The Progeny

The ProgenyThe Progeny by Tosca Lee
Series: Descendants of the House of Bathory
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Published by Howard Books on May 24, 2016
Pages: 336
Also by this author: Demon: A Memoir

 

About The Progeny (from the back cover):
Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self amidst centuries-old intrigues and Europe’s underground scene…and one woman’s mission to survive.

Ever since I read Tosca Lee’s Demon: A Memoir nearly ten years ago, I have believed she is a genius author.  I adore her writing, her imagination, her characters, the list is endless.  She writes beautiful moving books that breath new life into ancient stories and challenges the reader with insightful themes.  She is a genius and I am so happy for the opportunity to read her latest book, The Progeny.

Tosca Lee writes beautiful moving books that breath new life into ancient stories and challenges the reader with insightful themes.

Tosca is best known for her Biblical fiction, but that doesn’t mean she can’t write an amazing suspense/thriller.  The Progeny is different from her normal books, but it still has a lot of the same characteristics long time readers have come to expect.  There are excellent characters, with flaws that are easily relatable.  Great turmoil and conflict abound.  Impeccable research that draws the reader into the environment.  Passionate writing infuses the pages with shifts from tense suspense, to moody introspection, to sensual encounters, and environments that infiltrate into the reader’s senses.  But beyond what Tosca’s fans expect is a healthy dose of mystery, abundant twists, and blurred lines between heroes and villains.  I hazard a guess that many readers of Biblical fiction already know the basics of the story being told, so the surprises are few.  In The Progeny, it was a wonderful treat to see how and in what ways Tosca could surprise me with her twists and turns.

The Progeny is different from her normal books, but it still has a lot of the same characteristics long time readers have come to expect.

I’m a huge fan of fiction based on history; I love these type of books.  Tosca does an excellent job of weaving in the history and legend of Elizabeth Bathory with the current mystery of the Utod and the hunters.  The story remains fast paced even when integrating historical content.  The historical facts fall nicely into place with the present day mystery and are presented such that the reader doesn’t have to spend time rereading to figure out how things fit together.

While the plot is excellent and moves at an incredible pace, the book could in some ways be considered character driven.  Whether it’s Judas, Eve, Sheba, or a demon, Tosca has always managed to make villains understandable and heroes relatable.  I very much enjoyed watching Emily unravel her past and piece it together with the present.  And Lucas, well I might have an unhealthy attachment to him.  He’s pretty awesome.  However, the villains are well written also.  Not to mention, there are a few that are surprising in a number of ways.  Overall, the characters are as much a draw to this book as the plot itself.

The story remains fast paced even when integrating historical content.

I’ve always admired Tosca for not writing safe books.  She takes chances and it makes her books stand out from others on the market.  Her characters can be seductive and the passion between lovers vibrant.  For readers wanting chaste books, The Progeny might not be the best choice.  However, for those that enjoy passionate writing that reflects human actions and emotions, this book provides that.

From the first time I heard that Tosca was writing a suspense/thriller, I have been eagerly waiting to get my hands on it.  Once in my hands, I devoured this book.  It is everything I hoped for and more.  I love the story, the characters, and the passionate writing.  But now that it’s over, I’m disappointed.  The ending is a cliffhanger and it’ll be another year before I find out what happens next

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