Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 312
Themes: Magic, gender equity
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2009
Bookmark and Share
Follow the interwoven stories of two girls and one woman, their lives all tied to the enigmatic figure of Caliban, the character first introduced by Shakespeare in The Tempest, his famous play of love, loyalty and magic. Rough Magic forms both prequel and sequel, telling the stories of the sorceress Sycorax, Caliban's mother; Miranda's daughter Chiara, who becomes like a daughter to Caliban; and Calypso, a magical young woman with ties to them all. All three women must fight against a world that sees magic as evil and uses women as political pawns. Finally, it is the island and its power that draws them all back, demanding amends from the humans who have exploited its natural wonders. A magical story that combines an old-fashioned tale of shipwrecks, adventure and sacrifice, with an inspiring message of the earth's power and our environmental responsibility.

Caryl Cude Mullin grew up on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and as a result developed an abiding fascination with islands and odd characters. She now lives in Montreal, Quebec, where she works as a teacher and writer.

"With so many strong women running about and employing dark arts, Rough Magic reads more like The Mists of Avalon than Shakespeare… Mullin's environmental message of hope and restoration is an enthralling take on the Bard."
CM Magazine
"The power of transformation shines through this retelling. The power of water and shipwrecks, magic and alchemy, and parental love and devotion steamroller their way through this compelling story...Lively dialogue demonstrates character and dramatic tension...This complex, poetic novel with its shifting settings and times (at once both real and imagined) will appeal to sophisticated readers. Highly Recommended."
Resource Links
"An absorbing and fascinating re-imagining of Shakespeare's The Tempest...The characters are vivid and compelling."
Library Media Connection
"This is a beautiful, horrific, heart-breaking, and heart-warming story...One ambitious and heroic tale worth reading. Recommended."
Canadian Children's Book News
"An intriguing re-imagining...The chief strength of this moody and atmospheric book is the aura of ancient magic it captures."


Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2009 | Commended

Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience.

Please visit our Teacher Resources page to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Free Teacher Guides

Digital Subscriptions

Resource Websites

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels