her father have triumphantly returned to Milan from their remote island. But the island is the only home Miranda remembers, and despite her position as the lord's daughter, she finds herself shunned and isolated. Moreover, her father has not given up his magical powers as he had promised; Miranda realises he has not told her the whole truth of her family's dark past and exile to the island. The only one who doesn't avoid Miranda is her maid Dorothea, and the two lonely women begin to grow closer.So, I'd never read or watched The Tempest before I'd heard of Miranda in Milan. I'm always on the lookout for f/f stories though (plus the cover is really pretty), so I awaited the book eagerly. It didn't disappoint! However, after the first couple pages I went back and read the original play, and I recommend everyone to at least read the wiki article before starting Miranda in Milan. The book does a good job explaining the backstory, but in my opinion it works better if you're familiar with the characters and themes of the original, which it toys with.The main focus of Miranda in Milan is Miranda herself: a lonely, abused and naive woman who has internalised a lot of her father's views. Her life on the island was much freer than in the castle of Milan, where she is derided as a wild girl and is sequestered in her room. But it's also her first time encountering opinions about the wider world that differ than he father's. Watching her re-examine her own beliefs about her father and the world, and grow beyond them, was fantastic.It's also Miranda's first time encountering other women. In the play, she falls in love with the prince of Naples, who was shipwrecked on the island. Miranda in Milan continues that thread very logically. It's not that Miranda never loved the prince... but also he was literally the first person she'd ever met as an adult. Her increasing understanding of her own feelings and attraction to Dorothea is very sweet. Their relationship starts off very unequal, with Dorothea much more worldly but Miranda of a much higher social status, but the inequality is handled with care.I also really liked Dorothea, a Moroccan with witchy powers, in her own right. While she doesn't get as deep a character arc like Miranda does, neither did I feel that she was shoved into the story just to serve as Miranda's guide-slash-lover. It's just that in contrast to Miranda she knows who she is and what she wants a lot better already. I'd happily read a prequel or sequel with Dorothea as the protagonist instead.Thematically, the book fits into the body of work that examines The Tempest from a post-colonial perspective. (I told you the wiki page is useful.) A large part of Miranda's growth is re-interpreting what her father had done to the island's original inhabitants, as presented in the play. With Dorothea, the perspective of an immigrant from a colonised country is also given directly. I really liked the little details here. For example, Dorothea prefers others not to use her real name both because it marks her as a foreigner but also because it's just exhausting to hear your name constantly mispronounced.One last thing I'd like to quickly mention is the prose. Miranda in Milan flows very smoothly and in my opinion it balances the Shakespearean adaptation aspect well. That is, the dialogue and prose are nowhere near as old-fashioned as the original play's, but neither does it feel odd to read Shakespeare's characters talking as they do in the book.Altogether, I found Miranda in Milan a delightful book. I'm sure I didn't get as much out of it as proper Shakespearean scholars would, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. And I... may actually go read some more of Shakespeare's plays now. In hopes that there'll be more cute, queer, post-colonial fantasy book reinterpretations.Especially recommended for: - People looking for f/f romance - Fans of retellings/reinterpretations (though this isn't a direct retelling) - ...So fans of fanfic, I guess? - Shakespeare fans - People who enjoyed The Goblin Emperor - People who enjoyed the themes of The Traitor Baru Cormorant but wouldn't mind something a lot fluffier. Like, a lot fluffier. - Oh also there's dark magic, so fans of creepy stuff
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  • Dannica Zulestin
