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The Progeny

The Progeny

4.6 13
by Tosca Lee

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When you wake up, you remember nothing. There is only this note: Don’t ask about the last two years… Don’t try to remember and don’t go digging. Your life depends on it. Others’ lives depend on it.

Audra Ellison has no idea why she’s had her memory wiped clean, only that she chose to erase her past to protect


When you wake up, you remember nothing. There is only this note: Don’t ask about the last two years… Don’t try to remember and don’t go digging. Your life depends on it. Others’ lives depend on it.

Audra Ellison has no idea why she’s had her memory wiped clean, only that she chose to erase her past to protect someone else. But soon, a handsome stranger tells her she’s special. Unique. That she has the power to influence the minds of others. And that her life is in danger.

She soon discovers that she is the descendant of a serial killer, the infamous “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, and that she, like all her relatives for generations, is being hunted for the sins of her ancestor. She also discovers that she erased her memory to forget something important—important not only to her, but to those who want to see the line of Bathory ended for good.

Reunited with others like her—young, powerful Progeny living defiantly on the edge of extinction in Europe’s underground—she is hounded by danger at every turn and driven deeper into the inner circles of two ancient orders intent on destroying one another with a weapon only Audra can find. And as those around her start disappearing, Audra realizes the only thing that can save them all is piecing together a past she no longer remembers.

As she works to unravel the web of secrets and lies, Audra is thrust into a world of faith and doubt, of truth and deceit, of life and immortality, and she must decide who to trust—and what to believe. What she ultimately uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about who she is and what her lineage means.

