This summer, I encountered Lamplighter’s previous work, Prospero Lost. I practically inhaled it. I found it compelling, original, and thoughtful. It delighted me by taking familiar things and presenting them in new ways. I read it in one night, and was frustrated (in a good way) when I came to the end of the novel and discovered that there would be more to this fascinating story. I hated having to wait several months to read the next installment, Prospero in Hell. I finally got to read it over Christmas, and my patience was handsomely rewarded.
Prospero in Hell picks up where the first left off, with Miranda Prospero (of The Tempest fame) trying to track down her siblings to warn them and gain their aid in retrieving their father from danger. In the course of this, the reader is also treated to romance, adventure, and an interesting discourse on the virtues of freedom, piety, and obedience. While some “second books” in trilogies slow down (cf. The Two Towers), Lamplighter’s second book is as entertaining as the first.
The only criticism I have, and it is a teeny one, is that there is an awful lot of time spent standing around talking or gazing introspectively for people on such an urgent errand. Lamplighter tackles this head-on, explaining why Miranda feels she has time to dawdle, but it feels forced. Even with the “dawdling,” though, there was always a new intrigue to untangle, another piece of the puzzle tantalizingly close.
Lamplighter is an extremely talented storyteller who knows her craft. This book was a delight to read.