Format: E-Galley, 298 pages
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Rebel Base Books
Genre: Epic Fantasy
What if a war was taking place under your nose? Two ancient races locked in a battle for survival. Which side would you take?
Allegria appears to all to be nothing more than a simple priestess devoted to worship of the sun goddess. Hallow is a masterless apprentice. Deo was meant to save the world and bring the Fireborn and Starborn together peace.
But then invaders beseiged the land of the Starborn, breaking the prophecy. Now Allegria has fled the priesthood, and wields the power of the sun. Hallow accepts the mantle of leadership he so long avoided. And Deo is tormented and tortured by the power of the invaders, using chaos itself to create an army that will drive the interlopers from the land, and bring about the peace of the Fourth Age.
The three unlikely heroes must learn to trust where there is suspicion, to believe where there is only doubt, and to fight when all hope is lost.
Firstborn, by author Katie MacAlister, is the first installment in the author's Born Prophecy series. As the synopsis indicates, this story alternatives narratives between three key players. Deo, a young lord who has a prophecy that will either save the world, or destroy it; Allegria, a young woman with the power of the sun who was taken in to become a Priestess but wants to prove herself instead as a fighter against the invaders known as Harborym; and Harrow, a boy with a curious past who lost his people to the Harborym.
This story is an entertaining one with plenty of twists, and humorous moments, and yes, even some romance. But, the failure for me was the author not indicating when the timeline for each character jumps. One moment we are witnessing the first contact between Deo and Allegria, then Deo and Hallow, then the story jumps to when they are older. I would have preferred to know at what point that changed instead of attempting to decide for myself. I know, picky stuff.
From Deo as a teenager whose mother lives in a conquered land, to Deo as an adult who was exiled to an island where he learned how to use the power of chaos to create an army to fight back against the invaders. Deo the son of a starborn Queen whose birth also heralded the arrival of the Harborym, and Lord Israel who could have done much more in his efforts to keep his son's mother safe, but is still playing catch up years later. Deo was supposed to bring about the Fourth Age of peace.
Allegria is a light weaver, an anointed priestess, and one who uses the sun to fight against the darkness. Allegria who risks everything to fight alongside Deo and become one of his Bane. Allegria who can fight as well as any man, and usually comes out on top. Allegra who falls for Harrow through a bit of give and take back and forth that is both humorous and leads to some sexy times. Allegra who shines the brightest among the three main characters.
Harrow is a boy who lost everything to the invaders. He later loses his master who was teaching him how to deal with his powers as an arcanist. Harrow spends a lot of time with Lord Israel after saving his life from his son, and later when he unites the Council of Four Armies to finally take a stand against the Harborym. In all fairness, the romance kind of comes out of nowhere. I was a bit surprised that the author didn't find a way for Deo and Allegria to find a way to be together but she choose differently.
This story is a wild adventure that leaves a crushing cliffhanger ending behind to be picked up by the next installment. There is so many questions as to what happens next, especially to Deo and Allegria.