Cover Image: The Cauldron Stirred

The Cauldron Stirred

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Member Reviews

The Cauldron Stirred
Judith Stirling
Stars: 3 
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from Netgalley and The Wild Rose Press, Inc  in exchange for my free and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. '

This book was an average read for the most part. I really liked the plot and setting and I felt like I was there, alongside the characters – which is why I flock to fantasy – because I like to feel like I’m there. The plot was well-written – I liked the mystery aspect and I definitely enjoyed the paranormal aspects. 

I didn’t connect with the characters. I thought them a bit boring – which is a bit weird in fantasy as there’s so much room to play and you could dress them up any which way – and they were a bit unrealistic. 

But all in all, this was a quick enjoyable read, definitely something to be read in an afternoon.
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You know the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover"? Well it certainly applies to The Cauldron Stirred. When I saw the cover on Netgalley, it didn't immediately appeal, it looked a bit boring. But since I had already read a book of Judith Sterling (Soul of the Wolf), I decided to request the arc.

And boy, was I glad to have had my hands on this one! Judith Sterling does an excellent job in creating a magical world with leprechauns, unicorns and mythical creatures. Ashling Donoghue always felt like she was destined to be something else. And when her mother and father are invited to study some old manuscripts in Ireland, she and her brothers and sister move to Ireland to the estate of the Breasals. The moment she arrives in Ireland, she feels like she is home. She really doesn't understand why she feels that way and she certainly doesn't understand why she is seeing Aengus in her dreams, even before she met him in real life.

Things get stranger, when Aengus seems to appear and disappear at different places. And Ashling can't shake the feeling of being watched. However, with parents involved in the investigations of ghost sightings, she is not easily spooked.

Judith takes us into a world within our world, the Otherworld. Where ghosts and other creatures live right beside us. We learn why Aengus is appearing and disappearing and why he tries to stay away from Ashling. The strange fact that Ashling is learning to shift between the different worlds with very little difficulty and the new powers she seems to develop keep you guessing until the very end of the book. I can't wait for the next part of this series!

Five out of five stars from me and a special thank you to Netgalley for providing the arc.
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The Cauldron Stirred is a surreal fantasy full of adventure, a hint of romance, a lot of mystery. The book does end in a bit of a cliffhanger so naturally I want the next edition now... The main character was easy to identify with, however the situations she goes through are hard to imagine and sometimes follow. I am eager to see how the rest of the series unfolds. :)

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
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Ashling Donoghue and her family are destined to get mixed up in the fantastical world of Ireland when they go on an adventure filled with myths and mystery.

I love any mythology and Judith Sterling integrated ancient Irish Mythology brilliantly into her novel. Although I am not an expert with all the lore, I loved learning more about it. Leprechauns, Unicorns, Fairies, the Otherworld and even ghosts. The book was informative and magical, as we learned all about Irish Mythology alongside Ashling. 

I adored Ashling's character. She is strong, stubborn and she relies on her instincts.  She has a deep love for her family.  Most characters who cross her path can see how strong, and curious she is. Aengus is mysterious, and slowly Ashling helps Aengus open up to her and the reader. The Breasal family is one of intrigue and mystery, and I thoroughly enjoyed going on this adventure with Ashling to discover the Breasal family secrets, as well as its history, so old it has passed into legend. The book is vividly detailed and with all the mythological creatures, castles and beautiful scenery of Ireland I was left with a great sense of Wanderlust. 

Sterling set the book up brilliantly as the first in a series. It was a great introduction to all the characters. Each character grows so much during this book, revealing a lot about their personality and their place in this fantasy world. Straight from the beginning of the novel the reader gets the feeling that destiny plays a major role in the characters lives. The series name "Guardians of Erin" becomes significant at the end of the novel, and the ending is left open for the sequel novel to start off right where The Cauldron Stirred ends. When I ended the novel I had post- book depression, because Stirling cleverly left us wanting more. This adventure is just beginning and I can't wait to read the sequel, which I'm sure will be packed with adventure and more exciting mythology.
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What an incredible book! The landscapes of Ireland, the use of Ireland's God's and folklore creatures was beautifully done. Sterling did an amazing job going over young love as well as including such a climactic story! Two soul lovers meet up once again after millennia of being separated. Ashling's family goes to Ireland to study an anciet script that her mother Maeve needed to get her hands on. Once Ash stepped foot in ireland it already felt like home to her. This book includes other worlds, mythical creatures, and love. If you like paranormal stories this is the book for you. I can't wait for the next one!
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