The Traveler by American author John Twelve Hawks is the sequel to The Dark River. It was also the first book in his The Fourth Realm series. Book two, The Dark River was published in July 2021. The third book, The Golden City was published the same month, September 2021. The fourth book, The Traveler, was released in October 2021.
Like the previous books in the series, The Traveler tells the story of two main characters. Thomas and over the hill Alice are trapped in an ice shack on the Mississippi when massive ice whale shark attacks their ice shack. Alice makes it into the water with her son and the other survivors. But the rest of the book covers the journey of Thomas and Alice as they make their way through the plains of the prairie, the upper Midwest, and the Great Lakes to their final resting place. The travel takes the couple through rivers, plains, and ultimately to the large city of New York City.
As in the previous books, Thomas is the main male character. This time around the main characters are Alice, a young woman who is the primary mother to two young boys, and John, the older son of Alice. Unlike most books where the mother is the primary character, in The Traveler John is the primary father. This may not change the rating for the book. I can’t remember ever being disappointed with a parent’s character in a book before reading this one.
I enjoyed the descriptions of the various prairie people and their mannerisms and the various areas they inhabited. It was interesting to learn about the different ways the family operated and how each of them created their own little world in their home. The whole book was beautifully written and held together by the strong central plot.
One of the things I really enjoyed was the excellent use of the main character’s names throughout the book. John becomes known as Taggert, after his successful trip, due to his kindness and hospitality. Alice christens herself Mary, after her marriage to John. These names stuck in my mind long after I had finished reading the book. Although the main characters were underdeveloped at times, I felt like these main men were real individuals with their own thoughts and feelings.
The Traveler by John Thompson is a book I highly recommend. It is chock full of well-written, humorous prose. It will keep your mind wandering and pull you into the strange world of a North American Indian village. I hope the reader will put this book down and consider the journey of the Native Americans while reading it. It is an adventure book that every American should read, if only for the experience of reading about a part of our history that few know or understand.