There is a conversation from very early on about power vs. balance in the magical world.  Whether the pursuit of power and success for yourself and those around you is more valuable than protecting all, including those who are unable to use power themselves such as mortals.  Keren Archer, Lilly’s birth mother, falls down on the side of Power.  Jeffrey, Lilly’s magical rabbit Guardian, is on the side of Balance.

The lure of using her power and what that can do for her as a person, as shown in the exciting world of Adamantine Power, entices Lilly away from the teaching of Jeffrey and drags her into the world of the pursuit of power.  However, soon she realises that the extreme views of her birth mother are leading to the sacrifice of hundreds of innocent people for her own gain, and the extreme views on the other side stop people developing powers in a way that could benefit society.

Ultimately Lilly, and in theory the reader, feel most sympathy for a more moderate approach where the negatives of both the pursuit of Power and the pursuit of perfect Balance.  The same is true of politics in general, as extremism on either side cannot be healthy.


Lilly has a very close relationship with her mother, Alice Prospero, whom is later revealed to be her adoptive mother.  She develops a close bond with, and admiration for, her birth mother Keren Archer.

Saffron has a terrible relationship with her emotionally and physically abusive mother, and develops a close bond and dependency on Alice Prospero.

The question of what makes a person a “mother” comes up repeatedly, and whether it’s having given birth to someone or whether it’s to “mother” them in an active sense.

When Keren Archer reminds Lilly that she is her mother Lilly tells her that whilst she gave birth to her, she is not her mother, cementing her loyalty to Alice and adding to the guilt she feels about the repeated betrayals of her mother’s trust whilst seeking to build a positive relationship with Keren.

Chapter One Themes Reviews Memes

There are many themes running through Lilly Prospero And The Magic Rabbit, issues that speak strongly to J.J. Barnes and can be explored through the story of Lilly Prospero.


Fathers are predominantly absent from this story.  Saffron’s father doesn’t bother with her, Lilly’s birth father is never mentioned.  The only father that makes actual impact in Lilly’s adoptive father, Robert, whom is still a far less active parent than her mother.

Jeffrey’s appearance in Lilly’s life gives her a male role model that she craves.  Whilst he enters her life purely as a Guardian, intended to guide her in her magic and protect her from the harmful influence of her birth mother’s politics, he grows to care about her in an almost paternal way.

Ultimately he sacrifices his life to save hers, which is the kind of pure love and loyalty that a parent would offer their child.


This story is filled with strong female leads, both in positions as protagonists, Lilly and Saffron, and antagonists, Keren and Una.

The female characters are not motivated by the male characters, but have their own motivations and stories in which men play a part but are not central figures.

Whilst male dominated stories are common and popular, stories where females are the lead roles usually focus on romantic relationships or the pursuit of love.  Lilly Prospero And The Magic Rabbit, whilst including nods towards romance or the potential there for, focuses on the actual goals and desires of women beyond the attentions of men.

Siren Stories, J.J. Barnes, Jonathan McKinney, Lilly Prospero And The Magic Rabbit, Lilly Prospero And The Mermaid's Curse, The Lilly Prospero Series, Emily The Master Enchantress, The Fundamental Miri Mnene, The Schildmaids Saga Siren Stories Presents… stories from the Augmented Universe
Home Books Podcasts YouTube News COMPETITION About Contact
RSS Feed