Progeny is the first chapter in what could easily become one of the great high fantasy stories of our time. Plainly said, Progeny is just a lot of fun! This novel sets up a backdrop for a much greater tale than is portrayed in the book – this is not to say the picture painted by this book is not great in and of itself! I can easily see this series becoming a trilogy, tetralogy or more.
Terrene, the world in which this story takes place, is rife with elves, men, halflings, giants, orcs, demons, etc. – all the goodies and baddies that make up high fantasy. They all have their own racial tendencies already familiar to the reader, but the author has not locked his individual characters into these pre-established racial roles. For instance, one of the main bad guys is what I would equate to a “high elf” – a race almost always portrayed as the embodiment of goodness – and he is a real baddie!
The world that has been created by Kaelin feels very “clean” to me. There is a highly ordered calendar complete with evenly spaced lunar cycles and seasons. An established pantheon of gods and goddesses walks the world it shares with its followers – remaining withdrawn from society for the most part, but acting in ways unseen until after the effects of its transgressions have passed. Add to this, a logical and beautiful magic system based off of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and made original by the author, you have a clean canvas for great works of art to be produced.
The story itself is written very well – especially considering this is the author’s own first novel. Sure there are some minor grammatical errors not caught before publishing, however these are few and he does not even have an established publishing house proofing his work before it goes to release. Kaelin is a self published, Indie author! Considering this I give the author a lot of credit for doing such a good job with both the writing and editing before it got to my hands!
Multiple plotlines intertwine to develop a rich story that is both enjoyable and quick reading. It was fun to see how the different characters came together and I appreciated the lack of “soap opera tactics” I find in so many books (i.e. characters somehow neglecting to share crucial details with their companions to further a specific bizarre story line that otherwise would have fallen apart before progressing far enough to matter). Instead, Kaelin builds the story in a manner with which real people might react if they were put in a similar situation.
All of the characters have their own unique personalities that you will fall in love with and they remain true to their idiosyncrasies throughout the book. You really get a feeling you know a character soon after he or she is introduced to you. You will find yourself associating with their different aspects as the plots develop and come to a harmonious conclusion.
I am pleased to give this book five stars and I look forward to the next novel in what I anticipate will be a series on the same level as the Wheel of Time series, The Inheritance Cycle, and the Shannara series.
You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Progeny-Children-White-Lions-Kaelin/dp/0615421032/