Review: Cauldron’s Bubble by Amber Elby


Synopsis: “A magical bubble transports Alda through time and place to a realm of witches and curses, pirates and princes, and the lost worlds of Shakespeare. She, along with a cabin boy called Dreng, must navigate the conflicts and characters of Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. But will they escape with their lives? Or will they become lost and forgotten?”

Imagine that Shakespeare’s characters could interact off-stage and that their adventures could span beyond the bounds of the Bard’s fiction: Hamlet deviously escapes from the pirates who capture him on the way to England; Macbeth’s witches perform their magic on unsuspecting victims; and a summoner awakes from the shadowy backstory of The Tempest, bent on revenge against those who stole her island. These stories and more come to life in Cauldron’s Bubble as readers follow two new protagonists, an orphan named Alda and a cabin boy called Dreng, as they each search for something lost. The novel alternates between their limited perspectives (third person) as Alda discovers a magical bubble that transports her to Macbeth’s witches on the moor. Dreng, meanwhile, helps Prince Hamlet escape from pirates en route to England. The two protagonists come together on Prospero’s enchanted island, where Alda is on a quest to free Ariel, and Dreng is smitten with the mysterious Miranda. Ultimately, Alda must find power she gained in a forgotten realm called Netherfeld to defeat a powerful summoner, and Dreng must awake to the realities around him before he is consumed by magic.”

Release Date: August 6, 2017 

Rating: 2/5 stars

*I received this book from the Author through The Lit Coven bookclub in exchange for an honest review. *

I have been sitting here for a few days now trying to figure out what to do and what to write. We can all agree that what we want from readers and reviews is honesty. So, I’m going to do just that and be honest.

When I first received this book I was so excited. It is so unique and it sounded like something that I could get into. I was instantly drawn to the book because of the magic and the fact that it’s a retelling of Shakespeare. I enjoy Shakespeare as much as the next person but I haven’t read that much. Maybe that’s why this didn’t work for me, my lack of understanding at some of the plays.

I read about 60% of the book because I just didn’t want to give up on it. I thought maybe if I go a little farther everything will click for me. It didn’t. I was so confused basically the entire book. The book is split into two different perspectives Alda and Dreng. For me, the two parts didn’t go together. It was as if they were separate books. I preferred Alda’s sections over Drengs. The two points of view not only are different characters but they also happen through different moments in time or on different astral planes. At least that’s what I understood of it and that I think is a good part of why I got so confused. There didn’t seem to be an actual distinction between when the events were happening.

I am really thankful that the author sent me a copy to read but it just wasn’t for me.

I’d love to hear what you think if you have/when you read it.




2 thoughts on “Review: Cauldron’s Bubble by Amber Elby

  1. I actually was contacted by the author to review this book too! Its been sitting on my tbr & I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I really want to b/c what sold me was the influence of Shakespeare. But sorry to hear the book wasn’t for you 😥

    Liked by 1 person

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