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book I really wanted to read as soon as I heard it was gonna come out, and I was shocked I could get a hold of it so soon. The library actually had it! I was shocked they got it so fast! Man, this library is on task. Damn. With that piece of fortune, and seeing how short it was (I've been short on reading time), I had to get it out.There were things I liked and didn't like about this book.I liked Miranda a lot. The fact that she's used to ordering people around and is not used to "poli This is a book I really wanted to read as soon as I heard it was gonna come out, and I was shocked I could get a hold of it so soon. The library actually had it! I was shocked they got it so fast! Man, this library is on task. Damn. With that piece of fortune, and seeing how short it was (I've been short on reading time), I had to get it out.There were things I liked and didn't like about this book.I liked Miranda a lot. The fact that she's used to ordering people around and is not used to "polite society" is enjoyable--it's not just that she's a free spirit, it's that she and Prospero basically lived as rulers on their island. Throughout the book she kind of rethinks a lot of her past, wondering if she and Prospero were wrong to treat Caliban, Ariel, et al as they did. For me I feel like that aspect sort of had some postcolonial vibes in a way. Anyways it's been a while since I've read or watched The Tempest but you really do have to empathize with Caliban, so it's good to see some criticism of the way he was treated. And also it makes Miranda very flawed. Though, it also makes it feel a little too easy that she regrets her past so fast, and that she's willing to befriend or even fall for a servant like Dorothea--even with her isolation in Milan, wouldn't she consider Dorothea beneath her?Dorothea's interesting. She's "Moorish", which in this case means I guess "brown skinned and not originally from Europe". She's also a witch and can change her appearance and work simple spells, make simple potions. It was interesting that the book had a magician other than Prospero. Anyways... I liked her but her relationship with Miranda doesn't quite do it for me. Part of it's that it develops so fast, part of it's the assumption that for them to have an HEA they have to do the equivalent of getting married, Dorothea having no interest in Miranda if she's going to marry Ferdinand. I mean, I get it, but... it's Renaissance Italy, there's nothing really stopping you from having an affair while being married. ...except morality I guess. ...probably I should give that a little more weight.(view spoiler)[I guess there's also the idea that Miranda will be happier if she's back on the island than she would be living in Milan. Which is fair, the rules of noble society are hard on women and Miranda's much more used to island life. And the island in The Tempest does sound lovely! On the other hand, no matter how carefully Miranda treads, I'm not sure it's the best idea for her to go back to living with Caliban and Ariel with their history. And the rules of noble society might be hard on women (especially a Moorish woman like Dorothea) but Miranda would also have been an actual princess, which is pretty cool. The idea that Miranda and Dorothea absolutely can't be happy except off on an island apart from all the rest of society (...except Caliban and the fairies, I guess) seems kind of weird. I did have a feeling that was where the book was headed, though, and Miranda did prefer life on the island... Idk, mixed feelings. (hide spoiler)]Then there's Prospero. I liked the concept of dark!Prospero-- he's like canon Prospero except his couple of good qualities are now also bad. He makes sense. But at the same time, he seemed a little flat--largely bc he just wasn't around that much, so you only got outsiders' perspectives of him, and they're all bad, even Miranda's, despite the fact that Miranda says she loves her father. He's definitely abusive and tyrannical in this book, yet Miranda turning against him so quickly seems weird, considering he's been her only parent and her guiding light for the past twelve years at least. (view spoiler)[also why did he want Miranda not to marry Ferdinand? dude literally set that ship up. I don't get it. (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[Morally gray Antonio was fun. Bice was also fun. Their killing Prospero, though, felt kind of anticlimactic. Idk. Dude needed to die, though. (hide spoiler)]...ah, I feel like I've been kind of critical now. Despite all my mixed thoughts, I did enjoy this book. I very much wanted to find the answers to all the mysteries, and I liked Miranda a lot. I'm so happy I got a chance to read it, and so soon too!
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  • Freya Marske
    January 1, 1970
    Creepy, magical and romantic. This novella shows a deep understanding and affection for my favourite Shakespeare play as well as a willingness to dig in and criticise it. It also has the unmistakable air of a Gothic, which I wasn't expecting, but should have - Miranda's story here fulfils all the requirements of innocent-girl-comes-to-grand-house, exploring secret tunnels, and dark family secrets. And a lovely f/f romance on top of that!
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  • Kaa
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to love this but I just didn't completely connect with the writing style. Certain parts felt too rushed, while others felt more drawn out than they needed to be. I did really like the ending, though.
