PROGENY by R.T. Kaelin

Hopefully, you’ve been following the tour for PROGENY by R.T. Kaelin, which A Backwards Story had the pleasure of kicking off last week with a character interview. The tour continues to run through September 9th.

Title: PROGENY (Children of the White Lions #1)
Author: R.T. Kaelin
Release Date: Out Now (Feb. 14, 2011)
Publisher: Self-Published
Received: Teen Book Scene for Review


Nikalys and his sister Kenders grew up living a peaceful life in the quiet farming village of Yellow Mud…until the blistering hot day when they go to the nearby lake for a swim. When they reach the lake, they spy an unknown mage conjure a massive water creature hundreds of feet tall. They watch in horror as the water creature plunges toward their home, apparently drowning all in its path, including their parents and older brother, Jak.

As the only survivors, brother and sister strike out on their own, hoping to discover the reason their home and family was destroyed. They must make their way through a countryside where magic is outlawed, punishable by imprisonment or even death while struggling with the revelation that Kenders has magical abilities herself. Ancient, powerful forces still seek them on their travels—some intending to eliminate the threat they pose, and some hoping to help them fulfill a destiny of which they are unaware. Myths and legends come to life, whisking the pair along a journey they never could have imagined possible.

Good Days Ahead, Bookworms…and good reading, too! While PROGENY is touring with Teen Book Scene, it has more of a crossover appeal and is the type of epic fantasy that will appeal to fans of classic series such as THE LORD OF THE RINGS. THE CHILDREN OF THE LIONS is, at the moment, scheduled to be a five-book series. If each book is as long as the first, PROGENY, these novels will give G.R.R. Martin’s A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (Er…or if you only know the series recently, everyone’s been calling it the GAME OF THRONES series thanks to the HBO show of the same name…) a run for their money. PROGENY is another whopper of a book, coming in at 658 pages. This is one book you’ll want to read on your e-reader if you have one, and at $4.99, the $25.99 asking rate for a physical copy. For true fantasy fans, however, the length of the book shouldn’t detract from the reading pleasure. Good fantasies are always long and epic. R.T. Kaelin has created an intriguing world that I was reluctant to leave. Over time, readers grow invested in the characters and their journeys; they’ll want to know what happens next.

Granted, there is a lot of description. The book’s length could be trimmed if this was shorter. At the same time, a lot of that description set up new worlds and ideas. While much of the plot didn’t come as a surprise, it was still captivating to read. The novel is broken up into alternating POVs. While always in third person, we get to see the world from multiple perspectives. There are a lot of characters whose lives intersect with one another through PROGENY’s course. Siblings Nikalys and Kenders are the two main characters, forced to set out on their own after a tragedy destroys their village—and their family. The flood that decimated everything was no accident, but the working of a powerful mage named Jhaell, a man who will stop at nothing to wipe out the progeny before they can come into their powers and destroy all that he has worked for. The siblings, in fact, don’t know that a greater destiny awaits them.

Taken under the wing of Broedi, a family friend who is able to shape-shift, Nikalys and Kender learn more about a world their parents have hidden from them over the years. Joined by both new and familiar faces, they’re aided on their quest, one that continues well beyond the first book. Nikalys is fast, with skills he never had before, while Kender is the only person I the world able to see all nine types of Strands. Strands are colored by what type of magic they are, from Strands of Will to Strands of Void. Most people are considered lucky if they can touch three types of Strand—luckier if they manage to work four or five different ones. But nine is unheard of—unless your skills are bound up in an ancient prophecy destined to change the fate of the world.

If you’re a fan of epic fantasies, you’ll really enjoy PROGENY, bookworms. It’s long, but worth the journey. While there are the clichĂ©s seen in other novels within the genre, Kaelin fuses them together with fresh ideas and new terminology. The world he creates is vast and intricate, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

While this cover doesn’t really stand out for me, I like the fact that most of the cover is white, including the image of the white lion. It feels appropriate for a series entitled CHILDREN OF THE WHITE LIONS. I like the splash of color the title brings to the cover. The red adds a bit of punch. I’m not sure that I’m in love with the tape marks at each corner, but I can see how that could be a defining look for the series if it continues to be self-published without being picked up by a larger publisher.


  1. Nice review. I don't really like the cover at all. Does nothing for me. I would pass it on the shelf and not look twice, probably not once.

  2. @Lena: Thanks! Yeah, the cover's not my favorite, but you have to work with what you have. I hope that the series will get picked up and have a lot of money thrown into cover design!


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