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A power-hungry queen forged a key to a door millennia ago in the fabled Atlantis that was never meant to be opened by mortal man. During that time, the key lay forgotten beneath the waves. But now, in present-day Yorkshire, it will change young Fernanda Capel's life forever. A power-hungry queen forged a key to a door millennia ago in the fabled Atlantis that was never meant to be opened by mortal man. During that time, the key lay forgotten beneath the waves. But now, in present-day Yorkshire, it will change young Fernanda Capel's life forever.


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A power-hungry queen forged a key to a door millennia ago in the fabled Atlantis that was never meant to be opened by mortal man. During that time, the key lay forgotten beneath the waves. But now, in present-day Yorkshire, it will change young Fernanda Capel's life forever. A power-hungry queen forged a key to a door millennia ago in the fabled Atlantis that was never meant to be opened by mortal man. During that time, the key lay forgotten beneath the waves. But now, in present-day Yorkshire, it will change young Fernanda Capel's life forever.

30 review for Prospero's Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    A house where not all is as it seems. A curved horn on a white mare. A slippery fin cutting the ocean waves. A mysterious man of magical repute. Dark forms that creep in the night. Lost cities. Forgotten keys. Found doors. At the heart of it all is Fern Capel, a young woman with hidden talents. When she moves into her family's newly inherited house, a string of anomalies give rise to questions. Her quest to find answers reveals a thin veil between the known world and the one beyond. Jan Siegel's A house where not all is as it seems. A curved horn on a white mare. A slippery fin cutting the ocean waves. A mysterious man of magical repute. Dark forms that creep in the night. Lost cities. Forgotten keys. Found doors. At the heart of it all is Fern Capel, a young woman with hidden talents. When she moves into her family's newly inherited house, a string of anomalies give rise to questions. Her quest to find answers reveals a thin veil between the known world and the one beyond. Jan Siegel's prose is a luscious delight: And above and to her right soared a sky so thronged with stars that there was scarcely space for any blackness in between, the nearest clusters too dazzling to look at long, the farther ones still bigger and brighter than any stars seen from Earth, and beyond them remoter constellations like grains of diamond, and the glimmering smoke of whirling galaxies, and the contrails of comets, and fire-tasseled meteors plunging downward into a sea that danced and sparkled with more reflected light. Prospero's Children will appeal to fans of sumptuous language, magical realism, and new realms of imagination.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sky

    There's something about the way Siegel writes, it's so vivid, and detailed, and often graphic, that you know if she ever put her mind to write a horror story Steven King would have some competition. She can turn something beautiful into a painful memory in a moment, and unlike a lot of writers, she can really make you FEEL that pain. There's no escaping the depth of this writing... and the followng books in the series are the same. I can say that I was not very happy with the ending of the serie There's something about the way Siegel writes, it's so vivid, and detailed, and often graphic, that you know if she ever put her mind to write a horror story Steven King would have some competition. She can turn something beautiful into a painful memory in a moment, and unlike a lot of writers, she can really make you FEEL that pain. There's no escaping the depth of this writing... and the followng books in the series are the same. I can say that I was not very happy with the ending of the series... however, I have to admit, that if I were the one writing it, I wouldn't have done it any other way.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Josh Thompson

    The first part of the book is excellent. Good characters, a great villain, and the makings of an interesting setting. To rate only that part, I would easily give it four to four and a half stars. The second part of the book, however, is more of a let down. It is basically a completely different story, leaving out many of the elements and pieces that made the first part so great. Prospero's Children is probably worth picking up for the first part alone. The author does use a rather diverse vocabul The first part of the book is excellent. Good characters, a great villain, and the makings of an interesting setting. To rate only that part, I would easily give it four to four and a half stars. The second part of the book, however, is more of a let down. It is basically a completely different story, leaving out many of the elements and pieces that made the first part so great. Prospero's Children is probably worth picking up for the first part alone. The author does use a rather diverse vocabulary and borders on -- occasionally crossing into -- purple prose, if that matters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Caer

