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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Prospero’s Staff is a work of fantasy fiction penned in the literary style by author David Ackley. Written for adult audiences due to some use of explicit language, this fascinating novel takes Shakespeare as its central theme and dramatic impetus, but all in the life of a modern writer named Martin Ropers. After Prospero’s enchanted staff from The Tempest appears to Martin on a trip to Greece, his life takes on a wild twisting and turning path that seems to be heading straight for disaster. All Martin wants is one more literary success, but it seems that the magical staff and its effects have other plans for him now.
Author David Ackley has crafted a totally unique and unexpected work of delightful fantasy drama. As a huge Shakespeare fan myself, I was absolutely delighted to find such in-depth references and mentions of the Bard throughout the novel, which was most apt and led to some very amusing predictions and conclusions as the plot twisted on. I liked Martin as a lead protagonist very much, playing an everyman role as life begins to happen to him in unexpected ways. There are some fascinating allegorical moments, but also genuine pain and difficulty where illness is concerned, which I felt was really well described and empathetic. The prose gives a close narration of Martin’s experiences, good and bad, which brings readers right into his head. Overall, I would certainly recommend Prospero’s Staff for magical realism and fantasy fans seeking a sophisticated drama.