Author: Luciana Cavallaro
Originally Published by Mythos Publications in 2021
Review by Miriam Atkinson
The novella The Guardian’s Legacy by Luciana Cavallaro is the first book in her historical fiction series Coin of Time. The story follows Nik, a Greek school teacher living in Australia, whose ordinary life is turned upside down when his grandfather Iasos reveals that their family are actually guardians of a powerful coin with a long history.
This is a story of two halves. The first half is very information and detail heavy as Nik learns about the history of the coin and his family. The second half of the story turns into an action-fuelled mystery as Nik searches for Iasos in Europe and tries to avoid the problematic police.
Both Nik and the reader have a lot of information to absorb in the first half of the novella and as a result the story does proceed at a much slower pace compared to the later chapters. In this case however, I believe Cavallaro made the right choice to slow things down. As The Guardian’s Legacy is the first in a series, an important job of this story is to build the foundations for the following novellas. Because the time has been taken to carefully explain the coin’s journey throughout history and Nik’s family’s connection, I fully understood Nik’s drama and dilemma later in the story. I am sure that this foundation work will also successfully support the future instalments.
That being said, just because the pace is slow does not mean the early chapters are not interesting – far from it! It was very enjoyable to read as Cavallaro weaved her fictional coin into the history of Ancient Greece up to the present day.
The story’s dramatic prologue is a flash-forward which sees Nik and a character named Alexandrie running for their lives through a forest in Slovakia before Nik activates the coin to escape. I was expecting The Guardian’s Legacy to end at this point and I was surprised when the story concluded seeming long before the characters reached this moment. Perhaps we will have to wait for the second instalment for answers.
I found The Guardian’s Legacy both interesting and enjoyable. The story made me care about protagonist Nik and I’m looking forward to finding out where he and the coin end up next.
‘The Guardian’s Legacy’ was published on Reedsy Discovery in October 2021. This review is also available on Discovery’s website.
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