FIRSTBORN by Tosca Lee


From the "Descendants of the House of Bathory" series, volume 2
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The Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory’s two lines of descendants have waged war for centuries, and it’s up to one young woman with extraordinary powers to bring an end to the bloodshed.

In her ill-conceived follow-up to The Progeny (2016), Lee brings back Everygirl Audra Ellison, a 21-year-old who just happens to be the most powerful member of the Progeny, the race of Bathory kin who are under constant threat from the other line, the Scion, or Hunters. Audra had her memory intentionally wiped—Hunters are wont to steal those and Progeny know all the good Bathory dirt—but she knows about her new baby daughter, Eva, whose father, Luka, is Audra’s hunter-turned-husband. Also with her Progeny pals Jester, Claudia, and Piotrek, as well as Rolan the heretic monk, Audra bounces around Eastern Europe at a frenetic pace, trying to stay one step ahead of the ultimate Scion, the Historian, who wants Bathory’s diary and genealogical information in an effort to wipe out the Progeny for good. With chase scenes worthy of a low-budget action thriller, made even less plausible by Audra’s increasingly enhanced powers of persuasion that allow her to elude capture like a superhero, the group zips from Budapest to Bratislava as news of Audra’s newly discovered status as a Firstborn, a direct Bathory descendent, makes her a bigger target for both destruction and adulation. Hellbent on identifying and destroying the Historian, Audra must try to put aside her personal feelings in order to serve the greater good.

There’s little original in a centurieslong battle between good and evil when neither side is wholly bad or good and that gray area is meant to be revelatory.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4767-9867-7
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Howard Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2017


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