ARIEL by Grace Tiffany

ARIEL

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Tempest even more fantastic than the Bard’s, yet oddly modern at its heart, Tiffany’s story both soars and crashes. The author, a professor of English literature, creates a sprite who is pure dream, sprung from the head of a dying sailor, yet despite her considerable powers, Ariel is caught inside the Bermuda Triangle, which splits her island in half. She chafes against this boundary, and tries to convince the humans who arrive on the island to help her cross it—first Sycorax, who is more concerned with the imminent birth of her son Caliban, and later Prospero and his daughter Miranda. (In a throwaway piece of irony at the end, Christopher Columbus lands and Ariel begins to enchant him.) Tiffany’s Prospero is a castaway farmer, not a sorcerer or a duke. His loving family has been searching for him; Caliban, Shakespeare’s monster, is Miranda’s gentle intelligent friend. All this turns Shakespeare upside down, but the new problems aren’t big enough to hold the story. Ariel’s unlikable and her plight uninteresting. Beautiful written, but in a teapot. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-075327-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2005