Progeny is R.T. Kaelin’s debut novel and I have to say I was really impressed. This tome is a promising beginning of a great epic and Kaelin has done an excellent job in telling his story. The first two chapters were a little rough, but soon after the writing smooths out and really gets its legs. The story moves right along, but Kaelin takes the time to flesh it out and give the world and the characters depth. I got caught up and was eager to find out what happened next, not to mention wanting to know more and more about the world I was immersed into.
The story starts with Nikalys and Kenders, a brother and sister, racing to the lake on a hot day to cool off. On the way, Kenders ‘senses’ something ‘blue’. They approach the beach slowly only to witness Mages (people who can perform magic using ‘threads’ to ‘weave’ spells) creating an incredible water monster, just before it is unleashed to drown and wash away their village. This starts them on a journey of justice and self discovery. Along the way they meet and collect individuals who need or want or can give help, and all of them are being pursued by an evil hell bent on destroying them all.
Overall, I would favorably compare Kaelin’s writing with Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, (early) Robert Jordan and even a bit of David Eddings mixed in. At just shy of 700 pages, Progeny is a lengthy book. Kaelin expects that he will need to cut down on the length to get a national publisher to pick it up, but I think cutting more than 50 pages would cause the story to lose some of its depth. I really enjoyed this book and my biggest disappointment is going to be waiting for the next installment.
Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by R. T. Kaelin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.