The Cauldron Stirred by Judith Sterling

The Cauldron Stirred (Guardians of Erin, #1)

Publication Date: 21 Jun 2017

Goodreads Rating: 5/5

My Rating: 5/5 StarStarStarStarStar

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.

Ashling Donoghue never dreamed moving to Ireland would rock her perception of reality and plunge her into a mystery that brings legend to life.

At seventeen, she’s never had a boyfriend, but she feels an immediate connection to Aengus Breasal, the son of the wealthy Irishman who’s invited her family to stay at his Killarney estate. For the first time in her life, a guy she likes seems attracted to her.

But Aengus is secretive, with good reason. He and his family are the Tuatha Dé Danann, ageless, mythical guardians adept at shifting between this reality and the magical dimension known as the Otherworld. Evil forces from that world threaten the Breasals, the Donoghues, and all of Ireland. Ashling must open her heart, face her fears, and embrace a destiny greater than she could ever have imagined.

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.

Author: Gizelle Iworth

I am currently studying Psychology and English at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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