Miranda in Milan is an absolute delight. It’s essentially femslash for William Shakespeare’s The Tempest ... Katharine Duckett paints these borrowed characters beautifully ... Even with the queer love story between Miranda and Dorothea, Miranda in Milan feels very faithful to the source text ... This quick read is a complete joy. The writing’s excellent, the characters are complex, and the twists, while not shocking to me, were incredibly satisfying and creative ... I would strongly recommend this to anyone who’s interested in queer romance, mystery, magic and the occult, or Shakespeare.
Duckett offers her protagonist agency and voice ... within the bounds set by Shakespeare and our own modern interpretations of Elizabethan femininity and sexism, Duckett’s Miranda stands out ... Duckett takes Shakespeare’s already somewhat critical take on the patriarchy and overlays it with contemporary feminism, not so much that it breaks the story but enough that it feels more grounded in reality than the original play ... I wish Duckett had explore race a little more in the story. Most of the racially relevant questions she poses are left unanswered to such an extent that it does a disservice to the thematic elements ... Miranda in Milan is a delightfully charming and dreadfully suspenseful novella.
Miranda in Milan will resonate with anyone who has felt an outsider's loneliness ... Duckett's story is intriguing, adept, inventive and sexy. Her original characters are formidably vivid ... The biggest criticism I can offer is that Miranda in Milan often feels like half a book. There's a lack of detail in the worldbuilding that can be frustrating at times ... Duckett gives a succinct flashback from Miranda's point of view, but will this be enough for a reader to whom the play is unknown? ... Miranda in Milan is a solid debut, and I'll look forward to seeing where Duckett goes from here.
...this brief, potent gem paints a complete portrait of Prospero’s daughter—her past, her future, and her love—as it explores the full range of her voice. A glittering fantasy-romance that delves into the dark corners of human nature ... this queer feminist update will be catnip for literary teens.
There’s a subtle and subdued thematic argument in here about power and responsibility, about the harm of imposing one’s own values and one’s own desires on the people around one ... Duckett writes an engaging tale, with crisp pacing and precise, attractive prose. Her characters are compelling individuals, fully developed with desires and personalities of their own, and the novella mounts with ever-increasing tension to its conclusion ... If I have one quibble, it’s that the relationship between Miranda and Duriya develops and deepens very quickly. I’d have liked to see a little more of their courtship ... a very gripping story, and one I enjoyed very much. I look forward to seeing more of Duckett’s work in print in the years to come.
...a Tempest sequel that falls short of its progressive aims ... Despite poetic prose, the narrative bogs down under arbitrary trauma-logic ... Dorothea is a perpetually patient and brown-skinned caretaker-lover for hapless white Miranda, and their off-puttingly unequal romance undermines the book’s postcolonialist talk ... Half rescue fantasy and half violent Gothic, this disturbing story forgets there’s more to love than being deemed not a monster.
A thoughtful novelist might have taken this idea in many interesting directions ... If Duckett intended to do any of those things, her debut novel shows little sign of it. The characters lack depth, and the writing lacks magic ... Oppressive mysteries threaten vaguely ... Thankfully, such almost purpureal prose is rare; for the most part Duckett sticks to unobjectionably pedestrian language.The novel fails to explore its promising premise in any depth. Shakespeare this ain’t.