THE CAULDRON OF LIFE

Set against the epic backdrop of Scottish Myths and legends, comes the Cauldron of Life, the second title in the Four Treasures series written by Caroline Logan.

In the Isles of Ossiana, Harris has been captured by the Faerie Queen and Ailsa must journey once again into the heart of Eilanmor to rescue him.

But Ailsa is struggling with her newfound magic and the revelations about her real identity. Is the Faerie Queen Ailsa’s mother? Is everything she believed about her past a lie?

Meanwhile, a war is brewing between much more powerful forces. The lines between good and evil are blurring, and Ailsa must decide where she stands.

Set against the epic backdrop of Scottish myths and legends, comes the Cauldron of Life, the second title in the Four Treasures series written by Caroline Logan.

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Age appropriate: 13 +

Date of Publication: 08/10/2020

Author/Illustrator/Publisher:

The author of this Young Adult fantasy book is Caroline Logan who made her debut with ‘The Stone of Destiny’ which is the first book of this series. Caroline is a high school biology teacher. She is actually the illustrator of the maps in her books which shows a great deal of creativity and how she was able to build her world.

Cranachan is the publisher of this magical book and on a personal note it has become one of my favourite publishers of the year.

The cover has such a mystical feel to the art which makes it so beautiful and was created by Anastezia Luneva.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review

A very well written fantasy book for young adults and adults as well. In this book we find adventure, magic, friendship and love all mixed up with a very Scottish feeling. The book is packed with faeries, changelings, demons, angels, gods, selkies, unicorns, humans and more. 

Ailsa is the main character who is a changeling and this time her quest is to go and save her friend Harris who has been capture by the Faerie Queen but first they have to find a hidden place Ephraim, the faerie court. During this search Ailsa was separated from her friends and ended up being given as sacrifice to a demon but her friends went to her rescue and they ended up having their own adventure.

Each chapter is more exciting than the last one and I genuinely didn’t want to put this book down. One of the chapters that I enjoyed the most was chapter 51 where there is an angel, a demon and a very powerful dialogue. There are just so many emotions going through all of the pages in this part of the story and I love when a writer has the ability to transport me into their world and to feel part of the book.

This is a great book for teenagers as it is full of adventures but also because the writer was able to create a world full of fantasy without being too confusing or too overwhelming. The descriptions of the characters and places are very well drafted and the dialogues are well written and believable for a fantasy novel where the imagination and world building can come before character development and personality. We also see that the characters have matured from the first book and how their friendships are getting stronger but at the same time changing.  The story also has a rich sense of the cultures of the different groups and displays their diversity. We see different creatures from different countries all with their own unique powers and heritage. 

My only criticism is that I wish some of the supporting characters had appeared in the story more and that they had a bit more impact on the storyline.  The friend’s adventures did not feel as dramatic and were just there to serve the plot which was a shame as they had a greater importance in the first story but overall a very good book.

I would recommend this book to teenagers and anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy. Also I would like to recommend that before reading this to read the first book on the series call ‘The Stone of Destiny’ as this is where we meet characters and places and see how they are link together.  The book can stand alone but there are certain important details you might not understand without reading the previous story.

Note:  I had the great opportunity to join Caroline and Cranachan on the launch of ‘The Cauldron of Life’ last Thursday which was amazing. I absolutely love to know the process that writers go through while writing their books and this time it was lovely to meet Caroline and to know a little bit about herself and the way she writes.

One thing that I would like to share is that Caroline already knows what is going to happen in the next couple of her books and this is clear to see as she drops little hints for the next story in each book. I can’t wait for the next book to come out. 

Availability: This book can be find in the Cranachan website linked here.

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