  • Queen
    January 1, 1970
    Well-written, has endearing characters, but the plot is fairly basic.
  • Anna Luce
    January 1, 1970
    Insta-love! Maybe it won't bother me in a future reading but as of now I'm finding this boring.Minor quibble: Why have a character give themselves an Italian name...which isn't Italian? Dorotea exists. Dorothea? Nope.
  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest).So if you've ever wondered how Miranda would fare in society with backstabbing, politics, and even more secrets - look no further than Miranda in Milan. All the elements in "The Tempest" - the unfair treatment of Caliban, Prospero being a poor father, and the way Miranda is stifled - are discussed even without being on the island. And this time Miranda even has a confidante who wil (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest).So if you've ever wondered how Miranda would fare in society with backstabbing, politics, and even more secrets - look no further than Miranda in Milan. All the elements in "The Tempest" - the unfair treatment of Caliban, Prospero being a poor father, and the way Miranda is stifled - are discussed even without being on the island. And this time Miranda even has a confidante who will help her unravel this spider web.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    HHHNNNNNNGGGGGGG GUYS--JUST. YES.Gothic and lovely, deliciously intriguing and beguiling, there's a mystery, a romance, a fantasy, a dream--that little bit of everything mystical and magical and manipulated and misted from the original Tempest, and more. The book feels veiled and curious; it's that slow peeling back of layers and layers of shrouds of magic until you find the center, the core: the self-discovery of Miranda. Oh brave new world, indeed.
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    Check out this review and more on my blog!I was looking forward to the release of this debut novella, a sequel to William Shakespeare’s The Tempest that promised a queer heroine and dark magic, as soon as I heard about it. I got what I was promised and more, and I loved it.I’m always a little wary of stories that retell Shakespeare in some way, not because I don’t think it can be done well but because I haven’t really enjoyed any that I’ve read in the past. I was even more wary of this one bec Check out this review and more on my blog!I was looking forward to the release of this debut novella, a sequel to William Shakespeare’s The Tempest that promised a queer heroine and dark magic, as soon as I heard about it. I got what I was promised and more, and I loved it.I’m always a little wary of stories that retell Shakespeare in some way, not because I don’t think it can be done well but because I haven’t really enjoyed any that I’ve read in the past. I was even more wary of this one because I never studied The Tempest at school or at university, and even though I know the basic storyline I’ve never actually read or seen it at all, so consider me relieved when it became clear that I didn’t need an in-depth knowledge of the play to enjoy this novella.Finally free of the island Miranda has known her whole life and betrothed to the future King of Naples, Miranda and her father, Prospero, are able to return to their Milanese home. Miranda can’t remember Milan nor the mother who died there when she was still an infant, and when she arrives she doesn’t receive the warm welcome she expects; she’s forced to cover her face with a veil as the people at court whisper ‘ghost’ behind her back, kept in her room after a lifetime of living beneath the stars and surrounded by servants who are afraid to be near her.As her father begins his quest for power in Milan and Miranda waits to be sent to Naples, she finds companionship in the one maid who isn’t afraid to befriend her, Dorothea, a self-proclaimed witch of Moorish descent who’s lived her life moving from place to place, picking up whichever language she needs to master in order to keep her head down, make a living and escape the Inquisition. When Miranda and Dorothea begin to uncover the truth behind Prospero’s exile all those years before and what truly happened to Miranda’s mother, what unfolds is a Gothic tale of power and ghosts as Duckett puts Miranda at the centre of the story, where she always should have been.I bloody loved this novella. The writing was simple but beautiful, and made perfect sense considering Miranda hasn’t been raised at the Milanese court amidst masked balls and courtly intrigue. She spent her childhood running barefoot and wild on an undiscovered island, and though Prospero has always dreamed of returning to Milan, Miranda barely knows it, and instead spends this novella yearning for the sea.Now that she’s a woman she’s expected to take her place amongst the Italian nobles and become Queen of Naples, but at heart she’s still a wild girl and it’s only when she’s taken from the island and thrust into the dreary castle in Milan that she realises the island already had everything she wanted. The life she’s now living is the life her father has always longed for, and Miranda is starting to realise just how much her life is no longer her own. On the island she could run free as she pleased, but now that they’ve returned to Italy she’ll be forced to spend her life under constant scrutiny, which would be easier if the Milanese people weren’t afraid of her face.This novella had the perfect balance of character growth and plot for me. I loved the Miranda that Duckett brought to life, a girl so often overshadowed by Prospero, and Dorothea is a charming character who, as well as being a believable woman in her own right, also served as a reminder of how multicultural Europe was during this period of history.Whether you’re familiar with Shakespeare or not, if you love stories about magic and motherhood and queer women in a historical setting, Miranda in Milan is a novella you need to get your hands on.
