Welcome to the first day of The Cauldron of Life virtual tour! Book 2 in The Four Treasures series was published last week and I cannot wait to share my thoughts with you all.
The Stone of Destiny was Ailsa dragged from her lonely seaside life to help Iona and Angus on their quest to find the Stone. Angus joined them along the way and they all encountered some of Scotland’s most terrifying mythical creatures. Ending in a climactic final battle, Ailsa’s life is irrevocably changed by a revelation that shattered everything she thought she knew about herself and her life. One of the friends is then carried off by the faerie Queen’s minions leaving the book on a horrendous cliff hanger!
The Cauldron of Life picks up straight away, and throws all sorts of curve balls into the story. Click here to head to my Instagram to read my 4 star review.
To celebrate the launch of the book, and this virtual tour, Caroline Logan has kindly agreed to do a Q&A with me about her books. Read on to find out more.
Author Interview with Caroline Logan
To start with would you tell us a little bit about The Four Treasures series and what inspired you to write it?
The Four Treasures is a series of fantasy books based on Scottish mythology. Each of the books will centre around one of the Four Treasures, which are based on a legend called the four treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann – but remember, they’re only based on it, so they could be different. The series follows Ailsa MacAra as she tries to find the treasures, all whilst battling monsters and searching for her true place in the world.
Right at the end of The Stone of Destiny a huge secret was revealed to the reader which flipped the previous plot twists on their head! I love that we go into The Cauldron of Life knowing more than some of the characters. Could you tell us a little bit about your writing process and how you know when to reveal these big side-swipe revelations?
I’m a plotter, so I have all of the plot points for each book mapped out already. It makes it easier to sprinkle in little breadcrumbs before a twist is revealed. The series was originally going to be one book but as I plotted it all out I realised it would have to be a monster novel. I love finding easter eggs or foreshadowing in books, so I wanted to include that in my series. It’s my characters who often have the revelations but you can’t always trust they’ve got it right. I just hope I continue to surprise as we go through the books!
One thing I love is that each of your characters ooze with completely different personalities. Which character would you say is most like yourself?
I think each of my characters have a little bit of me in them, but I’d say Angus is the most like me. He’s optimistic, loyal and kind. I’m not grumpy like Ailsa (most of the time) but she’s the one who looks the most like me. Iona shares my love of fashion and I’m a bit rebellious like her. And I share Harris’s sense of humour, though some of the things he does I would never dream of doing.
In The Cauldron of Life you introduce lots of new characters. My particular favourites were Wulver and Muck. Which of the new characters was the most enjoyable to write and why?
I don’t think it will be a shock that I loved writing Maalik. And I will always love Harris, even if he’s totally unreliable and sneaky. There are a whole host of new characters in Book 3 that I’m enjoying writing right now too!
There is a lot of mythology in this series, particularly Scottish mythology. Which creature would you least like to bump into in the wilds of Scotland or whilst wandering through Eilanmòr?
The Nuckelavee definitely. It’s a cursed horse and rider, fused together. Its flesh has been stripped from its muscle and it smells so revolting that people faint when they meet it. While a lot of other creatures could be seen as neutral, Nuckelavees are evil to the core.
The elements seem to play an important part in the magic system in Eilanmòr. Why did you choose to focus on the elements, and have we seen the extent of what Ailsa can do with her air powers?
The four treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann are actually all linked to the four elements. The Stone of Destiny is earth, The Cauldron of Life is water. The other two are air and fire. I drew from this when I made up my magic system. Elemental magic seems very old and natural so I think it fits perfectly with the world. A lot of Scottish mythology is inspired by the landscape and natural world so I wanted magic that felt like it belonged.
My favourite part of this book was finally entering Ephraim and eventually meeting Nicnevan. Did any other fictional worlds inspire the Faerie Queen’s realm and which fictional world would you like to spend a day in?
Holly Black is my favourite author, so Ephraim was definitely inspired by her Folk of the Air series. I also drew inspiration from Lothlorien in Lord of the Rings and Pandora in Avatar. I wanted it to be beautiful and frightening.
I’d love to visit the world in His Dark Materials so I could have a daemon or I would go to Narnia and make friends with all the talking animals.
Final question. For new readers could you sum up The Stone of Destiny and The Cauldron of Life in five words each?
The Stone of Destiny – Search for pals and rocks
The Cauldron of Life – Search for mothers and pots
Both The Stone of Destiny and The Cauldron of Life are available to buy now. Remember to support your local independent bookshops or order from one of the larger shops, such as Waterstones (other bookshops available), in order to get the word out about this wonderful little series. Here are some handy links!*
I would like to say a huge thank you to Caroline Logan for answering my questions, and to the team at Cranachan Publishing for sending me a review copy and organising this tour. Follow the other stops on the tour this week.
*I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY BOOKSHOPS