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Review: The Guardian by A.M. Mahler

the guardian by am mahler

The Guardian

A.M. Mahler

Nora is everything a proper young woman in the 1800’s should be: skilled at hunting, adept at espionage, and not afraid to kill a man. Oh, and she’s over a century old…more.

My Rating:

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This is another ARC copy from Reedsy Discovery, a very cool place to discover (see that) new voices and Indie Reads. If you’re into that sort of thing, you should sign up. If you use this link, you’ll get $50 when you post your first review!

Now, on to the good stuff!!

A.M. Mahler fills the pages of The Guardian with witty repartee, ungentlemanly language, reckless adventure and a blushingly precious romance. We follow Eleanor (Nora), a woman who has lived for many years as the guardian of the philosopher’s stone. Always remaining one step ahead, Nora’s life is clearly one of loneliness. But prophecies have been foretold, and Nora will once again be with her friends; the Scholar, the Healer, the Warrior.

It’s the story of the Guardian and the Warrior that centers the novel. A white man raised by Native Americans, Jack Justice has labored under the burden of a strange dream for all of his life. Now, he’s come face to face with the woman in it. Instantaneously, he is willing to throw himself into the path of peril and death. Thankfully adventure abounds with well-scripted fight scenes and building adrenaline.

Meanwhile, the bickering between Nora and Jack crescendos to an annoying level, with the reader hoping one of them would just spill their secrets. As two adults, they act very childish. There could be reason to this; obviously Eleanor is keeping a very dark secret about a very powerful stone. Still, it gets a bit tedious as The Guardian proceeds into the halfway point and beyond.

The romance is quick, but the reasoning is sound for this instantaneous display of feelings between Nora and Jack. The love story itself is a unique nod to fate and freedom, not only of the characters who have lived through many lives, but with the world around them as the novel is set during the buildup to the American Revolution. Occasional hiccups here throw the reader out of the story, such as a lack of concise research on guns and weaponry as well as the conversation and expressions during the time.

The historical characters who would later go on to build the constitution for the newly emancipated colonists show up in abundance. Weaving her story with the likes of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, Mahler is clearly keying on the myths that our founding fathers were part of something slightly magical. It’s a very neat trick, wrapping this well traversed lore in new garb.

The Guardian sweeps in and carries readers away. It is quick and well written, with plenty of danger and romance. Though at times it reads more YA than historical fiction, The Guardian is an interesting start to a historically based world.

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