    I think my rating deserves some explanation. This is really one of the better books I've read in the adolescent fantasy genre, and at its beginning I found it both extremely imaginative and beautifully written. Seigel's takes on the some of the traditional fantasy creatures are lovely- I absolutely adored her characterization of the mermaid! She was obviously drawing on their darker, earlier origins while creating them, which is commendable, and gives the world a Brothers Grimm/folklore-ish atmo I think my rating deserves some explanation. This is really one of the better books I've read in the adolescent fantasy genre, and at its beginning I found it both extremely imaginative and beautifully written. Seigel's takes on the some of the traditional fantasy creatures are lovely- I absolutely adored her characterization of the mermaid! She was obviously drawing on their darker, earlier origins while creating them, which is commendable, and gives the world a Brothers Grimm/folklore-ish atmosphere. However, as the story progresses it falls into a very typical fantasy plotline, with no real twists or surprises, although it does contain a rather forced romance. The vivid reimaginings that mark the first few chapters are much lacking, if not entirely gone, by the ending, which I found somewhat disappointing as it it seemed like an obvious cliffhanger for the sequels. Having said that, though, I would definitely recommend this book to any fantasy fan who wants a relatively light read, simply because those first chapters really are wonderful!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna Barth

    I admit, I'm a sucker for fantasy books that draw from the ancient mythologies around the world, and this does a fabulous job reimagining some iconic and lesser-known characters and places. I definitely liked the Yorkshire section better than the Atlantis section, though in theory it was a brilliant twist. It became a completely different genre in the space of a page, and I found myself oddly disconnected from the main character. Even though it was technically the same Fern from the first part o I admit, I'm a sucker for fantasy books that draw from the ancient mythologies around the world, and this does a fabulous job reimagining some iconic and lesser-known characters and places. I definitely liked the Yorkshire section better than the Atlantis section, though in theory it was a brilliant twist. It became a completely different genre in the space of a page, and I found myself oddly disconnected from the main character. Even though it was technically the same Fern from the first part of the book, the story became radically different and I didn't like Fern as much as when she was a practical girl clinging to etiquette in the face of things that did not fit into her original, cozy worldview. Be that as it may, it was a fantastic book with gorgeous, if occasionally long-winded, prose. I loved the mysterious terror that infused Atlantis as the "Forbidden Past" and the madness and beauty that characterized its end, and therefore its reputation through the ages. The mix of cultures and traditions was extraordinary, and the depth and mystique this book lends history make me want to build my own time machine, though at the moment I'll settle for reading the sequel.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Muse

    For the PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge: a book you think should be turned into a movie. Maybe I have rose colored glasses on for this one, but I have always loved this book. In the world of film, I think the pacing of the book would almost lend itself to horror, which I really love the idea of. Not likely to happen, but I think it would be cool.

  7. 5 out of 5

    ๑GloryPlutonian๑

    I read this book a long time ago and I remember really liking it. So I picked it off the shelf when I was looking for something to read recently. I don't know why there are so many bad reviews, the story was good, the characters were well developed (Rafarl is our Lord and Savior). ) For the most part though, I liked this book. Not sure if or when I’ll pick the second one up, but I didn’t feel like I’d wasted my time when I was done, and I got through it pretty easily. In my opinion Arc I was a b I read this book a long time ago and I remember really liking it. So I picked it off the shelf when I was looking for something to read recently. I don't know why there are so many bad reviews, the story was good, the characters were well developed (Rafarl is our Lord and Savior). ) For the most part though, I liked this book. Not sure if or when I’ll pick the second one up, but I didn’t feel like I’d wasted my time when I was done, and I got through it pretty easily. In my opinion Arc I was a bit slow but Arc II was really well-written and keeped my interest (Not only because of the unicorn) until the very end. And on top of that you have Rafarl who I kind of adore. HE DESERVED SO MUCH MORE, that ending was so sad.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    I really enjoyed this book - it did not follow the standard intro-build-up-climax format of most fantasy novels, and I liked that that kept me guessing. My only qualm would be that at times the characters (or relationships between characters) felt a little bit flat. I will definitely be reading more by this author!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pinchy's Pages (Jenn Harrison)

    The story line was OK, it didn't really grab me. But the last page and a half, that brought the ENTIRE book together. I had to put the book down and go "Oh....." Those last pages are going to make this book very memorable. The story line was OK, it didn't really grab me. But the last page and a half, that brought the ENTIRE book together. I had to put the book down and go "Oh....." Those last pages are going to make this book very memorable.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dida

