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Prospero's Children (Fern Capel, #1)
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Prospero's Children (Fern Capel #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,241 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
A young girl who is more than she knows. A man who is more than he seems. A beautiful woman in love with death. An evil older than mankind. All in search of a magical key that will open a door leading beyond time and space to the ending of all things…

It began ages past in fabled Atlantis, when a mad, power-hungry queen forged a magical key to a door never meant to be opene
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 2nd 2000 by Del Rey (first published 1999)
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Hannah Greendale
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
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
Apr 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Donna Barth
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Josh Thompson
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
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.
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My absolute favorite book of all time.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Tim Martin
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed
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
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
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 ...more
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
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Selline vana kooli õhustikuga fantaasiakas, et korraga on äge ja samas natuke esoteeriline ja natuke nagu ei oskagi kirjeldada. Mulle ikka päris meeldib. Kuigi eriti vana see ju polegi. Tüdruk meie maailmast leiab, et ta saatus on seotud iidse Atlantisega. Enne, kui säärased asjad popiks said. Ja tore on, et kuigi peategelased on 16 ja 12, ei ole mingit noortekavibe'i ega armukolmnurki ega vaimunärimist. Äkki selle pärast tundubki vanamoodneja teistsugune, et praegu on mingi teine kaanon?
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Mar 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would say maybe 3.5. The thing is, I liked this story but it was sorta hard to filter through the excessive, floral like, over descriptive writing. There was just so much extra wordage that I found it hard to remember the details that mattered. There would be paragraphs half a page to a whole page long and there would only be one or two important things in it that you had to filter out from all the excess overflow of words. The story was like a hike, we should have gone up the straight, clear ...more
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-bookcase, 2017
Rating: 3.5
When I look back in the whole story, I actually liked it. However, while reading it, it felt jumbled and several parts seemed to drag endlessly onward. There were many times when there wasn't a paragraph break for a couple pages which made it difficult to follow.
Even so, I want to keep reading the series.
A fantasy type book about the city of Atlantis. Interesting read. Great writing. Very colorful and descriptive. If you like fantasy, you will probably enjoy this one. Not my genre of choice but I enjoyed it.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What hasn't everyone everywhere read this??
May 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Took an ass long time to get anywhere with the plot. When it finally got there, it wasn't very interesting. I'd pass on this one. Wasted potential.
Brian O'Leary
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unique fantasy tale, written for the intelligent, unique prose style, not a quick read, but one that sticks with you.
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Jan Siegel is a pseudonym of Amanda Hemingway. She is a British author of fantasy novels, best known for her Fern Capel and Sangreal trilogies.

More about Jan Siegel...

Other Books in the Series

Fern Capel (3 books)
  • The Dragon Charmer (Fern Capel, #2)
  • The Witch Queen (Fern Capel, #3)

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“When ambition outstrips ability, that is always a recipe for disaster.” 5 likes
“There was a long pause. “you know,” he went on, “I sometimes think mankind is dangerously arrogant. We do a few sums, and then claim we have the universe off pat. we measure the spaces between the stars, and declare them empty. We set a limit on infinity. We are like the occupants of a closed room; having worked out everything within the range of our knowledge, we announce that the room and its contents are all that exists. Nothing beyond. Nothing unseen or unknown, incalculable or neffable. This is it. And then every so often God lifts the veil—twitches the curtain—and gives us a glimpse, just a glimpse, of something more. As if He wishes to show us how narrow is our vision, how meaningless the boundaries we have set for ourselves. I felt that when Fern was talking. Just for a minute I though: This is truth, there’s a world beyond all the jargon of unbelief.” 5 likes
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