Guardian by Carole Cummings (Aisling: Book 1)

(6.0/10) The world that these characters inhabit feels real.

Constable Dallin Brayden knows who he is, what he's about, and he doesn't believe in Fate. Wilfred Calder has no idea who he is, what he's about, and has been running from Fate for as long as he can remember.  When Wil is brought in for questioning as a witness to a brutal murder, and subsequently flees, Dallin is dragged by duty into the chaos of ancient myth, fanatical religion, and the delicate politics of a shaky truce between two perpetually warring countries - all of which seem to hinge on the slender shoulders of the man he knows is not Wilfred Calder.

For a book that is the first in a trilogy, I found this story very slow going and frustrating. The book is set around 2 main characters Dallin Brayden and Wil Calder, who spent most of the book bickering with each other as each comes into the story with views on who the other is. This would be fine if they didn’t spend most of the book convincing each other that their preconceptions are wrong and then having the same argument every time a small doubt comes along.

I wanted to enjoy the book more than I did as it had some interesting concepts: on one nation’s religion and whether a figurehead is just that or can be something more? There were different factions with lots of political intrigue. As well as a central mystery, that hasn’t been fully explained (I am sure this will happen in the other parts) but could have been told less frustratingly.

The characters are interesting as they come to trust each other in their own confusion and seem to be gaining a bond which will carry them through to the end. Although both Brayden and Wil can sometimes come off as two dimensional especially when we are reading their thoughts, their reactions to the other in this pair almost always seem to be the same, anger, fear, distrust. The world that these characters inhabit feels real and it is good that both of these characters do not understand the ramifications of what they are about to embark on as we do not know enough of the Dominion where Wil came from.

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Carole Cummings's Aisling series


Aisling: Book 1

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