The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler was a delightful read. For the most part, it is told from the perspective of an eight-year old boy, Owen, who is taken as a hostage by the brutal King Severn Argentine. Owen’s life is under constant threat because his father, Duke of Kiskaddon, tried to overthrow the king and must now demonstrate his utmost loyalty to Severn or forfeit his family’s lives. At the beginning of the story, Owen is very timid and afraid, and can hardly utter a word. However, a motherly young woman, the Queen’s poisoner, befriends Owen and teaches him how to survive, to gain the trust of the king and to discern the true nature of friends. Another precocious princess also befriends Owen and shows him how to be courageous. Through the influence of the young woman and princess, Owen gains courage and learns how to use the magic of the KingFountain to control his destiny. The book would be suitable for young adults, as the theme on how to discern trustworthiness and to gain courage is explored. The characters are well developed. I especially love how the female characters, who not only give Owen the love he needs, but give him valuable lessons on how to bravely deal with the king. I highly recommend this book.The Queen’s Poisoner
It is my pleasure to feature Australian author, Luciana Cavallaro, and to announce the launch of her new Historical Fantasy, Action/Adventure book, The Guardian’s Legacy (Coin of Time Book 1). The e-book was released by Mythos Publications on October 5, 2021 (121 pages).
As we both share a love for mythology and ancient civilizations, I have followed Luciana Cavallero for several years and was excited to read the first book in her next Coin of Time series. Similar to her other books, The Guardian’s Legacy weaves Greek history and mythology into the modern-day story.
Below are highlights of The Guardian’s Legacy, Luciana Cavallaro’s author bio, and my review of her book.
HIGHLIGHTS: THE GUARDIAN’S LEGACY
The Guardian’s Legacy
(Coin of Time Book 1)
by Luciana Cavallaro
An ancient cover-up, a dangerous legacy, and the search for the most powerful object.
A three-thousand-year-old magical coin, the disappearance of an old man, fanatical neo-Nazis, and the hunt by Interpol, merge in this gripping story of an ancient cover-up, and the transition of an ordinary man into the guardian of the most powerful coin on earth.
High school teacher Nik Zosimos, leads an uncomplicated life until he receives a cryptic phone message from his grandfather, Iasos. He hurries to his grandfather’s finding him relaxed and pleased to see him. A few beers later, Nik leaves his grandfather’s place, stupefied and astounded. Iasos has a secret, one that dates back to the time of Herakles.
But that was just a myth, wasn’t it?
If you like Dan Brown and Wilbur Smith books or enjoys action, fast-past dramatic shows similar to National Treasure and The Librarians, then you’ll love The Guardian’s Legacy. Award-winning author of Historical Fantasy/Adventure, Luciana Cavallaro, pens a thrilling mystery. Click below on one of the retail sites to find out how Nik’s life changes.
Flip a coin and see where you land in the action/adventure book, The Guardian’s Legacy, by Luciana Cavallaro. This is Book 1 in the Coin of Time series that promises to be an action-packed tale with a likable hero reminiscent of Indiana Jones and Ben Gates in National Treasure. The prologue begins in a heart-throbbing chase scene in which Nik and a mysterious woman are being chased by assailants on motorcycles. With a flip of an ancient coin, Nik teleports back in time and meets the Greek historian, Herodotus. I asked myself, “Whoah! What just happened?” and was compelled to read the book to find out.
In Chapter 1, the story begins ten months earlier when we are introduced to an unmarried high school teacher, Nicolaos Zosimos (Nik), with an unremarkable life. He receives an urgent call from his grandfather who then urges him to be the next protector of an ancient coin minted by Heracles. At first, Nik wonders if his grandfather has lost his mind but reconsiders after seeing treasures of ancient weapons in his grandfather’s house. Further, his grandfather uses high-powered computers to search for clues where the second, identical coin might be. Together, the two coins have unknown powers that have been kept secret through the centuries in case they fall into the wrong hands. When Nik’s grandfather detects clues that the second coin has popped in and out of different shops in Europe, he travels there to investigate. When Nik flies later to Europe, he discovers his grandfather has disappeared. More alarming, Nik is being hunted by fanatical neo-Nazis and Interpol, forcing him into action to become the guardian of the most powerful coin in the world.
Author Luciana Cavallaro has written a gripping action-adventure that promises time travel and teleporting in the series. As with her other books, the tale contains a fascinating historical backdrop on how Heracles forged metals used to mint the coins. Details from Greek mythology and the development of minting coins are seamlessly weaved into the plot without distracting from the fast-paced plot. The story follows the traditional structure of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The unlikely hero, Nik, is an ordinary man propelled into the role of a fierce protector of the ancient coin. The story ends on a climactic cliff-hanger. Lingering curiosity about the prologue compels me to read the entire series.
I highly recommend The Guardian’s Legacy for readers who enjoy action/adventure with an archaeological flair and the unique premise of discovering the secrets of two ancient coins that could destroy civilization if it flips into the wrong hands.
Not A Blueprint, It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter: A Journey Through Toxic Relationships, is a memoir of Nina Norstrom. In the author’s note, she broadly defines that a toxic relationship can be with people, alcohol, disease, and our internal emotions to mention a few. The memoir provides an overview of Nina’s life journey, beginning in her childhood growing in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father who abuses her mother. The author’s daughter, China, is born out of wedlock as a result of a liaison with a married man. Although she continues seeking relationships with males so China can have a father figurehead, these relationships don’t work out. The one driving force that motivates the author to overcome obstacles is to provide for her daughter as best she can. The heart of this memoir is Nina’s unconditional love for her daughter who must battle cancer as a young woman.
Author Norstrom tells a heartfelt story with a straight-forward, relatable voice. After each chapter, she provides insight into what lessons she has learned from each experience. Although she doesn’t always make the wisest decisions, her heart is in the right place as she struggles to learn the lessons from her journey through life. A bonus from her memoir is a list of support groups that can help people through times of grief.
I recommend this memoir to readers who are looking for insight on how to overcome toxic relationships by following the footprints of this author as her trial unfolds in this story.
Hakon’s Saga Book 3, War King, is a riveting Norse historical action adventure set in 957 AD. The saga continues for King Hakon Haroldsson, who wrested Norway’s throne from his murderous brother, Erik Bloodaxe, but mercifully spared Erik’s family. This is a mistake Hakon regrets later when he must face the sons of Erik, who are bent on avenging the wrong done to their father and family. Erik’s sons ally with the Danish king, Harold Bluetooth, and wreak havoc on the region with their brutal raids and plunder. The book is divided into three parts in which Hakon must defend his realm against all odds in three major military campaigns. He uses sound strategy and battle tactics to overcome his enemies. But, as a Christian king, he begins to question if the bloodlust to defend his realm has only resulted in fear and sorrow for his people and those he loves.
Author Eric Schumacher masterfully tells the story from the point of view of King Hakon, an engaging character who demonstrates strength, loyalty, and self-reflection. What makes this tale rise above others in this genre is the author’s skill in vividly capturing the Viking culture. Through graphic detail, readers are immersed in the chaos of fighting, but the battle scenes and tactics are presented with clarity. The saga not only captures the excitement of battle but is also character-driven. Extra bonuses in the book include regional maps and a glossary of Viking terms which are used in the narrative.
War King immediately draws and keeps readers immersed in the legendary tale of King Hakon through rich details of the Viking culture, landscape, and clashes. Highly recommended for those seeking Viking adventure.
I voluntarily reviewed this book for the Historical Novel Society, and the review is also posted in the Historical Newsletter HNR Issue 88 (May 2019).