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Prospero in Hell    by L. Jagi Lamplighter order for
Prospero in Hell
by L. Jagi Lamplighter
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Prospero in Hell follows Prospero Lost as the second in L. Jagi Lamplighter's excellent Prospero's Daughter series, a modern urban fantasy loosely based on Shakespeare's The Tempest.

The narrator is Miranda, eldest daughter of Prospero, the patriarch of a family whose immortality depends on Miranda's remaining a virgin Handmaiden of Eurynome (which gives her access to the Water of Life). The family business, Prospero Inc. (whose purpose is to protect Earth from dangerous spirits), is served by invisible spirits of the air, who contracted with Prospero for a thousand years. One such is loyal head gumshoe Mab.

In Prospero Lost, Prospero went missing and Miranda received a warning that the Three Shadowed Ones would attack Miranda and her siblings, seeking their Staffs of Power. She was courted by Prince Ferdinand of Naples and also by attractive elf lord Astreus Stormwind. She contacted many of her siblings, helped by her mad brother Mephistopheles, and finally learned her father's fate. Astreus offered Miranda her heart's desire, the long sought Book of Sibyl.

Now, in Prospero in Hell, everything that Miranda has always believed is challenged, even her identity. But there's plenty of action too, from the very beginning when Miranda, Mab and Mephisto fly Pegasus home from the Arctic and are engaged in an aerial battle before taking refuge in crazy Mephisto's Canadian home. Back in Prospero's Mansion, Miranda learns there are demons trapped in the family staffs, and must fight the King of Flame.

At her brother Erasmus' annual New Year's party, the Three Shadowed Ones attack and much is revealed to Miranda - about her own origins, her brother Gregor's fate, and where her brother Titus has been hidden for so long. The siblings transfer to Prospero's Island to work out their differences and plan Prospero's rescue. There Miranda enters her worst nightmare, even before the siblings descend into Hell together, seeking their father. This first episode ends on a cliffhanger, Prospero's children separated and facing great peril.

Prospero in Hell is even better than the first book. It advances the story nicely, answering some questions raised in Prospero Lost but generating many more. I can't wait for Prospero Regained 'In which we finally meet the Dread Magician Prospero, and Miranda learns the truth about many things' and highly recommend this series to you.

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