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On the Isle of Sound and Wonder

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  38 reviews
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,
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Kindle Edition, 2nd, 227 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Shadesilk Press (first published November 21st 2014)
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On the Isle of Sound and Wonder

Alyson Grauer

The debut novel by Alyson Grauer, On the Isle of Sound and Wonder is an invigorating retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest with a steampunk twist.

I am not a fan of steampunk, however, in recent times, I’ve read quite a few novels in the genre that have surprised me. On the Isle of Sound and Wonder is one of those books. It’s the writing and ingenuity. In the case of On the Isle of Sound and Wonder, it is also the storyline, the effectively
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Inkslinger
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On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson Grauer

ARC provided by NetGalley, Shadesilk Press, and Alyson Grauer. All opinions are mine and freely given.

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"I'm too young--too posh--too poetic for this fate!"

01-10: 'On the Isle of Sound and Wonder' is a retelling of my favorite Shakespeare story, 'The Tempest.' When I first read the synopsis, I was both elated and terrified. Since most people in the media industry tend towards 'Romeo and Juliet,' 'Macbeth,' and so on.. it
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Tammy (TheTeaOnBooks)
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This was an amazing adventure! I loved every detail the author included in this story. When I had to put it down, I thought about it until I could pick it up again.

The writing is really immersive. The author really put a lot of detailed thought into the setting, characters, and storyline. She also writes in a descriptive way that really adds to the experience of reading this novel. I’ve read some books that have too many detailed descriptions and I become bored, this had just the right amount
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Candace
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
I will admit Steampunk intimidates me. I’m afraid of gadgetry and mechanization that is, basically, over my head. My imagination is so fanciful I need magic in my stories. So, I was slightly intimidated when I picked up On the Isle of Sound and Wonder. But I’m a sucker for covers and LOOK AT THE COVER!! I’m in AWE!

My fears quickly vanished. Grauer marries both magic and mechanics into an intelligent, well-crafted, seamless retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I was immediately drawn into a
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Danielle Shipley
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story swept me along with the ease of a wave in a gale, the author’s skillful choreography of questions, revelations, and points of view holding me in thrall page after page. Perhaps it is in part a testament to Grauer’s love of theatre shining through that I felt (uncommonly for me) less like a reader and more like a wide-eyed spectator watching a play unfold on my imagination’s stage, complete with humorous scripting and fantastic special effects. I enjoyed moving back and forth between ...more
Jodi
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that has something for all audiences. There is action, adventure, peril, magic, love, loss, and a kiss of steampunk – just to keep things interesting. For those students of Shakespeare, this is a delightful romp through the classic story of The Tempest. The characters have been renamed and reimagined to appeal to today’s readers.

There are very few books that capture my attention where I find them hard to put down, this was one of them. Grauer has a knack for creating vibrant,
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Michael Coorlim
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alyson Grauer's On the Isle of Sound and Wonder is a Shakespearean Fantasy Steampunk book based on an adaptation of one of my favorite works. I didn't realize it at first because I'm a terrible book blogger with an enormous backlist, and it took me far too long to get around to reading it. Embarassingly I was almost to the end of the first act before I twigged to the fact that it was an adaptation.

And that's a good thing. It's not a straight-up stage-to-prose conversion. Alyson is more skilled
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Crissy Sutcliffe
If you enjoy steampunk, you will enjoy this book. there is a bit of everything from action, to love , to tradjedy, with a bit of magic rolled into one.his book is bassed on "Tempest" by Shakespeare. Mira is the daughter of an exiled duke and she lives on a jungle island. She is a go getter, self sufficient, strong, no nonsense woman who is not afraid to get her hands dirty. All in all, this was an excelent book to escape into.
Kayleigh Kehoe ♡
3.5*

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Ahhh! My first book review since I gave birth to a gorgeous little boy back in September. I had a troubled pregnancy, and reading took a backseat for basically 2019 in it's entirety. However, I'm back, it's the second day of the new year and I have finished my first book. I feel renewed! Rejuvenated! Ready to devour books again (usually after 8pm when the baby is well asleep). Being a mother will still take priority, of
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Sarah
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of On The Isle of Sound and Wonder in exchange for an honest review.

