I will openly admit to being one of those school students who completely devalued the work of Shakespeare just because I didn’t comprehend the language. As an adult, I understand that perhaps delving into his works might be too time consuming amidst our fast pace lives. However, I do think that if you have a love of literature, reading one of his plays surely must be something you ought to try and do.
Not that I can talk. My teachers didn’t exactly light the spark that I needed to become an avid Shakespeare reader and once I finished school, I didn’t feel the need to pick another play up. That’s not to say I won’t. I have plenty of them on my TBR, but they’ve fallen so far down the pile now that I needed something to inspire me to bump them back up.
Cauldron’s Bubble may have just been that something. It follows a young girl named Alda, who suddenly discovers an object that holds the power to transport her to different times and places. Alongside a cabin boy named Dreng, they must navigate their way through different conflicts and a large cast of characters taken from the original works of William Shakespeare. This first book features elements of The Tempest, Hamlet and Macbeth.
I knew only the very basics of each Shakespeare play upon delving into Cauldron’s Bubble and at no point did I feel lost or unsure of what was happening which is a huge testament to Elby’s writing capabilities. This is a woman who KNOWS Shakespeare and her love of the playwright shines through on every page.
The story line itself was fast paced and action packed although if I did have any criticisms on that front, I do think it could have been a much longer book. I didn’t feel like I got to know Alda and Dreng all that much, and the world building could have used some more groundwork, but if my only complaint is that it should have been longer then I think we’ve got a strong debut on our hands!
Ultimately, if these issues were fine tuned, I think Elby has the potential to do what Rick Riordan did for Greek Myths. Turn what is considered a boring school subject into something gripping, educational and fun for a variety of ages!
I eagerly await the sequel!
A huge thank you to Amber Elby herself for sending me a copy to review. All thoughts are my own.