Review: On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer [ARC]

A retelling of the classic play The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This blog contains affiliate links. I make a small commission when you decide to buy books via the Amazon or Book Depository purchase links available in the book review's post.

Growing up, I absolutely adored The Tempest by William Shakespeare. I was so excited to get an ARC of this retelling!

This book will be counting towards ARC August, hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat and for Trope-ical Readathon, hosted by Jenny @ Jenny’s Review Blog.

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder book cover

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder

by Alyson Grauer

Published October 21, 2014 by Shadesilk Press
ISBN: 1733501177

Data from Goodreads

All but alone, wild but resourceful Mira dreams of life beyond the shores of her mystical island. Isolated by her father, a dark sorcerer bent on vengeance, she has only his servants, an air spirit and a misshapen cast-off, to share her company. When Dante conjures a terrible storm to wash ashore his mortal enemies, Mira must chose between her loyalties to her father and what she knows is right.

Sail the skies and soar the seas surrounding this Isle of Sound and Wonder as Alyson Grauer masterfully retells William Shakespeare’s classic, The Tempest, bedecked in the trappings of Steampunk.


TW: mention of rape

My Review: An Impressive Retelling

The Pros: What worked for me

  • Compared to the original story, there is a ton of depth and character development here! Every character had a backstory and it made this play truly come alive.
  • Really great worldbuilding! The author goes beyond the original play and adds so many intricate details and layers, which made this very enjoyable.
  • Mira (Miranda) has such a strong personality – she takes center stage in this retelling. She was intelligent, strong, and fiery! I loved any chance to read from her perspective. There is so much more to her in this novel than in the play.

The Cons: What I didn’t like

  • I wasn’t always a fan of the writing style. It took me a while to get into the story, and there was a lot of jumping between timelines that made it difficult to keep track of things.
  • The ending was a bit too convenient for me. Every other part of the story had tension, an internal struggle, and a satisfactory decision. But the ending was just too easy after everything.
  • The steampunk was unnecessary. It barely had anything to do with the story and its random inclusion was jarring.

This was a really good balance between maintaining the originality of the plot of The Tempest while adding depth to it. I enjoyed having deeper characterization, and a fully-developed world. Safe to say, I will never think about this Shakespeare play in the same way!

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2 thoughts on “Review: On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer [ARC]

    1. Absolutely! I was a bit worried at the first 15% because the story wasn’t really gripping my interest, but then it really took off! I would definitely encourage people to check it out!

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