A cauldron’s bubble transports Alda between world-times to an enchanted realm of pirates, witches, spirits, and curses. Through her travels Alda meets a cabin boy named Dreng and they are brought together time and again. As Alda tries to discover the truth about who she is, will she and Dreng be able to find their way back home?
Thank you to the author, Amber Elby, for providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Cauldron’s Bubble is an interesting Young Adult fantasy novel which combines an original story with characters from Shakespeare’s plays. It’s a great introduction to Shakespeare, especially for younger readers. Fans of the Bard will also appreciate the references to Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. I studied these three plays in secondary school and the magic of Shakespeare certainly comes alive in this book.
The main characters are Alda and Dreng, and I totally shipped these two! The narrative is told in the third person and it alternates between their perspectives. I also enjoyed the fantasy elements of the story such as the magical cauldron’s bubble.
This novel is intriguing in that it explores the offstage scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, for instance the pirates in Hamlet. The three witches from Macbeth also play a prominent role. Most of the action takes place on the island from The Tempest and we learn much more about Sycorax. Elby has drawn inspiration from these tales and added her own twists to the storyline.
I think that this novel succeeds in making the works of Shakespeare more accessible for modern readers. It’s the first book in a trilogy and I’m curious to find out what happens next. Overall, Cauldron’s Bubble is a witty, unpredictable, and promising debut novel.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