A kaleidoscopic thriller that brings the underground world of the ancient cities of Eastern Europe to life like never before, The Progeny is a taut, breathless story of centuries-old intrigue and modern love and forgiveness.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestselling Tosca Lee (Iscariot) tosses readers into a bizarre tale of ancient secrets, underground networks, and life-or-death chases that, for some readers, will be irresistible and for others confusing and strange. Emily Porter wakes up in a tiny Maine cabin after receiving surgery to erase her memory, only to discover that the memories she erased have come back to haunt her in impossible ways. She has no idea why her life is in danger or whom to trust. As Audra—her real name—flees the cabin and finally the U.S. to Eastern Europe, the mysteries deepen and the killers become more ruthless. Can she really be tied to centuries-old cabals working at cross purposes to protect and destroy her—and the secrets she holds but can’t remember? Be prepared for riddles, enigmas, and puzzles that will keep readers mystified and, ultimately, satisfied. This novel will find purchase in general-market bookstores and draw Lee’s fans in the Christian market too. Agency: Dan Raines and Meredith Smith, Creative Trust Ventures (May)
Jennifer L. Armentrout # 1 New York Times bestselling author
“An intricately woven tale that is intriguing and romantic, I literally couldn’t put it down.”
Jobie Hughes
“Tosca Lee is a masterful storyteller who has created a rich and engaging tale of adventure, mystery, and loyalty in the face of perpetual betrayal, which kept me on edge from the first page until the last."
Joe Moore
"Dark, tense, and gripping, The Progeny by Tosca Lee has all the ingredients thriller fans crave."
Laura McHugh
“Gifted storyteller Tosca Lee artfully weaves an intriguing centuries-old legend into an absorbing, fast-paced supernatural thriller. The Progeny strikes a perfect balance of mystery, adrenaline, and romance. I devoured it in a day.”
Michael Napoliello
“A brilliant read and a thrilling ride—all the more fantastic because it is set in the real world and based on historic facts and secrets. Anyone could be a Progeny. Even you.”
J.T. Ellison
“What a fabulous premise—and what a wonderful thriller. Tosca Lee has outdone herself with this twisty, intricate story. I can’t wait for the sequel.”
Lissa Price
"Lee is a phenomenal talent known for bringing history to the present, making it exciting and relevant while never forgetting that love is the ultimate motivator. Think Da Vinci Code meets The Blacklist.”
Maria V. Snyder
“Tosca puts the thrill into thriller. Be warned: once you start this book, it’s impossible to put down!”
Ronie Kendig
“One killer story… a roller-coaster ride that picked up speed, racing to the gasp-out-loud conclusion.”
Kate Brauning
“Twisting and chilling… a headlong, haunting thrill. With action and romance in spades, this is one to read.”
Randy Goodwin
“With each chapter of The Progeny, I became a bigger fan of Tosca’s! Wow! What a ride. Tosca has done it again.”
Lis Wiehl
"Tosca Lee's The Progeny delivers a riveting ride from page one. Historical codes, serial killers, and whirlwind global travel just begin to frame this tale. I galloped through the book and at the end wanted more. Sequel please?!"
Scott Sigler
"Lee effortlessly combines The Da Vinci Code's rolling mystery with the identity puzzle of Memento. Audra’s trials leave you wanting more.”
"suspenseful”and “entertaining"
Baker Book House
"If you are into books that are well written, fast paced, with changes of direction and not knowing who can be trusted, then make sure you pick up Tosca's newest."
RT Book Reviews
Family Fiction
"Filled with intrigue, romance, and reversals fans are sure to love."
Book Reporter
"The Progeny has risen to the top of my favorites list...I devoured every word of it. ”
Fresh Fiction
"Danger lurks around every corner in The Progeny, and I love the various surprises Tosca Lee gives us. This is the first book I've read by Tosca Lee but I guarantee it will not be the last! The Progeny is definitely a winner and easily recommended."
Library Journal
Erasing your memory does not erase your past. When Emily wakes up in a sleepy town in Maine to discover that her memory has been intentionally destroyed, she quickly rejects the fresh start her old self had sought and begins piecing together a bloody past. Weaving an elaborate web of questionable relationships, fake identities, and historical revelations, best-selling author Lee (The Legend of Sheba) explores the story of Elizabeth Bathory (1560–1614). Known as the "Blood Countess," Bathory has been labeled the most prolific female serial killer in history. Lee's novel introduces a world in which Bathory's descendants have been hunted for the past 400 hundred years owing to their ancestor's blood thirst. Emily discovers her true identity and a dark secret that she must fight tirelessly to protect, all while struggling to escape those determined to destroy her and any family she has left. VERDICT This complex thriller with various turns and twists sets the stage for future novels in the series. A great choice for readers who enjoy their psychological thrillers with a historical twist.—Chelsie Harris, San Diego Cty. Lib.
Kirkus Reviews
A young woman learns she's a descendant of a notorious female serial killer and must stay one step ahead of an organization hellbent on killing her. Emily Porter wakes up in a Maine cabin with only vague recollections of undergoing a memory-erasing procedure. All she knows is that she wants to live a normal, quiet life, but those hopes are dashed upon meeting the intriguingly foreign Luka Novak at the local Food Mart. Just as quickly, she's whisked away by another Eastern European, Rolan Vasilescu, who tells her that Luka isn't what he seems—the theme of shifting loyalties is underscored ad nauseam throughout—only to be pursued by Luka. Turns out that Rolan is the bad guy, and handsome Luka's mission is protection—or is it? And Emily Porter? She's really Audra Ellison, revered by a secret sect who, like her, are all descended from the murderous Hungarian "Blood Countess" Elizabeth Bathory, thought to have murdered 600 people during her 17th-century reign of terror. These Progeny, as they're known, are hunted by the Scion, descendants of Bathory's victims, and led by the Historian. Audra learns not only that she has special, persuasive powers—think vampires and glamouring—but also that she voluntarily wiped her own memory to keep certain information a secret. Soon she and Luka are crisscrossing Europe from Croatia to Vienna in an attempt to find a diary that could hold the key to her survival or the Progeny's extinction. Lee (The Legend of Sheba, 2014, etc.) dispenses with plausibility early on, yet even in a fantasy world, Audra would still grate as a pseudo-heroine constantly in need of protection. For all their gory antecedents, Lee's characters—and her plot—are strangely bloodless and noncompelling.

Product Details

Howard Books
Publication date:
Descendants of the House of Bathory Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Progeny, Firstborn, Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series (Forbidden, Mortal, and Sovereign) with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker. She received her BA in English and International Relations from Smith College. A lifelong adventure traveler, Tosca makes her home in the Midwest with her husband and children. To learn more please visit: ToscaLee.com.