    My absolute favorite book of all time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    I really enjoyed this book. It was almost two stories joined in the middle but it played out perfectly in the end. Would definitely recommend it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tim Martin

    Prospero’s Children was a fun read, one that had a lot great elements that I like in fantasy (or genre) fiction; faeries, mythological creatures, Greco-Roman mythology, the feel of European folktales about the supernatural, mysterious deceased cousins who leave strange inheritances, lonely moors, ghosts, Atlantis, and time travel. Time travel? Yeah...I will get to that in a minute. The opening of the book is very strong, gripping even, a pretty much dialogue-free prologue involving a storm-tosse Prospero’s Children was a fun read, one that had a lot great elements that I like in fantasy (or genre) fiction; faeries, mythological creatures, Greco-Roman mythology, the feel of European folktales about the supernatural, mysterious deceased cousins who leave strange inheritances, lonely moors, ghosts, Atlantis, and time travel. Time travel? Yeah...I will get to that in a minute. The opening of the book is very strong, gripping even, a pretty much dialogue-free prologue involving a storm-tossed ship, a doomed but brave man, sea monsters, a mermaid (though not some beautiful pin-up-esque one but rather an alien, soulless creature that no sailor in their right mind would ever moon over), and a mystical object, one that is just ripe with potential, one that is clearly magical, of a mysterious origin, and that the reader just knows is going to lead to something else; a key. Breaking away from the vividly described opening, we come to the present. Our main character is introduced, Fernanda Capel, along with her younger brother Will, and their father Robin. Fernanda – or Fern – is a 16 year old girl, used to acting quite the adult, helping her father manage the household, the finances, and chase away a series of would-be suitors to her father (who clearly does not know a good woman when he sees one, at least according to Fern, as they are all imminently unsuitable). When a long lost (and pretty much to them unknown) super distant deceased relation leaves them in a will a creepy Victorian era house out in the lonely, misty Yorkshire moors, Robin, almost acting the child (or at least the starry eyed optimistic) dreams at the very least of fixing up the place and selling it, though really would like to keep the place and make it a new home. Fern, for her part, knows her father has no head for money and is eager to get back to the real center of the universe, London. Fern appears to meet her match though as the house – and the person who left it to them – are mysterious and intriguing, equally enthralling to both Will and Robin and even Fern, despite her many attempts to make it clear that they are not staying, who can’t help herself and wants to uncover its secrets as well. Added to that mix is Dad’s latest suitor, a woman who – frustratingly for Fern – does not seem to recognize the 16 year old’s true role in the family or her maturity, who is using her good lucks to bewitch her father, and who just may have ulterior motives that have nothing to do with Robin. Bewitch is the right word, as Robin and Will begin to uncover the truth about this woman. Is she in fact a witch? If so, why is she here? What does she want? Had she been to the mansion before, looking for something? This part of the book I really enjoyed, as it had a great young adult feel to it, the lonely, windswept moors and the creaking, creepy Victorian house with all is nooks and crannies stuffed full with arcana and exotica from far-flung locales, the strange local inhabitants, some of which turn out to be not human at all. After a time though I have to admit the book started to slow down for me. Not by any means did it get boring or unpleasant to read, but it just seemed to take its time and could have had better pacing. Clearly, as with many fantasy novels, Fern has some sort of mysterious and mystical inheritance coming her way, a destiny to fulfill, and a great and powerful evil to fight. Though she gets a mentor to help her along with some other allies, I think the book could have benefitted from more fleshing out of the mentor, a better explanation of the mystical and magical rules of the setting (though there were some; an important one is having to be invited in to a home), and more time spent showing just whatever powers Fern is going to develop. I never did get a truly satisfying sense of Fern’s abilities or her potential. However, given her character, I definitely bought her trying to use these fledgling powers far, far before she was ready, that was well done (also well done was the sibling rivalry/friendship that propelled Will’s and Fern’s explorations). Just when I thought things had started to slow down, a huge breath of fresh air (or maybe a second wind, that would be a better metaphor) comes in the book, the aforementioned time travel. I don’t want to discuss how it is done, why it is done, or certainly the outcome, but Fern travels back to ancient Atlantis. The setting of Atlantis itself was well done, with just enough touches of another language to give it an exotic flavor without bogging the reader down in needing a glossary (though one is provided). There are interesting characters in Atlantis – along with creatures – and the pace was fantastic, poetic writing yet well described action and engaging personalities. I don’t want to say too much but the events that occur there really add a great deal of depth to both the opening scene with the sinking ship, the key, and the mermaid, as well as the growth of the character Fern. All in all a good book, one that I enjoyed and I am glad I read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lexie