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    This is EXACTLY the story I wanted after reading The Tempest!I actually read The Tempest like 2 days ago so I could read this book. I very much enjoyed the play; but obviously, I had some issues with the misogyny of Prospero and many of the nobles, Miranda's lack of agency, and the implied racism/pro-colonialism of the original play. This book blew me out of the water with the way that it addressed these aspects of the play, while still retaining this Shakespeare-like feel to the story and writi This is EXACTLY the story I wanted after reading The Tempest!I actually read The Tempest like 2 days ago so I could read this book. I very much enjoyed the play; but obviously, I had some issues with the misogyny of Prospero and many of the nobles, Miranda's lack of agency, and the implied racism/pro-colonialism of the original play. This book blew me out of the water with the way that it addressed these aspects of the play, while still retaining this Shakespeare-like feel to the story and writing. Miranda is forced to confront how her father has distorted reality (both figuratively and literally) in order to paint himself as benevolent, and how this has been done at the cost of individuals like Sycorax (a North African woman of color) or Caliban (an Indigenous-coded moc). I liked how the story so naturally makes Miranda confront reality as she becomes closer to Dorothea, who is an immigrant Muslim woman of color and a witch - she occupies many of the identities that Prospero villainizes in the original play. Her existence shows Prospero's prejudices and hypocrisy, while also giving the narrative back to these groups that were silenced in the play! I LOVED Dorothea so much!! Something that I found very interesting about the original play is that Miranda is really occupying a role that white woman today occupy- she is denied agency 'for her own protection/purity' by white men, while simultaneously gaining power and privilege by oppressing poc (ie Caliban in Miranda's case). So, I really appreciated how this book addressed Miranda's privilege and how some of her beliefs harmed others, but also acknowledged how she's simultaneously a victim of misogyny and her father's abuse. And I loved how Miranda gains back her agency- and how she uses that agency to start making amends for her father's and her own actions. Beyond all of this, I liked the characters and the romance was cute too. The ending was great!! :) And the pacing of this novella was really good - that's something I often have an issue with when reading novellas. Maybe this one worked for me because it's a continuation of an already existing story- so not a lot of time is spent setting up the characters and world. I mean, some of the plot and definitely the romance happen a bit fast. But I was kind of expecting that so it didn't bug me much. And, like I said before, even though this had a very different focus than The Tempest, the writing in this book still made it feel like the same world and very Shakespeare-y. If you're interested in this book but haven't read/seen The Tempest, I'd recommend reading at least a detailed summary. I read the entire play and I'm so glad I did because it truly enhanced my reading experience and appreciation for this book. This is a story I would recommend to anyone! I thought I would enjoy it before picking it up, and then I ended up loving it on a level I did not expect. It was so good!
