Legacy of Truth is the second book in Christy Nicholas’s Druid’s Brooch series, first published in 2016 and re-released in 2021. In late 18th-century Ireland, Esme, the protagonist, is the twin sister of Eithne, but they are as unalike as chalk and cheese. Eithne is interested only in bettering herself; Esme is loyal to her family and their farm. But her feckless father cannot make a living on the farm his father Éamonn has bought him, and eventually is convinced leave Ireland for America, a fresh start.
Éamonn is a Traveller, always on the move, buying and selling. Esme loves him dearly, for his steadiness and his stories, and it seems she is his favourite too, because it is to her, the younger twin, who Éamonn chooses to give a family heirloom, a brooch that has been passed down through the generations, and grants each holder a different ability. For Esme, its gift – or curse – is to let her see if a person speaks the truth.
Both Esme and Eithne remain in Ireland, and the central conflict of the story concerns Eithne’s desire for the brooch she believes should be hers. But while that conflict threads through the story, Legacy of Truth is primarily Esme’s story, as she struggles with the realities of life as the wife of another Traveller. She chooses a fixed life in a small crofting community; he, the life of the road. As an outsider in the community, her life is far from easy, and the details of this rural life, Esme’s isolation from all but one family, and her day-to-day disappointments and small triumphs are the true focus of the story.
Rich in detail, the scattering of Irish words and phrases as well as the author’s descriptions fix the setting firmly in the reader’s mind. Legacy of Truth is a story about finding truth, and discovering it may not be what you thought.
Disappointingly, for a newly edited re-release, the paperback had numerous formatting errors and there were a couple of threads that went nowhere - but perhaps these are resolved in other episodes? However, the author was notified and the formatting errors have been corrected, so these issues may only occur in a few early release editions.
Readers of the Druid's Brooch series will appreciate this additional episode of the saga.
Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds
© Marian L Thorpe