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2.24.2014

Firstborn ~ Review

FIRSTBORN: A Novel
By Lorie Ann Grover

Sometimes Fate Has a Different Plan...

Since before Tiadone's birth the R'tan have been beneath the Madronians and their oppression. Worship of the Creator Spirit and reading of the Oracles a punishable offense.  And daughters who are the firstborn must be declared male or discarded.

Tiadone is the first declared male among the R'tan and future declarings will be determined by her success or failure.  Can Tiadone deny her true centerself and survive, living the lie chosen for her by her father?  Or will her true centerself betray her to the Madronians?

Tiadone has been raised with a belief in the Creator Spirit, but as she prepares for initiation and her year of service on the Perimeter she realizes that her body has not conformed to the declaration of being born male.  And then there is Mirko, her twined rapion.  Mirko doesn't fit into the accepted category anymore than does Tiadone.  But how can Tiadone and Mirko deny who they are and still worship the Creator Spirit who bestowed life?

Firstborn is a discovery of self and a fight to prove one's worth.  Who or what should decide the worth of a life?  Should the worth of a person's life be determined by man-made rules and decrees?  Or is worth found in the act of living, to simply be?

Firstborn is unlike any book I've ever read before.  As I read it I wondered what would I do in a similar situation?  Could I live a lie, pretend that I was something I was not?  And what would my feelings be towards my parents for forcing this existence upon me mere minutes after my birth? Would I be able to hide my feelings when they threatened to expose me for who and what I truly was?

I found myself in total empathy with Tiadone as she faced the truth of her femininity and as she questioned her beliefs when she experienced losses.  When Tiadone comes to a point where she must make a choice that will forever set her life on a path of no return, I understood the painful loss that would come no matter which she chose.  This is a book that held my attention and I would love to have a sequel that continues Tiadone's story. Did her choice change anything for the R'tan and firstborn females?

I think this book would have an appeal to YA girls who like books that challenge their thinking and makes them think while at the same time entertains.

I was provided a copy of this book by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Description

Where does a firstborn girl fit in a world dominated by men?
When Tiadone was born, her parents had two choices: leave their daughter outside the community to die in the wilds, or raise her as male and force her to suppress all feminine traits. Now, as the first female living as male in her village, Tiadone must prove her father didn’t make a mistake by letting her live.
As her male initiation approaches, Tiadone knows every eye on the community is on her, and desperately wishes to belong and finally be accepted. But at every step, traditional feminine gifts and traits emerge, and the bird she's been twined with is seen as a sign of the devil.
Worse, as Tiadone completes her rites, she finds she is drawn to her male best friend in ways that are very much in line with the female gender.
Confused and desperate, Tiadone tries to become what she must be while dealing with what she indeed has become: a young woman who may be able to stand up to her despotic rulers and uncover her real purpose in life.