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  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    Più che agli appassionati di Shakespeare, mi sentirei di consigliare questo piacevole retelling de "La Tempesta" ai fan di "Circe" di Madeline Miller, o perfino ai lettori de "La Buia Discesa di Elizabeth Frankenstein" di Kiersten White. Le tematiche sono più o meno lo stesse, anche se affrontate da un'angolazione (lievemente) differente. E la Duckett, con questa sua opera d'esordio, dimostra senz'altro di possedere una notevole proprietà di linguaggio, oltre a una certa personalità e a un discr Più che agli appassionati di Shakespeare, mi sentirei di consigliare questo piacevole retelling de "La Tempesta" ai fan di "Circe" di Madeline Miller, o perfino ai lettori de "La Buia Discesa di Elizabeth Frankenstein" di Kiersten White. Le tematiche sono più o meno lo stesse, anche se affrontate da un'angolazione (lievemente) differente. E la Duckett, con questa sua opera d'esordio, dimostra senz'altro di possedere una notevole proprietà di linguaggio, oltre a una certa personalità e a un discreto senso del ritmo...Peccato che, a livello di trama e personaggi, "Miranda in Milan" mi abbia un po' annoiato. La riflessione sul rapporto padre/figlia e i vari richiami al testo originale hanno tenuto desta la mia attenzione per il tempo sufficiente a permettermi di voltare l'ultima pagina, certo; ma la storia d'amore (di grandissima rilevanza, nel contesto dell'economia generale della storia...), secondo me è stata sviluppata a partire da basi un pochino inconsistenti; o forse sono solo io che non vado più tanto d'accordo con il concetto di "instalove" e con tutte le sue inevitabili conseguenze. Peccato, perché il personaggio di Dorothea secondo me era anche carino... Solo che, a un certo punto mi sarebbe piaciuto riuscire a vederla più come una persona in carne e ossa, che come una mera incarnazione di un ideale ambulante... E poi credo che al finale manchi qualcosa. Un guizzo di imprevedibilità, forse, o semplicemente una protagonista in grado di appellarsi a un minimo di spirito d'iniziativa in più, almeno nel momento del confronto definitivo con il grande "villain" della sua storia...
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    To be honest, The Tempest is one of my least favorite Shakespeare plays that I've read. I've never really liked it, and I don't remember a whole lot about it. But I wanted to read this because of the f/f romance (!!), the fact that it's a Shakespeare retelling, and because I did remember a bit about the original play. At least the main characters, and some of the main events. So I don't know if this is part of the play, or if it starts directly after that ends. But I quite liked it a lot! This s To be honest, The Tempest is one of my least favorite Shakespeare plays that I've read. I've never really liked it, and I don't remember a whole lot about it. But I wanted to read this because of the f/f romance (!!), the fact that it's a Shakespeare retelling, and because I did remember a bit about the original play. At least the main characters, and some of the main events. So I don't know if this is part of the play, or if it starts directly after that ends. But I quite liked it a lot! This story about a sheltered girl with an abusive, controlling father, and a past she doesn't understand. Miranda wasn't afraid to take back her life, though, and make her own decisions, and she chose to put her own happiness first, when she had never been given leave to do so. The romance was sweet, the mystery kept me curious throughout, and that ending was wonderful!
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  • Linnea
    January 1, 1970
    This was fun little story about what happens when Miranda, who has spent her whole life on an island so deserted that, when seeing a passle of Italian royals, says to herself, "Oh brave new world, that has such people in't." If she is that impressed by a whole load of white guys, what do you think happens when she meets a sarcastic serving girl from Marrakech? Lots happens, that's what. There were a lot of places I wanted this book go. It went to some of them. Mostly I was grateful for this thor This was fun little story about what happens when Miranda, who has spent her whole life on an island so deserted that, when seeing a passle of Italian royals, says to herself, "Oh brave new world, that has such people in't." If she is that impressed by a whole load of white guys, what do you think happens when she meets a sarcastic serving girl from Marrakech? Lots happens, that's what. There were a lot of places I wanted this book go. It went to some of them. Mostly I was grateful for this thoroughly inclusive story after experiencing the smothering racism of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Don't at me. Happy Shakespeare's birthday.
