The ladies looked out at her from behind birdlike masks, and Miranda tried to embody her own mask’s painted pout, to talk prettily of court intrigue and hunting seasons. But she faltered every time she went to speak and found herself moved from cluster to cluster, always on the outside of the circles, always watching the scene as though it were a shadow play. Her mask felt tight on her face, and the heavy velvet and satin of her dress chafed and pinched. She felt like the phantom Milan treated her as, forced to witness the joy of the living but never to claim it as her own. She found herself pushed to the very edge of the crowd and took refuge in the quiet of a loggia, watching pairs of young lovers dash beneath its shelter to exchange fervid kisses before laughing their way into the crowds again.
I picked this one up without knowing anything about it. Well, other than that it is connected to The Tempest, and so far I am intrigued but also puzzled by what all is going on.
There is certainly the same sort of veiling going on as in The Tempest in the sense that it is hard to figure out which agency belongs to which character.
However, having read the section quoted above, I have a feeling I know where this is going.