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Progeny: The Children of the White Lions Paperback – November 27, 2010
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About the Author
R.T. Kaelin grew up in Cincinnati and now resides in Columbus, Ohio with his beautiful wife and the two best kids ever. For years, he worked in information technology, but felt there was something more waiting for him. He always had an active imagination, so one day he decided to do something with it. R.T. Kaelin's son and daughter are too young to grasp it fully, but they are the reason he writes. His favorite place in the world is any barely-occupied, tucked-away corner of Tuscany.
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Top customer reviews
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There are many reasons authors write stories. Sometimes it's to share a little bit of magic in a practical world. Sometimes it's cathartic, a release of pent up emotions and hurts that others can identify and share. Sometimes it's to take a break from the harsh realities and escape in a bit of fantasy. Sometimes it's a vehicle used to spread a message, a moral code, a bit of wisdom or advice to pass down to the next generation. There are many reasons. In history, story-telling was very crucial to the development and understanding of humanity's way of life, passing down traditions, values and knowledge to educate and survive. Today, with the easy access to self-publishing and lowering of standards of excellence by traditional publishing, bookshelves and eBook readers are being filled most often with sensationalized stories, demoralizing values and re-telling of superficial history. I'm guilty of a bit of this myself. But, it has me wondering what future generations will look like because of this practice. It also caused me to pause and re-evaluate the stories I read.
R.T. Kaelin has reminded me in his Children of the White Lions series of what it was that first had me fall in love with reading as a child. It's not full of sensationalism, pushing the boundaries of the moral code, or even re-writing history to fit modern-day ideals. It's about coming-of-age magic, destiny and first loves. It's about discovering who you are, regardless of what you're told. It's about facing fears and adversity, but finding the strength to overcome them within yourself - not waiting on a superhero to swoop down out of the sky to rescue you - most often from your own messes. It's about failing and finding the courage to get back up. All these wonderful elements are brilliantly placed within a beautiful story centered on two brave teenaged boys and their rambunctious sister.
Surrounding the central heroes are powerful minor characters, full of flaws, beauty, scars and well-developed personalities, along with a refreshing and straight forward magical system, and a battle for dominance from an imperfect and fallible antagonist. This story isn't just about the battles, the quest, freedom from oppression or victory of the war, but it's about the lives that are involved. This is a character-driven story, my favorite kind. Kaelin stays true to the youth and inexperience of the main characters, allowing plenty of room for growth and development through the series. I absolutely love them all - including many of the minor characters.
I would recommend this book from young adult (10yrs - up) to adult. It's a wonderful story of loss, love, and leadership. It's a great example of reluctant heroes rising to the greatness that's been thrust upon them. It's clean, it's magical and it leaves the reader with hope instead of despair. I can't wait to read more.
Till next time,
Author of the Arcainian Series
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.
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