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  • Elle Maruska
    January 1, 1970
    Ahhh I loved this so much!! It was a wonderful little story of what happens after Miranda and Prospero return to Milan and Miranda's voice was so well done, a lovely and sad mixture of confusion, longing, fear, and desire. Her relationships with her father, her dead mother, her uncle, and her new confidant are all very finely and sincerely wrought, and every character is written with care and style.It's also hella queer which is my favorite thing of course. Making Shakespeare queer is like, one Ahhh I loved this so much!! It was a wonderful little story of what happens after Miranda and Prospero return to Milan and Miranda's voice was so well done, a lovely and sad mixture of confusion, longing, fear, and desire. Her relationships with her father, her dead mother, her uncle, and her new confidant are all very finely and sincerely wrought, and every character is written with care and style.It's also hella queer which is my favorite thing of course. Making Shakespeare queer is like, one of the great joys of my life.If you're at all a fan of Shakespeare, wonderful wlw stories, magic, and young women finding themselves in a brave new world, you should definitely check this out!
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  • Katherine Scott
    January 1, 1970
    I love a sapphic retelling of Shakespeare as much as the next gal, but this story seemed a little undercooked to me. The characters were archetypes in such a way that the book read more as a fable? Than a novel? I don’t know I just work here. I enjoyed the book well enough, but I’m not going to like, talk to anyone about it. Also, like, some of the awkward suggestions of Miranda’s privilege read kinda like Baby’s First Lesson in Colonialism and Cultural Appropriation. that’s gonna be a nope for I love a sapphic retelling of Shakespeare as much as the next gal, but this story seemed a little undercooked to me. The characters were archetypes in such a way that the book read more as a fable? Than a novel? I don’t know I just work here. I enjoyed the book well enough, but I’m not going to like, talk to anyone about it. Also, like, some of the awkward suggestions of Miranda’s privilege read kinda like Baby’s First Lesson in Colonialism and Cultural Appropriation. that’s gonna be a nope for me dawg, go all in or not at all.
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  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    Miranda returns from the magical island with her father to his ducal home and she discovers what it really means to be young medieval noblewoman - locked like a bird in a golden cage.Everyone is keeping secrets, and Miranda is desperate to both find out what has happened and more importantly, to be free.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really interesting take on an old story. I haven't read The Tempest in ages unfortunately so I remember very little about it, I may reread it and then pick this up again. I loved the writing and the idea behind it, but I think I need just a bit more context to it to fully appreciate it or give a solid opinion.
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  • Mel
    January 1, 1970
    This looks and sounds amazing!Fun fact: My Chinese name is 米兰 (Mǐlán), so there's no way I am not reading this.
  • Miriam
    January 1, 1970
    When Miranda came to Milan, she found she was a monster.---Either this is a bad book or I really do just have hate in my heart. Maybe it’s both?I love The Tempest. I’m a massive Shakespeare nerd, and The Tempest is one of my all-time favorite Shakespeare plays. It’s a gorgeous masterpiece and a beautiful meditation on power, old age, and the art of stagecraft.So when I heard about Miranda in Milan, which sets itself as an immediate sequel to The Tempest, I was intrigued. Miranda is a fairly flat When Miranda came to Milan, she found she was a monster.---Either this is a bad book or I really do just have hate in my heart. Maybe it’s both?I love The Tempest. I’m a massive Shakespeare nerd, and The Tempest is one of my all-time favorite Shakespeare plays. It’s a gorgeous masterpiece and a beautiful meditation on power, old age, and the art of stagecraft.So when I heard about Miranda in Milan, which sets itself as an immediate sequel to The Tempest, I was intrigued. Miranda is a fairly flat character in the play, so a text expanding on her character and journey would be most welcome. And Prospero is an absolute dick for the entire play and gets away with it scot-free, so I was more than happy to let him finally get his due.All of this is to say that I went into Miranda in Milan with an open mind and good expectations. But Miranda in Milan is just not a good book, and it’s a pale and weak successor to The Tempest.The problem is, if you’re going to write an adaptation or sequel of a text like The Tempest, you need to take existing issues and themes in the text and expand on them. You can’t just start inventing things wholesale. And you absolutely can’t blatantly disregard critical truths in the original text