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Read an Excerpt of TRAVELER by Arwen Elys Dayton

Today we have an excerpt of Traveler by Arwen Elys Dayton, the followup to Seeker. Check it out!

About the book:

For readers of Game of Thrones and Marie Lu: Traveler, the sequel to Seeker.

Quin Kincaid is a Seeker. Her legacy is an honor, an ancient role passed down for generations. But what she learned on her Oath night changed her world forever.

Quin pledged her life to deception. Her legacy as a Seeker is not noble but savage. Her father, a killer. Her uncle, a liar. Her mother, a casualty. And the boy she once loved is out for vengeance, with her family in his sights.

Yet Quin is not alone. Shinobu, her oldest companion, might now be the only person she can trust. The only one who wants answers as desperately as she does.

But the deeper they dig into the past, the darker things become. There are long-vanished Seeker families, shadowy alliances, and something else: a sinister plan begun generations ago, with the power to destroy them all.

The past is close. And it will destroy them all.

Read on for the excerpt!


She stopped.

She was face to face with her father. Again.

Briac Kincaid was standing in the middle of the path, looking at her, wild-eyed. He opened his mouth.

Quin was momentarily paralyzed. She watched Briac’s head swivel in a circular motion, as though he were trying to locate someone. His mouth moved again.

He’s going to scream, Quin thought. He’s getting ready to scream.

She heard a rustling in the branches overhead. Someone was high up in a tree on the other side of the path. And that someone, quite obviously, was there with Briac Kincaid. They’d followed her here—or perhaps they’d gotten here before her.

Careful to keep hold of Shinobu, she grabbed a stone from the edge of the walkway and threw it past Briac’s face. Her father turned his head to follow the stone’s arc through the air, and Quin seized the moment. She grabbed Shinobu tightly and plowed into the trees on the downhill side of the path. Shinobu was barely conscious and still badly injured—there was no way the two of them could be involved in another fight.

“Ah!” Briac yelled, finally finding his voice. “Ahhhh! Ahhhhhh!”

“What?” demanded a young and irritated voice from the tree above.

Half pushing Shinobu, half dragging him, Quin moved deep into the greenery and fell to her knees. Shinobu collapsed in front of her.

“Ow,” he mumbled.

Quin pulled him beneath the covering branches of a large, dense bush and eased him down until he was lying on damp soil. Then she slid across Shinobu’s chest and glanced upward through the branches. Both boys from the hospital attack were perched in trees, looking north, toward the harbor, which she guessed was clearly visible from their vantage point.

“They must have their own athame,” she whispered. “The boys who attacked us are here—with my father.” Had she and Shinobu spent more time There than she’d thought? It had seemed they’d been gone only moments, but who knew? That was the danger of using an athame. You could separate from the time stream of the world and lose yourself. If you weren’t careful, you could lose yourself to the point where you wouldn’t come back at all.

“He’s making things up again!” This was the younger boy, the freckled one who looked eleven or twelve.

“It’s my mother!” Briac yelled. “Come down and find her!”

“Your mother would be ancient,” the older boy told him. “And this city is enormous. You’ve led us on a fool’s errand.”

“Look at the ships,” the little one said, a note of awe in his voice. “There are so many.”

“But she was here. I was right,” Briac insisted, in a moment of verbal clarity. “And if she’s here, the—the athame of the Dreads is here too.”

Quin could see her father’s legs, still out on the path. He was turning around in circles. “Fiona!” he called. “Fiona MacBain!”

“Shut him up, Nott!” the older boy ordered.

Quin watched the branches shake as the smaller one—Nott— leapt downward. His movements were thoughtlessly graceful, beginning slowly then bursting into explosive action. He was a little bit . . . he was a little bit like the Young Dread, Quin thought.

“Fiona MacBain?” Shinobu muttered, reacting belatedly to what Briac had said. “MacBain” was Quin’s mother’s maiden name, a name she hadn’t used for nearly twenty years.

Quin whispered, “His mind is two steps off. He keeps thinking I’m someone else.”

When the boy called Nott reached the ground, Quin saw how beat-up he looked—a huge goose egg on his forehead, a swollen nose and cheek, dozens of other cuts and scrapes from the fight in the hospital, and the marks of many older wounds. The smaller boy pulled Briac off the road, into the greenery and down onto his knees. Then Nott clapped a hand over her father’s mouth. Briac wrinkled his nose at this contact, and Quin realized that the boy’s odor was so awful, she could smell him even at this distance.

The older one was coming down his tree, his motions even more graceful, as if time were unfolding at an even, easy pace for him. He wore an athame at his waist. When he reached the forest floor, his fist shot out at Briac’s neck, and Briac fell, gasping, to the ground. Both boys laughed, revealing the dirty mess of their teeth. They peered around the woods, as if assuring themselves that Briac had not, in fact, seen anyone. Quin flattened herself against Shinobu.

The boys were a bit like the Young Dread in the way they moved, she thought, but they were nothing like her in their glee to cause pain. And her father—he was like their pet. Who were these boys, and how had they gotten hold of Briac? The athame and whipswords indicated they were Seekers, but Quin could not quite believe that. And if they felt entitled to take the athame of the Dreads from her, what was their relationship to the Dreads? Had the Young Dread given Quin the athame, knowing those boys would come after her? She studied their filthy, brutal faces between the overhanging branches. No. She couldn’t imagine the Young Dread having anything to do with those boys.

One thing was certain: if she’d thought she and Shinobu would have time and space to explore the mysteries of Seekers on their own, she’d been badly mistaken. Somehow they’d stumbled into a new and dangerous piece of the puzzle.

Excerpt copyright © 2016 by Arwen Elys Dayton. Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.

About Kristin Centorcelli (842 Articles)
Kristin Centorcelli is the Associate Editor at SF Signal, proprietor of My Bookish Ways, a reviewer for Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, and has also written for Crime Fiction Lover, Criminal Element, and Mystery Scene Magazine. She has been reviewing books since late 2010, in an effort to get through a rather immense personal library, while also discussing it with whoever will willingly sit still (and some that won’t).
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