Guardian of Deceit is a work of literary dramatic fiction penned by author William H. Coles. The central focus in this tale of life, woe, hardship, and achievement is Darwin Hastings, a precocious young man with aspirations to study medicine. Living in a privileged world doesn’t come without hardships, as Darwin soon discovers when he is forced to live with his new guardian Luther. A feckless celebrity footballer with a disregard for decency in general, Luther thwarts young Darwin’s aspirations to reconnect with lost family and messes with his moral compass at every turn. As Darwin navigates the seedy new world he finds himself in, the complications of adulthood and realities of the world present a journey of self-discovery which he has no choice but to take.
Having read a great deal of William H. Coles’s work recently, it becomes clear that unlikely and unlikeable heroes hinge at the center of much of his work, and therein lies the genius of it. Darwin certainly isn’t to everyone’s taste, but the twisting journey which life takes him on keeps you turning pages and teaches important coming of age lessons along the way. The character development stands out in Darwin, Luther and Sweeney Pale, the pop star, holding up mirrors to the less admirable qualities which humans possess and creating a winding road of lessons to be learned. The themes which eventually emerge are deceptively powerful and morally good, making Guardian of Deceit a surprisingly uplifting read, and overall a highly recommended drama from a very talented author. 5/5 Stars