Review: Secrets of the Guardian

Secrets of the Guardian

Image courtesy of A.L. Tyler

Author: A.L. Tyler

Genre: YA Fantasy

From the Author’s Website: I am a gamer, a dreamer, and a productive procrastinator. I do my own stunts and cover art. Writing is my escape.

Available on Amazon

This third and final book of the Waldgrave trilogy continues to follow the inimitable Lena Collins as she struggles to find her own path, bound as she is by family and obligation. With the death of her grandfather in the previous novel, Lena and Griffin discovered that much they had held as incontrovertible truth was part of the old man’s comprehensive deception not only of the family, but the entire Silenti people. For the first time in her life, Lena finds herself on her own with only her wits to guide her, struggling to avoid capture and protecting that which has been entrusted to her. Finding a path through the convoluted history of her family, Lena struggles to find herself and save the lives of those she loves.

Already a fan of the series and of Tyler’s writing in general, I was very excited to pick up this third installment and see where Lena’s adventures led her next. She’s a heroine that we can all relate to – she is constantly trying to find the best path to follow, somewhere between wanting her own freedom and trying to live up to family and societal obligations. We follow her as she strives not to make the same mistakes as the other women in her family tree and tries to find solutions to complex problems that will save lives and allow a modicum of freedom for those she loves.

As ever, I was hooked from page one, unable to put the book down until I reached the conclusion. Tyler created such a complex web of characters and stories I had no idea how she would wrap them into a concluding novel, but she managed it with style and panache. This final volume feels complete and fulfilling, without answering all the readers questions and leaving space for additional stories in the future.

Tyler’s complex storyline is compelling and engaging, though I think this novel could have benefitted from a little recap of the earlier novels at the very beginning. I had to rack my brain a little to remember the characters from earlier novels and how their lives and stories intersected with Lena’s to better understand what was happening in this novel. I think either adding a “the story so far” section or adding a few more reminder details as these characters enter in this story would greatly benefit the reader, though it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. I also grew to love some of the secondary characters and wished for more resolution of their stories before the novel ended -a certain degree of uncertainty enhances the story, but I found myself wishing for a few more details.

Tyler’s knack for weaving complex storylines full of compelling characters keeps the reader enthralled from start to finish. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in the future.

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