    Siegel was a completely new to me author when I picked this book up at the (semi)local used book store. I had seen it around for a bit, but for whatever reason I didn't pick it up until an idle Saturday afternoon. It caught my interest then with tales of a mermaid and Atlantis and a magical destiny. This isn't as old as I thought it was either--published originally in 1999, I thought this was from the 80's. The beginning is simply captivating. The story begins with a mermaid who makes a bargain w Siegel was a completely new to me author when I picked this book up at the (semi)local used book store. I had seen it around for a bit, but for whatever reason I didn't pick it up until an idle Saturday afternoon. It caught my interest then with tales of a mermaid and Atlantis and a magical destiny. This isn't as old as I thought it was either--published originally in 1999, I thought this was from the 80's. The beginning is simply captivating. The story begins with a mermaid who makes a bargain with a fisherman, though neither enter into the deal in good faith. The fisherman demands she pay him back for the life she took (she killed his son after her capture) and in turn the mermaid offers a key to a treasure they can never touch. This sets into motion events that encompass Fern and her family centuries later. I didn't really warm to Fern. She's 16 going on 50 it feels like. Levelheaded, composed and seemingly devoid of the teen characteristics one expects she seems so...remote. Even as she acknowledges that her attitude or behavior is out of character for herself, those moments don't serve to warm the reader to her at all. This is also a very languid novel. Many things happen that defy reason, but the pace of the book doesn't alter one iota. Siegel determinedly forges forward detailing the Capel children's investigations with very little determent. Their father's sinister girlfriend does creepy things at night--first investigate, ask questions, test the theory, then form a plan. The writing is very dense though despite the languid pace. So much happens in so little time that's its easy to feel like the book is much longer than it is (barely 350pgs, which is nothing by today's fantasy standards) or that you haven't progressed very far into the book. Mainly I became engrossed in the story because Siegel ties in the Atlantean mythology with other mythologies. The back of my edition had a glossary and a character list, offering tidbits about how this or that name related to other mythologies. Its very obvious that Siegel spent a lot of time researching and it shows in her writing. Her words shine the best when this or that character is discussing history (or as happens later, the past is brought to life in vivid detail). Siegel really immerses you in the scene. I plan on reading the next two books (which I am given to understand Fern progresses in age as the books go on so that we end with her as a young woman). I want to see how this plays out and whether Siegel is able to keep the immersive feel going for another 600+ pages or not.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sierra

    I love the fantastical elements of this story and Siegel's writing. I normally hate excessive detail in novels, but (with exception of the beginning of this novel) Siegel's writing rarely has unnecessary detail. [She has moments at the beginning that are just painful. At one point she gives two analogies to describe something and then elaborates on one of the analogies--all in the same sentence.] The details aren't necessary to understand the plot but they are to be immersed in the fantasy of th I love the fantastical elements of this story and Siegel's writing. I normally hate excessive detail in novels, but (with exception of the beginning of this novel) Siegel's writing rarely has unnecessary detail. [She has moments at the beginning that are just painful. At one point she gives two analogies to describe something and then elaborates on one of the analogies--all in the same sentence.] The details aren't necessary to understand the plot but they are to be immersed in the fantasy of the story. I think that is the main difference I find between her writing and other heavily detailed works; the detailing of other novelists' is merely tangential. I skip over it or don't even read their works. I could probably criticize the plotting (which wasn't always surprising) or character development (which did have heavy-handed moments) but for me the fantasy of the story is the most overwhelming feature and in my mind it glosses over the less satisfying elements. I think the climax in the middle of the novel was more satisfying than the final climax, but I still enjoyed the story. I'm currently rereading books I remember loving from adolescence and am happy to find that I still enjoy this one. In the happy aftermath of reading this, I give it 5 stars. In a couple weeks, after my thoughts have settled, that may drop to 4.5 or 4. We'll see :)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    At heart I am a stylist. If a book has a brilliant writing technique which will engross me I could read about anything and be awed. If the subject is innovative but is written poorly I will not be able to cope. This is obviously subjective but it made this novel a chore to work through. The language use appallingly verbose and flowery. This is not only unnecessary, it is very irritating to have this level and type of description needlessly given to everything. I feel she could definitely have us At heart I am a stylist. If a book has a brilliant writing technique which will engross me I could read about anything and be awed. If the subject is innovative but is written poorly I will not be able to cope. This is obviously subjective but it made this novel a chore to work through. The language use appallingly verbose and flowery. This is not only unnecessary, it is very irritating to have this level and type of description needlessly given to everything. I feel she could definitely have used a lesson in cutting out all the flowery nonsense and get their writing down to the barebones (or at least to have had a more brutal editor). At the same time no one talks naturally. They communicate in massive info-dumps without any emotional connection. I never get the feeling that Robin, Will or Fern really care that much about each other at all. And Siegel really needs to learn show don't tell. In terms of the actual content, I was reminded of British TV in the 90s with definite shades of Neverwhere, The Tomorrow People and The Magicians House among others. Whilst the story was strange and kept throwing up twists I don't feel it was really doing anything new or interesting. It was merely adding new elements to cover up the other issues. Overall, a hard going read for very little reward

