Thursday, February 9, 2012

Progeny ~ My favorite books of 2011

**Update: Mr Kaelin recently sent out a note informing us that he has in the last year completely rewritten Progeny in an effort to improve a story that IMO was already a wonderful book. If you would like to read his post, click here.

I am truly excited and impressed that Mr Kaelin took the time to share with us the reason he chose to rewrite a book that IMO was already a wonderful book. He has a desire to provide a HIGH quality, well written story and it is my belief that the work and honesty in his book will enable Progeny to last through the decades and become a favorite of generations to come. Thanks Ryan!

Progeny (The Children of the White Lions, #1)
by RT Kaelin
$4.99 Kindle Edition
$25.99 Paperback

About the book:
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. Although Kenders can feel and touch the many-colored “strands” of magic she has no idea how to use them until she and Nikalys are attacked by a pack of wolves and Kenders instinctively summons a bolt of lightning, immediately collapsing when the effort drains her of all her energy.

My Thoughts:
Progeny is the debut novel of a brand new author who visions that this story will take place in a series of books (he's thinking 5 at this time).  Fast moving, engrossing and action packed you will find yourself feeling like you are part of the landscape as you follow the characters through a story with much depth.

This is story of a planet (Terrene), several different races, magic, the paranormal and a prophecy by the "gods" involving young adults Nikalys, Kenders and Jak and the race to save and make the world a better place.   The story opens with a cataclysmic event that starts our 3 main characters on the journey of a lifetime.  As that journey continues we meet many different characters that play a specific purpose throughout the story and have a strong influence on the decisions that Nikalys, Kenders and Jak make.

RT Kaelin has taken the time to think through his storyline, he has created a history and personality for each of the characters and I'm sure as the books are published we will find that each has their own individual story "behind the main story".  I found the book to immediately capture my attention since as you know I am a BIG Lord of the Rings fan.  I found the author carefully planned out the topography, the language, the poetry, the events and the battles just like Tolkien did and I think that is partly why I loved the book so much - the nice thing about RT Kaelin's writing though is that I didn't have to concentrate as much to keep the events straight, the language used by the writer made it very easy to follow along and wasn't "difficult" like Tolkien's was.

You will find the elves, the dwarves, the longlegs (the race of men), there are the magician's (I took them as warlocks almost), the orcs and the halflings.  In addition, Kaelin has added the soulwraiths (similar to the black wraiths mentioned in LOTR), the razor fiends, the demons and bullockboars,  One thing that caught my attention is the choices that those on the wrong side and those on the good side make that has an effect on future events for themselves and the world.

(Note: I use a rating system in my reviews - but I would most definitely give this book 5 stars!)  I personally would suggest this book for young adults 15/16 on up due to the dark nature of the magic and feeling I got of the soulwraiths, demons and warlocks being possessed (you'll see what I mean when you read the book). I am definitely looking forward to Book 2!

Fantasy Bestseller, great fantasy book, bestselling author, young adult series, best fantasy books, top fantasy books
I asked RT Kaelin a few questions that I'm sure you're going to want answers for:

I'm sure you've heard over and over that the book is similar to Lord Of The Rings (and I thought so too).  Was this your intention?
To make a similar series of books but on a different level? Not really. I like a well-told fantasy story with lots of 'meat' behind the story. Tolkien's world of Middle Earth always felt so rich in history that it made the story of the books feel real. I strove to achieve something similar in the sense that I wanted the reader to get a sense of the vastness of the world in which the story takes place. I also enjoy books where the author gives you little hints about things as you go – some of which make sense in a few chapters while others make you think “this has to mean something…doesn’t it?” Overall, though, it is meant to be the first in an epic tale.

It was obvious at the end of Progeny that a sequel would be coming.  Have you already started it?
Oh, most definitely. The first draft is done. Lots of editing ahead of me, though.

When do you think it will be available?
Well…that depends. Progeny is a self-published title. Agents that I contacted about the book were scared away by its length (especially for a new author). They wanted to cut it – a lot. So, I’m trying to prove the book can stand on its own, the way I intended it. It’s expensive to self-publish, and as I am the entire marketing department as well, the difficulty right now is getting the book out in front of people. I think if word starts to spread about it and it takes off…well, the sky is the limit. It’s a story that I want to tell.

How many books do you think it will take to complete this series?
This story should take five books. It started out as four, but a few ‘accidents’ happened while writing the first that were too good to take out. So, the story will be longer.

You can purchase your copy of Progeny in Paperback HERE for $25.99. (At over 600 pages, it's a very big book and takes several readings to catch everything) This book is eligible for Amazon's FREE shipping program - so be sure to take advantage of that! You can also purchase it for your Kindle or Nook for $4.99.

You can get started on the Progeny story by ordering the Merchant Kindle edition which is the "pre story" to the Progeny series for your Kindle or Nook.  Kaelin calls it The Nundle Bundle and you can read about it HERE.

Note: RT Kaelin provided a complimentary copy of Progeny for my initial review in April 2011. I have since updated my links to current information as of 2/6/12. I was not asked to give a positive review and was not paid to review the book.


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