The further I read, the more I liked this book. I'm not familiar with Shakespear's The Tempest, as it happens, but the human strengths and, particularly, weaknesses and ignorances in each character compacted with layers of schemes that start to unravel in the worst way is something Sound and Wonder shares unmistakably in common with the classic playwright's style. Aly's spin revolves around the shipwrecked crew
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Sarah Reads "Reading in Sarah's Corner"
This book was enchanting from the moment I started reading it. Each and every character was mesmerizing as we get lost on the Island of sound and wonder. I absolutely loved the world author Alyson Grauer conjured up for us. This book is one I can see letting my son read in just a few years. He will absolutely love the mystery adventure Alyson created.

The in-depth detail Alyson describes from start to finish was perfect. There were many times I could picture myself right along with Mira, Ferran,
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Ai Miller
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ai by: Alyson Grauer
This was a delightful ride--the magic was super fun without feeling intrusive or overbearing, and the story itself managed to be fresh while also definitely echoing back to what little of the original. I might have liked it more if I had more familiarity with the original play (lol I have zero knowledge and my brain is made of swiss cheese). I'm also pretty unfamiliar with steampunk as a genre of writing, but I love how the magic and tech intertwined here, and it felt like it supported the story ...more
Jennifer Lea
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book through the Goodreads giveaways. It is a spectacular book and I am pleased to be adding it to my bookshelf.
This is a book that could be enjoyed by a large audience. It is possibly a story more geared to the young adult audience, but can certainly charm a much older one with little effort at all. It has a touch of magic, a hint of mythology and even a little steampunk, through Gonzo, the metal companion to the prince.
I love the character development and the interpersonal
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Avaminn F'nett
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won a free copy of this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book overall. It had a wide variety of unique characters, is a fantasy, and is a retelling of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," all of those things were just great. It was very well-written. Karaburan and Aureal were my favorites.
The only problem I had with it is that for a steampunk book, there was not enough steampunk. Sure, there were airships and a robot character, but I felt more as though it
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The Artificer
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me start out by saying that I normally dislike retellings, reboots, relaunches, needless prequels & sequels, etc.