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The Progeny 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Halfway through this book, I was thinking that this was not Tosca's best work. I would have given it a 3 maybe 4. Then the end came and I'm suddenly enthralled in the story and wanting the sequel. (Hope there is) Her dialogue is great with the humor was appreciated. Her characters were complex and 3 dimensional. The story line was a wild roller coaster. Tosca, you got a good one here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! All the twists and turns keep you guessing until the very end
Bibliosaurusrex More than 1 year ago
Throughout reading the novel, I couldn't get over the foundation this novel was built on. These people are being hunted for what their one ancestor did hundreds of years ago. I found that to be irking because I really didn't think that validated what the hunters were doing. The characters were nothing special to me and throughout the book you never really know who to trust. The main character was definitely strong and intelligent but I found myself annoyed with her actions of erasing her memory. Because now, she was playing the role of the naive newbie and having to relearn everything. The middle part of this book is really where this novel lost points for me. I found it boring and I had a hard time staying focused. Sure, there was stuff happening but I didn't find myself very invested in it. To me, it was just filed with a lot of information dumps that were given in the act of conversations. We were just told a constant flow of information and I found it fairly boring. We didn't see much of the relationship building so it was hard for me to want these two characters to be super cute together. I didn't see much chemistry between the two because of the nature of the novel and I just took their word for their feelings because their actions didn't realy give me a clue to anything. The ending was definitely interesting but I don't think it was good enough to really pick me back up from where the middle had left me. **I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honesty review from Grace's (LovingDemBooks) Booktube tours*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a Tosca Lee fan. This book did not disappoint! I love her attention to detail. A thrilling ride! I can hardly wait for the next book to come out!!
Mirella More than 1 year ago
I can best describe this book as dark and rich. Countess Elizabeth Bathory from the 17th century is an ancestor of Emily Porter. A powerful and secret sect hunts down and kills all descendants of the notorious serial killer. Emily has learned a dark secret and in order to protect her life and those she loves, she has had her memory completely erased. When she awakens, she knows nothing and no one from her past. But those from her past still know her. Luka and Rolan are two men who reveal they know of her past. But how does she know how to trust them? Are they truly her friends or do they work for the powerful sect determined to kill her? I cannot classify this novel as historical fiction as it is completely set in our contemporary era. Only the background information pertaining to Elizabeth Bathory is historical in nature. So reading this novel is a departure from a historical reader like me. I have to admit that this novel had me enthralled. I couldn't figure out who to trust or how to interpret the plot until the very end. Be prepared, because the book ends with a definite cliffhanger which had me clamoring for more. A definite thriller with a fascinating plot that kept me reading to the very end. Looking forward to the sequel. Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com
LeliaPiet More than 1 year ago
The Progeny, a twisted tale of good and evil, starts with a bang and never slows down. Young Emily Porter is trying to adjust to life after having her memory erased, without so much as even a hint of recollection as to why she elected to have the procedure. Barely recovered, she discovers her life is in danger, as well as those she loves but doesn’t remember. Emily, or rather Audra as she was previously known, must piece together her memories to save her family, friends and herself. Many former acquaintances want to help her, but without her memory, she no longer knows who she can trust. Her quest takes her across the US and throughout Western Europe as she discovers her famous lineage and supernatural powers. The Progeny offers the suspense of a mystery, the heart of a romance and the history of one of the world's most infamous serial killers. Tosca Lee delivers a fast-paced thriller that will appeal to a broad age range of readers.
renazy More than 1 year ago