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So I just picked this book up because of the title, haha. Those of you who know my dad will know why. Anyway, lo and behold it's a great fantasy novel! It avoids the usual cliches that fantasy can succumb to and I would recommend it to my adult non-fantasy reading friends as well. I really enjoyed it, my only complaint would be that the end felt a little rushed and **(spoiler) the romantic aspect of it was kind of like in episode 2 of star wars where all of the sudden they just hook up and you'r So I just picked this book up because of the title, haha. Those of you who know my dad will know why. Anyway, lo and behold it's a great fantasy novel! It avoids the usual cliches that fantasy can succumb to and I would recommend it to my adult non-fantasy reading friends as well. I really enjoyed it, my only complaint would be that the end felt a little rushed and **(spoiler) the romantic aspect of it was kind of like in episode 2 of star wars where all of the sudden they just hook up and you're like "um, where did that come from?"** But i'm just being picky, I really liked it and would recommend it overall.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is an oldie but a goodie for me. I was waiting for some library books to come in and re-discovered this novel in my bookshelves. If you haven't read anything by Jan Siegel, you must. This is the first of a trilogy. All three novels are quite different but equally interesting. I especially like this novel for it's unusual take on the Atlantis story. Siegel is an expert when it comes to perfect description and immersion into a story. This is an oldie but a goodie for me. I was waiting for some library books to come in and re-discovered this novel in my bookshelves. If you haven't read anything by Jan Siegel, you must. This is the first of a trilogy. All three novels are quite different but equally interesting. I especially like this novel for it's unusual take on the Atlantis story. Siegel is an expert when it comes to perfect description and immersion into a story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I loved this book the first time I read it and every time since. The writing is sooo wonderfully descriptive that I feel like I am there watching the whole book like a movie. Very well written and the fantasy is superb. Witches, Atlantis, demons and old gods. LOVE the names of all the characters and will re-read this trilogy along with other favorites like LOTR, Game of Thrones, my Dickens favs...forever.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    The book is divided into two parts - I really enjoyed the first part, focused on The Key. It is well-written, with rich vocabulary and beautiful phrasing, great pacing and suspense. The first half would get a 4. The second half, focused on The Door, felt less... real. Fern conveniently just knows or senses where to go, what to do. Intense, emotion-ridden events like Fern & Raf's relationship are glossed over. It was not nearly as gripping or intriguing as the first half. The book is divided into two parts - I really enjoyed the first part, focused on The Key. It is well-written, with rich vocabulary and beautiful phrasing, great pacing and suspense. The first half would get a 4. The second half, focused on The Door, felt less... real. Fern conveniently just knows or senses where to go, what to do. Intense, emotion-ridden events like Fern & Raf's relationship are glossed over. It was not nearly as gripping or intriguing as the first half.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zouagie

    I loved this book so much! I can still remember when I first picked it up due to its interesting title and cover, I've re-read it so many times I lost count but it's still nice to remember some scene. Especially when it comes to the confusing parts. A perfect blend of mermaids in the beginning to various creatures in the middle and an okay ending I gues. But I still love it regardless. I loved this book so much! I can still remember when I first picked it up due to its interesting title and cover, I've re-read it so many times I lost count but it's still nice to remember some scene. Especially when it comes to the confusing parts. A perfect blend of mermaids in the beginning to various creatures in the middle and an okay ending I gues. But I still love it regardless.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    Read this book a long time ago as a young adult and I absolutely loved it. Siegel is a beautiful writer and weaves the supernatural fabulously into the everyday. This is the first in a trilogy but by far the best of the three.

