Monday, 23 April 2018

Cauldron's Bubble by Amber Elby Book Review

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cauldron’s Bubble follows Alda, a young woman who has just lost her grandmother and Dreng, a cabin boy. Alda discovers a magical sphere that transports her across time and space. She discovers witches and Dreng meets Hamlet.

This is a YA fantasy book combined with Shakespeare’s characters. Amber Elby wrote this to help readers understand Shakespeare and encourage them to read his works. Having not read the specific works that Amber refers to in this book; Macbeth, Hamlet and The Tempest, I found that this book made me more excited to read the source material.

As the book is written like a fantasy novel, it is easy to understand. Shakespeare’s characters speak in the playwright’s language and it is a lovely mix between two points of time.

Each chapter alternates between Alda and Dreng’s points of views. They were both intriguing characters because not much information was really given away about their backgrounds. Alda grew up with her grandmother, who may have actually possessed magic without Alda knowing and Dreng grew up on a ship being physically and verbally abused. This is a book not just about the magic of Shakespeare but also of the development of young characters; learning and changing their fates.

However, I did have some issues with this book. Firstly, the pacing was a bit slow. Just as I got into reading about one character it would jump to the other and then when we got back to the original perspective, the story would slowly continue. This made it hard to keep turning the page.

Additionally, having not read the original texts, I did not understand some of the dialogue from Shakespeare’s characters that seemed to be alluding to something else.

In conclusion, I did like this book. It was really interesting to see Shakespeare characters in a modern text. I found the main characters intriguing and I wanted to see what happened with their stories. However, the dual perspective, pacing and some of the references made it difficult to give this book five stars. If you like Shakespeare, I would recommend this book. If you are new to Shakespeare or have not read these particular works but you are interested in this book and you like reading slow fantasies then you may like this book too.

Rating: 3.75/5 stars

The second book in this series comes out this year.
cauldron's bubble, shakespeare book, book with shakespeare references, books to read, book recommendations, fantasy books, book review, fantasy book review,


  1. This is a great review. I have never heard of this book before but I will be sure to check it out!

    1. Thank you! It is a self-published book and unfortunately self-published authors don't really get enough attention.