That said, "On the Isle of Sound and Wonder" is no simple line for line retelling of Shakespeare's Tempest with gears glued on. Ms. Grauer has taken the play and remade it, adding new depths and new motivations to familiar characters and story arcs. She had deftly crafted a major touchstone of English Literature into something that, while similar in plot to the original, is
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Spunky N Sassy
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
~~~Dee's Review~~~

OMG! Stories of magic, curses, spells witches and wizards are normally not my first or even my second choice of reading material. However, since I received this book in exchange for an honest review, .....I read it.

The story was gripping and keeps the reader enthralled even during periods of backtracking. I was so amazed at the graphic detail that made this story come alive. I could see the bolts of lightning, hear the booming thunder and smell the pouring rain. The magical
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Erika
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare can be a tricky thing to adapt, taking on something like the Tempest can be a daunting task.
However I was thrilled with many of the author's decisions and portrayals in "On the Isle of Sound and Wonder" Grauer handles the subject matter with grace and in an entertaining way.
Setting the novel in a steampunk universe makes the magic plausible and interesting and the exploration of the different possibilities whether mechanical or magical was wonderful and engaging.
Penny
As the publisher of this book and directly involved in its production, I will refrain from influencing its rating. However, both Steampunk and Shakespeare fans will love this re-imagining of William Shakespeare's last play, The Tempest. Aly is a fabulous writer, her world-building vivid and her characters complex and engaging. Her story, although based on The Tempest, is original and imaginative. This is a great choice for anyone wishing to delve into a world of fantasy.
Tiffany
This book, the magnificent Alyson Grauer's first, is beautifully written work of art. The characters and setting are well fleshed out and an utter delight to read. I'm not at all familiar with The Tempest, upon which this book was based, but I don't feel that hindered the joy I experienced while reading this. It is my hope that Aly will continue to write more novels in the future and continue to share her imagination and talent with all.
Jolie
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I probably read this too quickly, but that's a casualty of being a fast reader holding a wonderful book. Interesting characters who learn and develop, an imaginative and charming reimagining of The Tempest, and writing with superb structure. (Yes, good sentence composition matters!) I loved the book and will absolutely be rereading it!
Sue Marie
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story telling from a relatively new author. Well written, well developed characters and a storyline that keeps the reader turning the page.

Not a great fan of Steampunk here but this sure caught and held me throughout the story. Highly recommended!
Melissa Bergum
It's a fun read, I haven't read the Tempest, but want to now to see how Alyson has adapted the material.
Ayla
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, ebook
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to like this book when I started it. The Tempest was one of my favorite Shakespeare plays that I read during college, and I thoroughly enjoyed other adaptations of Shakespeare’s work.

Let’s start with the good: The character of Mira (Miranda) was given much more autonomy in this adaptation. She’s honestly the shining light of the book. Corvina (Sycorax) was also given a much more well-rounded back story. It feels
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Mike
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a rewrite of Shakespeare's The Tempest as a fantasy with some steampunk trappings (airships and an automaton) as well as the usual spirits and magic, set in an alternate 1873. It takes the setup of the original and goes in quite a different direction with it. For me, it largely, but not entirely, succeeded.

On the way through, I noticed that the names (of people, and even more of countries) were subtly distorted from the originals, but in a way that sometimes didn't quite work
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Lu
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

On the isle of sound and wonder is a retelling of William Shakespeare's The Tempest and it's brilliant and evocative.
Since Mira and her father Dante were shipwrecked on an island, they were forced to adapt themselves and live there, getting to know the flora, the fauna, reading, learning. When another ship, years later, shipwrecked on the island, Mira starts to realize her father is not what she thought he was, when he made the
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Teri B
Jan 13, 2020 is currently reading it
This definitely is an intriguing retelling of William Shakespeare's The Tempest.

I best loved the mise en scene that took quite a while to set up within the book. We get to meet the main character, Mira, who has grown up very wild, isolated on an island, with her imaginary or not so imaginary friends, discover the strained relationship she has with her father, and then we go and visit with the shipwrecks that have been scattered all over the island in the storm that was not natural and brought
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Addi Gets Lost
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me wish I remembered more of The Tempest other than the fact that I enjoyed reading it in my Shakespeare class in college.

The action was well-paced and the characters were interesting. I feel like information was revealed at the perfect time to create that wonderful grey area for the moralities of several of the characters. I really love when a situation or character flip to the other side of a spectrum and this book did that several times.

I was weary of an insta-love situation
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Lindsay
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading the synopsis on NetGalley I got as far as ‘a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest’ and I was intrigued. Even though I had not read the original work this book was easy to get into and I had no problems understanding what was happening. The events were paced well, I don’t feel like there was any one event that we needed more time on. The book switches between each character’s perspective which I found to be a positive thing as it kept me from forgetting about the other characters. There ...more
Ally
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, netgalley
While this book is very well-written and is full of exceptional prose, it tends to jump around quite a bit. It feels like the story is disjointed somewhat from so much back-and-forth between the numerous characters. All things considered, this book has great development, flow, and descriptive dialogue. I enjoyed the author’s use of metaphors to match the setting of the book as it helped pull me in and create illustrations in my mind as I read. I also enjoyed the steampunk elements introduced in ...more
Lindsay
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, 4-stars, fantasy
Reading the synopsis on NetGalley I got as far as ‘a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest’ and I was intrigued. Even though I had not read the original work this book was easy to get into and I had no problems understanding what was happening. The events were paced well, I don’t feel like there was any one event that we needed more time on. The book switches between each character’s perspective which I found to be a positive thing as it kept me from forgetting about the other characters. There ...more
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I love RPGs and tabletop games of all kinds, tea, history (especially the English Renaissance, the Edwardian/Progressive era), costuming, Dr. Pepper, Disney, and fresh notebooks.

My debut novel ON THE ISLE OF SOUND AND WONDER was published by Xchyler Publishing in November 2014. I have a handful of short stories in the wild (in podcast anthologies, print/ebook anthologies, RPG rulebooks, and more).
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