Series: Descendants of the House of Bathory #2
Published by Howard Books on March 20, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Speculative, Thriller
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From New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee comes the much-anticipated, high-speed sequel to The Progeny.
Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.
With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.
With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test. Love, action, and stunning revelation reign in this thrilling conclusion to The Progeny.
Warning, contains spoilers for The Progeny.
The one question that dogged Audra Ellison was why. Why had she chosen to relinquish her memories? What did she need to forget? Who was she protecting? Was she making things worse by trying to remember now? As the last pages fell in The Progeny, she found her answers.
That answer puts her between two worlds, hunted by both, vulnerable to both, a threat to both. Even her own. The only salvation will come in cutting off the head – killing the Historian and ending once and for all the centuries long war between Progeny and Scions.
One of my criticisms of The Progeny was its complicated plot and mythological storyline that was left without much rationale. The Progeny are descended from Elizabeth Bathory, an alleged notorious serial killer. They have the supernatural ability to influence others to do their will. This is somewhat rationalized, as one could contend the bloodline of Bathory holds this power. The Scion’s abilities to reap the memories of a Progeny are less cogently explained. It’s an accept-it-or-don’t plot point that you either uncritically accept or allow the plot to crumble. Those criticisms all get restated here.
Firstborn ends up being a journey type of novel, as Audra must locate a diary she’d hidden from herself (once again seemingly undoing what she had done in the first place) and save Luka from the hands of the Historian. Along the way, she receives some unexpected help which expectedly goes wrong.
The idea of the redemption of a family line and dealing with the secrets of the past is a strong one. Tosca’s writing shines as usual. Firstborn simply suffers from the same plot problems as Progeny. Others love it, it’s been optioned for a movie, so I’m obviously in the minority, and I’m okay with that.
I wondered, for a while, if it was just the jarring nature of Tosca moving from biblical narrative fiction to this new genre, but her duology of The Line Between and A Single Light was absolutely enthralling. I suppose, like all good authors – the ones I follow closely and consider friends and read everything they write, there always has to be one. This is Tosca’s. And for a career that’s spanned over a decade now, that’s not bad.