Forget everything you know about THE TEMPEST cause Caryl Cude Mullin's ROUGH MAGIC ain't your mama's Shakespeare. Born of a corrupt king and power-hungry sorceress-queen, raised in complete isolation on an island raped of it's magic Caliban - previously portrayed as a nonsensical, gibbering rapist - takes center stage. In contrast, this Caliban is a quiet, gentle soul, subject to the whims of a magic-maddened mother, angry island spirits and a pompous, self-important alchemist-king. Caryl Cude Mullin depicts not just the events of William Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST, but the origins of Caliban's mother, his childhood on the island, subsequent departure as Prospero's servant, and his final return.
Spread out among multiple characters, including Prospero's granddaughter Chiara and a mysterious young girl, disguised as a boy; the expanded narrative allows for a rich, nuanced exploration that has, until now, been one-dimensional. Caryl Cude Mullin depicts the characters' plights with such sophistication and deft, it's possible to empathize with each one, even the villains. Books like this are a rare and genuine treat.
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