This book will keep you up at night simply because you can't stop reading it. Unpredictable twists and turns. You can't trust anyone, and you'll never see the end coming!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saying I loved this book just doesn't do the book justice. As usual, Toscas characters are rich and plentiful but not so many that you lose track of who is who because each one is vitally important to the story as a whole. Just when I think I've got the bad guys pegged from the good guys she throws a twist that leaves me almost breathless. From chapter to chapter, there was never a dull moment and I had to force myself to put it down to sleep and go through the day, but my brain was back on the next chapter wondering what I was yet to read. My only complaint... The journey, at least for this book ended in the proverbial cliffhanger that left me wanting to read more.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Tosca Lee in her new book, “The Progeny” published by Howard Books gives us the Descendants Of The Blood Countess. From the back cover: Emily Porter 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. I recommend that you start early, turn off the phone, hit the bathroom and make a big bowl of popcorn. From experience once you get started you are not going to want to be interrupted. Ms. Lee has set it up so that you are captured from the first page and she doesn’t let go until the last. This story reminded me of the old “Fugitive” television series only much more amped up. The characters are handled so well, the relationships are outstanding. Ms. Lee has given us a wonderfully engaging story. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fans of Orphan Black and dark mystery/thrillers with a slight supernatural element will really enjoy this book. Have to agree with other comments, it took a few chapters to become fully invested in the story, but by the middle of the book I was hooked. It does end on a cliffhanger, which is my only gripe, but unlike some books that go that route, I didn't feel like I only got half a story. Definitely left me fulfilled but wanting more, I heartily recommend.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
The Progeny is the first installment from the Descendants of the Blood Countess series. I found this to be an intriguing read. It starts out grabbing the reader's attention and stays that way until the end. Full of action and full of adventure. Great read! Highly recommended! 5 plus stars. I received this book from Howard Books in exchange for my honest opinion, which was given.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Take an idea of a family of descendants of a brutal serial killer, add in a touch of both historical and futuristic science fiction, and you might just have an idea of what The Progeny, the latest novel by Tosca Lee is about. This is the first novel in the Descendants of the Blood Countess series. Some might say it perfect for fans of Dekker and Lee's series, the Book of Mortals, or fans of Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code and still others might compare it to the BBCs hit series, Orphan Black. Yet for me, a fan of anything Tosca Lee pens, I'm all in without having to read the synopsis of the book. Without giving any of it away, know that this will be a trilogy if not more, so whatever happens in this novel will not be resolved by the conclusion. It will however, give you a bit of the back story of the main character, Emily Jacobs, and what motivates her to make the decisions she does in The Progeny. Emily Porter is not her real name, it is the name assigned to her after she goes through a procedure to erase her memories. It is vital that she does this because before the procedure she was hunted by one person assigned to do nothing but kill her and steal her memories. He has had 5 years to do just that. Emily's real name is Audra Ellison. She is one of a handful of illegitimate children her mother had before she was murdered. It is a race against time for Audra to now discover, who she can trust, because she can't remember who she can or can't and has to rely on her quick wits and her ability to charm those through implementing thoughts into their heads to do what she asks of them. The one thing she can't influence is other progeny's and she must discover why she erased her memories before those she loves are killed one by one, while avoiding being killed by the one person who has been assigned to kill her and take whatever memories she has. Even more important is that her death carries with it the weight that the line of her families bloodline ends and she won't be able to produce anymore children. She isn't sure if she is the last one left, but now it is a race against time to uncover clues she apparently left for herself along the way in the hopes she might discover them one day. I received The Progeny by Tosca Lee compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest and personal opinions. I absolutely LOVE this novel and can't wait to inhale the rest of it. To place it in any one particular genre is downright hard. It's part historical, suspense, thriller, fantasy, contemporary, action, drama, and romance. The one thing that is clear is that Tosca Lee once again has written an amazing novel and series, and now the wait begins for the next novel. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
This is only the second book I have read by Tosca Lee. I loved the first and this book I love no less, if not more. She is an amazing writer who grabs the reader by the mind and won’t let go. Emily’s story is full of suspense, mystery and romance. You will be placed in one dangerous situation into another. Emily’s gifts are fascinating as she learns to use them and discovers who she is. The hardest part is Emily doesn’t know who she can trust and the reader will be left wondering as well. There is so much secrecy going on. I will caution reads of Christian fiction…there is some language in this book that surprised me. Also, I kept looking for Jesus in the book and had trouble finding much faith in these characters, but perhaps that will happen later on. If that stuff doesn’t bother you then truly this is an excellent book, a well-crafted story. A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.