  22. 5 out of 5

    flajol

    I remember I enjoyed this, but not why. I even bought the sequels, but have never got around to reading them... I think I read this at the tail-end of my great passion for fantasy fiction.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Suzie

    I LOVED IT!!! IF YOU LIKE FANTASY NOVEELS, WITH SOME MENTIONS OF MERMAIDS, MAGIC, AND ATLANTIS, READ IT!!! I URGE YOU TO READ IT!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Olive Ziegert

    Mermaids and the wonderful world of the deep. Different worlds pulling you in and out. This is a great book to read on a warm summer's evening and dream of what can be if only you let it. Mermaids and the wonderful world of the deep. Different worlds pulling you in and out. This is a great book to read on a warm summer's evening and dream of what can be if only you let it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Samuels

    I'm not quite sure how to review Prospero's Children. I first read it when it came out, back in 1999 and was instantly immersed in the lush, vivid landscape of the English countryside as Fern and her brother Will explore the old house, gradually revealing its secrets, finding house goblins, wizards and witches before Fern's significant journey in the last third of the book. Returning to it just over twenty years later has definitely changed my perspective. I wasn't such a fan of the second half I'm not quite sure how to review Prospero's Children. I first read it when it came out, back in 1999 and was instantly immersed in the lush, vivid landscape of the English countryside as Fern and her brother Will explore the old house, gradually revealing its secrets, finding house goblins, wizards and witches before Fern's significant journey in the last third of the book. Returning to it just over twenty years later has definitely changed my perspective. I wasn't such a fan of the second half on my first reading, but it actually moves much faster than the initial part. I was excited to have to look up unfamiliar words in the first chapter (ectopic! androgynous!) and Siegel definitely paints a compelling picture ... ... but it's also quite flowery. For example - the main character, Fern, is on a journey from becoming a very staunch, logical, no-nonsense character, to understanding the magical world. But as early as page 18, there's a section where Fern is watching the sun set and ... "The teeming man-made metropolis where she had grown up shrank in her mind until it was a blob of meaningless ferment and beyond it, she glimpsed a boundless universe, with pock-marked moons sinking behind drifting hills, and blue voids opening in between, and dusty nebulae floating like clouds across the backdrop of space..." This goes on for a little while and happens quite a lot; long, flowery flights of fancy - which do become a bit more appropriate, but they sort of interfere with the pacing of the plot, which is already a bit slow. The second section is pacier, but there's a definite issue with character consistency in it. I sort of enjoyed my re-read, and still love the gorgeous cover and the coppery writing, but where I would have rated this book a four and a half star read previously, it's a three in my adult mind now.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Bleecker

    Prospero's Children started out with a bang and immediately grabbed my interest. The first part of the book centers on a sister, Fern, and her brother after their father inherits his uncle's decrepit home somewhere in Yorkshire County, England. Magical things happen, mostly to Fern, who is coming into her Gift as a descendant of Atlantis. That part of the novel features a wizened sorcerer past his peak, a were-dog, a house goblin, and an evil spirit inhabiting a stone statute and his accomplice Prospero's Children started out with a bang and immediately grabbed my interest. The first part of the book centers on a sister, Fern, and her brother after their father inherits his uncle's decrepit home somewhere in Yorkshire County, England. Magical things happen, mostly to Fern, who is coming into her Gift as a descendant of Atlantis. That part of the novel features a wizened sorcerer past his peak, a were-dog, a house goblin, and an evil spirit inhabiting a stone statute and his accomplice sorceress. That story wraps up and we're still left with the other half of the book. What to do now? Well, let's whisk Fern off to Atlantis before it sank into the ocean and have her save the world. The story-telling her is good and the writing strong, but somehow it was less satisfying than the first half of the book. All in all, it is a decent read and, considering my track record lately in picking good books, better than many books I have read recently. I dinged it a star because of the disjointed, two-stories-in-one approach the author chose to take.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Silvio Curtis

