The Cauldron Stirred (Guardians of Erin, Book One)

Judith Sterling
Narrator: Jenny Beesley

YOUNG ADULT:  Ashling Donoghue’s life is turned upside down when she moves to Ireland with her family. Not only does she have to navigate her new surroundings, but the whole way she perceives reality is challenged. Then she meets mysterious Aengus Breasal, who turns out to be an ageless, mythological guardian, there to protect her from creatures from another dimension called the Otherworld. With Aengus’s help, Ashling must discover her true destiny and learn how to open up her heart. The fate of the world depends on it.

Ms. Sterling’s world is well researched and vibrantly created! It is clear that she has a great deal of love for mythology and culture, as her descriptions of those things truly shine! Ashling is a heroine that readers will either connect with easily, or struggle with. Timid in nature, the true depth of her character is drawn out at a slower pace. Her relationship with Aengus is a slow burn that fits the feel of the novel. While slow at first, the twists and turns the plot takes make the read worth the journey. Despite a few YA clichés, the story is one of a kind in the genre!

Ms. Beesley has a light and innocent tone in her portrayal of Ashling that is fitting for the character. Unfortunately, there are moments where her voice doesn’t hold the energy needed to keep the flow of the story strong. While some of the characters she performs can blend together, she absolutely nails the accents needed to bring the Irish characters to life.

Lovers of YA and urban fantasy romances will enjoy this delightful sweet read! 

Chelsea Andersen