TITLE : On The Isle Of Sound And Wonder
AUTHOR : Alyson Grauer
GENRE : YA Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Steampunk
FR RATING : 4.5 Stars
Wild Mira knows the island better than anyone, and she knows the patterns of the sea and sky. She knows, too, that the storm that brings a shipwreck to her island’s shores is not natural, but is summoned by her father’s dark, strange powers.
On the return voyage from his sister’s wedding to a foreign noble, Prince Ferran’s airship crashes during a storm. Ferran’s father, uncle, and the rest of the royal party are all separated in the aftermath, scattered across a seemingly uninhabited island. What they don’t know is the storm was manufactured with magic – and the man who summoned it has been waiting to exact his revenge on them all for a long time.
On the Isle of Sound and Wonder is a driving, fantastical, lyrical retelling of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest set in a world just adjacent of our own.
DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and Shadesilk Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have read The Tempest, the abridged version of it in high school. I remember enjoying it at the time, but never found the time to pick up the entire play. When I saw this title on Netgalley I was really interested to know how a retelling will work for the play. The synopsis sounded amazing and I couldn’t wait to dive into the story.
On The Isle Of Sound And Wonder is a steampunk science-fiction /fantasy story which is inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This retelling of The Tempest is a fun, engaging fantasy set in a remote island with magic and magical beings.
Our main characters are the magician Dante, Mira who is Dante’s daughter, Aurael the spirit, Karaburan the monster, and Prince Ferran. Mira and Dante get washed up on the island after their shipwrecked. Their life is filled with days of reading, Dante spending most of his time in a cave reading up on old books. Karaburan is the monster, who is half-fish half-man. He lost his mother at a young age and has been living a lonely existence ever since. Aurael the spirit is cursed and is banished to an old tree by the powerful Faerie King Ouberan. Prince Ferran is having a lot of issues with his father, who wants him to be capable of taking charge and holding on his own. Ferran is young and insecure about his capabilities and doesn’t have a lot of support from his father the King Alanno.
The world-building is ok, not extensive, but can be built on if the author decides to add more books to this story. The story is well done, the plot was intriguing and everything came together pretty well. The inventions and developments the country of Neapolis had for their time and the year they were in was pretty amazing. The robots, the flying ship, the technological advancements mixed in with the magic definitely added more flair to the story. The writing is lyrical and focuses on the perspective of Mira, Aurael, the witch, Ferran, and Karaburan.
Mira is independent, the wild girl who is capable of handling everything on her own. She has been on her own for a long time and has found ways to deal with her life without the support of her father. Being a self-sufficient individual she is smart, capable and strong.
Ferran is insecure and his yearning for his father’s love and support. He is not a self-assured person. His uncle Bastiano is the only person who seems to have a love for him.
Karaburan is the monster who struggles with the loss of his mother, the only person to love him unconditionally. His friend Mira hates him, he hates himself for hurting her. Her father has put him out of her life. He lost his only companion on the island. He gets played by an unseen force constantly. He has nightmares that leave him feeling wretched. His entire existence and his life is full of mishaps and getting blamed for things he didn’t do.
Aurael is wily, cunning and manipulative. I have to say he is definitely one of the most interesting characters in the book. The spirit is so used to lying that he has come to believe his own lies. He is filled with hate, deceit, and darkness.
Dante and the witch are also great characters and we get their history and the sole reason why Dante is who he is. His motivations and misplaced intentions are responsible for the rift between him and his daughter. Dante is a very strange man, his past doesn’t indicate him having the darkness inside him. His greed for power and magic drowns him.
I wish we got to see more of their characters, the magic system, the technological advancements. The world-building can also be expanded on in my opinion. Overall the book was engaging, with some great characters. I adored Gonzo the robot and it would have been amazing if we got more descriptions of the inventions and technologies they had. the side characters as well. The book is definitely worth checking it out. I don’t remember all the details of The Tempest by Shakespeare, so I can’t say how the retelling is in comparison to the original. However, I loved this book. I do have some questions and some doubts when it comes to certain events. I gave this book 4.5 stars. This was an enjoyable and engaging read. I definitely recommend checking it out.