    Fern Capel, the main character, is a hard-headed teenager with a mildly annoying little brother and a widowered father. She has been managing the family's life with a view to making her own future as comfortable and conventional as possible. Then they inherit an old house in Yorkshire that has a number of uncanny things going on with it. The scenario is a bit like Over Sea, Under Stone but much, much spookier, especially since the Merriman/Gandalf-type wise wizard figure has no power to be of mu Fern Capel, the main character, is a hard-headed teenager with a mildly annoying little brother and a widowered father. She has been managing the family's life with a view to making her own future as comfortable and conventional as possible. Then they inherit an old house in Yorkshire that has a number of uncanny things going on with it. The scenario is a bit like Over Sea, Under Stone but much, much spookier, especially since the Merriman/Gandalf-type wise wizard figure has no power to be of much practical help, and before long the dad is out of the picture and the kids are practically alone in the house with the evil witch. There's a notable nonhuman character, Lougarry, who is introduced as a dog, but her name may tip you off to the contrary. The book is really two plot arcs between one set of covers, with the first happening in the present and the second in Atlantis. It has plenty of world-building and the take on Atlantis reminds me strongly of Tolkien's. Jan Siegel is a pseudonym for Amanda Hemingway, who wrote the Sangreal Trilogy that I already read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wolfie Smoke

    This. Book. Was. Awesome. A real work of art. This is a beautifully crafted story told through excellent writing with a rich vocabulary. It's slow-paced and atmospheric, but there's also so much story compacted into a mere 350 pages. I feel like I've read a whole series, and yet I've only read the first book. It would be great for Urban and High fantasy fans since the story starts as an urban fantasy but includes more high fantasy elements as it goes along. Even though I'm giving it five stars I di This. Book. Was. Awesome. A real work of art. This is a beautifully crafted story told through excellent writing with a rich vocabulary. It's slow-paced and atmospheric, but there's also so much story compacted into a mere 350 pages. I feel like I've read a whole series, and yet I've only read the first book. It would be great for Urban and High fantasy fans since the story starts as an urban fantasy but includes more high fantasy elements as it goes along. Even though I'm giving it five stars I did still have a few problems with it. It has some bad language and sexual themes including a non-graphic outside-of-marriage sex scene and mentions of nudity. However, instead of just throwing those things in just because the author can, they're clearly put there for a reason, and the rough language is used in rough situations that would require it and the words used are used correctly, not just for emphasis. Thus, I will not dock any stars as I usually would do.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book. In the beginning, I was a bit skeptical because the author made it a bit difficult to understand. She didn't paint a clear enough picture of the characters-using their titles and names at random- so it did take me a minute to place who was who. Also, she tended to jump around a bit, and it wasn't too hard to follow along with, but it was a bit frustrating. The middle was definitely confusing, but I could tell that was the point and added a fun bit of mystery. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. In the beginning, I was a bit skeptical because the author made it a bit difficult to understand. She didn't paint a clear enough picture of the characters-using their titles and names at random- so it did take me a minute to place who was who. Also, she tended to jump around a bit, and it wasn't too hard to follow along with, but it was a bit frustrating. The middle was definitely confusing, but I could tell that was the point and added a fun bit of mystery. The adventure in this book is worth 4.5 stars; but the "romance" she tried to mash together was about a 2.5, given the fact that it felt extremely rushed, but overall it was still appreciated. I enjoyed discovery Atlantis and all the magic hidden within these pages. It's definitely worth the read if you're looking for a great adventure.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Frankie J

    I fell absolutely in love with this book, and I was pleasantly surprised. The first half starts off a little bit slow, but it slowly builds up and peaks your interest. The second half was so incredible I couldn't put it down. The way Jan writes is beyond describing.. she brings the words on the page to life! I can't wait to read more. I was very pleased with the main character's development as well. I fell absolutely in love with this book, and I was pleasantly surprised. The first half starts off a little bit slow, but it slowly builds up and peaks your interest. The second half was so incredible I couldn't put it down. The way Jan writes is beyond describing.. she brings the words on the page to life! I can't wait to read more. I was very pleased with the main character's development as well.

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