Review: A Gilded Cage by Auburn Tempest and Michael Anderle

Posted December 27, 2021 by Lola in Fantasy, Review / 2 Comments

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A Gilded CageA Gilded Cage (Chronicles of an Urban Druid #1)
by Auburn Tempest and Michael Anderle
Narrated by Rachel Dulude

My Rating: 3 stars

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

Ye screw with this lass, ye get put on yer ass.

Life sucker-punched me…

I have family I didn’t know about, a magical heritage laying its claim, and a mystery I apparently need to solve.

There are three things I love most in life…my wild and crazy Irish family, Redbreast Whiskey at Shenanigans, and living in Toronto.

Having grown up with five older brothers, I can fight my way out of most situations, either with my wicked sense of humor or my fists. Often both. But when a back-alley brawl leaves me marked with a bizarre Celtic crest on my back, I become a beacon for all things whacked and weird.

My dad is obviously freaked when he sees the tat, but he won’t discuss it.

So, I do what any stubborn red-headed lass would—I ignore all advice and fly to the Emerald Isle to get answers.

And yeah…you know that saying about hindsight being 20/20?

True Story.

Look out, druid world. This mac Cumhaill is like no other.

Will Fiona survive coming into her powers? Will those in Ireland survive Fiona? Can Toronto survive an urban druid and her mythical bear?

My Review

I received a free copy of this book from Tantor audio. I voluntarily reviewed it.

I liked the idea of an Urban Druid and when I saw that this one was narrated by Rachel Dulude I jumped on the chance to listen to this one. I can definitely recommend the audio version as the narrator did a great job with this. Unfortunately something was missing to really push this story to a 4 star for me.

A Gilded Cage is told from the point of view of Fiona. Fiona lives in Toronto with her family. She has a great life, but things are getting shaken up when a mysterious magical tattoo appears on her back and she jumps on the first place to Ireland after an invite from her just discovered grandparents. What follows is the revelation that she is a druid and her discovering her powers and trying to figure out what to do next.

In general I liked the idea of the story and there are plenty of great and fun scenes. I did feel that sometimes the story lacked a bit of a solid direction or a red line to where the story is going. It mostly felt like a sum of multiple scenes related to her druid-ness. There is a bit at the end where there is a bad guy, but most of the story before that didn’t really deal with it. Nevertheless it was still entertaining. I also thought it was a bit full of popular culture references.

I liked Fiona well enough, although she felt a bit like the typical snarky and sassy urban fantasy protagonist. She had her moments where I really liked her, but also parts where I just would’ve liked to connect to her a bit more. There are a few scenes where she realized she did something wrong and I liked those. As well as the few where she knows her path and stands her ground. I also liked how while she was new to all this druid stuff she did her best and learned as fast as she could. I liked how much she cared for her family.

There are some interesting side characters. Fiona has a big family as well as some friends and then people she meets in Ireland and more. I did struggle remembering which brother was who, she has a whole bunch of them and most of the time all I remembered was that the person talking was one of her brothers. They don’t have a enough page time and enough distinction for me to remember more than that. There are two possible love interests, but it’s really only a possible hint at this point and only at the end of the book Fiona is even thinking in that direction. The rest of the book she’s too busy with becoming a druid. I liked her bear, he has quite the personality and I liked Fiona’s bond with him.

I am so glad I listened to the audio version of this one. Rachel Dulude did an awesome job narrating this one. All the Irish accents and words really brought that Irish feel to those characters and places. I liked all the different voices and accents she did for the characters.

To summarize: I had a fun time listening to this one. It just was missing something for me to really push it up to a 4 star. I liked the idea of an urban druid, although that’s only introduced later in the book. the plot feels a bit meandering and without clear direction at times. The start felt a bit slow as there is a lot Fiona has to learn. Fiona was likable enough, although I never liked her as much as I wanted to. She felt a bit like the typical snarky and sassy urban fantasy protagonist. I liked her care for her family and how she stood up for what she wanted and also was willing to admit her mistakes. I really liked the narrator for this book and the way she did all the voices and accents.

3 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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2 responses to “Review: A Gilded Cage by Auburn Tempest and Michael Anderle

    • The modern druid concept was really fun and they are a fun bunch. I feel like there will probably be more character development in future books.

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