Book Review: Arrival of the Traveler by A.L. Tyler

Arrival of the Traveler by A.L. Tyler is the first part of a young adult trilogy. Lena Collins has spent most of her life traveling with her father, and has loved her life. However, in the last couple months her father and grandmother have died, leaving he to live with the only living relative she is aware of, her Uncle Howard. Lena discovers that she has been lied to all of her life, and nothing is as it seems. She is part of a race, and a family, with more power and secrets than she wants to deal with but she has little choice. As a Silenti, she is trapped between factions that either consider her a royal that will save them all, while others have think she is destined to destroy the world. Lena is determined to find her way through the minefield of familial relationships, power struggles, and deceptions in order to hold true to her own beliefs. However; the conspiracies start to pile up, secrets are revealed, and the lines seem to be continually redrawn.

Arrival of the Traveler created a world in which I have trouble leaving behind. I have read two books since, and I keep finding myself back with Lena trying to figure out where everyone really stands. I was left with so many questions, but none that needed to be answered in the first installment of the series. The end of the book fell in a logical place, with some lose ends tied up and more waiting to unravel. Is Howard really the doting uncle that just wants to protect Lena and teach her to one day fill his shoes, or does he have ulterior motives. Is Lena's mother really as calculating and shallow as she seems? And is her grandfather really as calculating and menacing as he appears? Are the servants really as loyal or content as they could be? Are there powers the Silenti some have that Lena has yet to discover? And of course, what exactly does David feel and what are his real intentions? So many questions, and I am eager to read the second book.

I will admit that when I started Arrival of the Traveler, I did not think I was going to like it as much as I did. It first had the same feel and build up of so many gothic novels, girl beset by tragedy enters a house of prestige and secrets. However, the book quickly became something new and grabbed me. I found myself putting off making dinner or going to bed to read longer. While this made me happy, my kids were not exactly thrilled with some of the resulting delays. I just loved Lena, she is a strong character that never stops trying to do the right thing, even as she is trying to figure out what is right in her new world. Even when she feels completely trapped and lost, Lena keeps her wits about her and does not fall into the 'woe is me' trap.

I highly recommend Arrival of the Traveler to readers that like strong main characters, particularly strong women, gothic novels, mysteries, and books that you have trouble leaving behind after you have finished reading. I am very eager to find the time to read the other two books, Deception of the Magician and Secrets of the Guardian.
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