because it doesn’t fit into the story you want to tell.Miranda in Milan is not a sequel to The Tempest. It’s not even fanfiction. It takes the pieces that it likes and tosses the pieces that it doesn’t, and then mixes in a bunch of made-up hooey that has absolutely no place in the story Shakespeare set up.As a result, we end up with a Miranda who immediately forgets and discards Ferdinand like he’s a dropped tissue in favor of a blandly benevolent manic pixie dream girl, who she tumbles into bed with by page 70 (this all happened so ridiculously fast that I laughed out loud). Which is nuts. I could totally, 100% get behind a story where Miranda realizes the dude she hung out with for four hours before marrying isn’t actually her type, and I could absolutely be a fan of a plot where Miranda subsequently realizes she prefers ladies. But to discard Ferdinand, who is a fairly important character in the play, so immediately and to send Miranda careening into someone else’s arms so quickly does not indicate an author adapting issues she gleaned from the original text. It speaks of an author who decided that something in the original play was inconvenient to her ideas and then getting rid of the inconvenience with a swipe of the pen.Which is just NOT how you adapt a text. Seriously.To add further insult to injury, the plot itself is not great. Miranda and Dorothea are confronted with a fairly obvious mystery and immediately leap to the stupidest and most illogical conclusions, simply because the plot isn’t ready for them to solve the mystery yet. Prospero is both all-powerful and pathetically weak at the same time, depending on the plot situation (his ability to make the people of Milan forget only things the plot needs them to forget, as opposed to the things Prospero needs them to forget, is particularly egregious).In short, I did not enjoy Miranda in Milan.
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  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    TW/CW : (challenged) racism, mention of suicide, parental death and emotional abuseOriginally reviewed this book on my blog : https://therealmofbooks.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/miranda-in-milan/Well, this was disappointing. It started all wrong and then I never got over that first feeling. My main problem was that I don't see the point to make a sequel to a classic just to undo everything that was established at the end of the said classic in the first 10 pages. What was established by Shakespeare TW/CW : (challenged) racism, mention of suicide, parental death and emotional abuseOriginally reviewed this book on my blog : https://therealmofbooks.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/miranda-in-milan/Well, this was disappointing. It started all wrong and then I never got over that first feeling. My main problem was that I don't see the point to make a sequel to a classic just to undo everything that was established at the end of the said classic in the first 10 pages. What was established by Shakespeare in the tempest : - Miranda and Ferdinand are madly in love - suddenly they are not, Ferdinand seem disinterested and she says she doesn't really have feelings for him. The stupid part is that it's kind of not really the case, we get later that there's maybe more feelings between them but... It would have made much more sense to make them actually in love in the beginning and Miranda fall out of love because she actually loves Dorothea... But to just say from the get-go that she doesn't love him makes no sense to me. Then just don't make a sequel and create your own story if you're going to do that - Prospero is the hero of the tempest and seem to be a good man, his brother Antonio is the usurper. He is cunning and a bad man all around. This also is established as untrue in the first few pages. Again, I'm not against switching roles and having Prospero as the bad guy but then why don't you make us realize that little by little ? why just blurt it out in the first chapter ? There's a few other things like that but anyway the point is that it doesn't really makes sense to me to simply change without explanation what was established instead of slowly, gradually, revealing things and have your characters grow. And don't get me wrong I don't care about Shakespeare, I'm not saying that because it's changing canon or whatever. I'm french, he is not an author I actually read or studied over and over in class. I read the tempest for the first time a couple weeks ago. It just really doesn't make sense. Other than that, the characters, except for Miranda, fell flat and the plot was a bit nonsensical and used very easy twists to get by. A lot of things characters think or do still don't make sense to me, they don't seem to think about what they should be thinking when they are doing certain things... and then it's just mentioned in passing later but never explained... It was generally very confused. I did really enjoy the writing and I might try this author again as she writes more. I do hope her plots and twists will work more with me.
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