Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Progeny” as Want to Read:
The Progeny
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Progeny

(Descendants of the House of Bathory #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,715 ratings  ·  423 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brings a modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding the most notorious female serial killer of all time. A fast-paced thriller like Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and BBC America’s hit series Orphan Black.

Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Howard Books (first published May 24th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Progeny, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tosca Lee I'm currently planning it as a duology, with book two releasing less than a year after The Progeny. :)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,715 ratings  ·  423 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Progeny
Eve (Between The Bookends)
NOOOOOO this book ends on one HELL of a cliffhanger. I want to cry because I don't think the next book in the series is out until next year...


This book was SO frigging good. Descendants of Elizabeth Bathory the Blood Queen being hunted by descendants of her supposed victims. Secret societies, paranormal elements, and twist and turns galore. We are thrown into the action from the get go, and it just never lets up. Who to believe, who to trust. This book read like a Dan Brown novel. Beautifully wr
Maria V. Snyder
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this as an ARC from Tosca Lee - she asked me to read it and perhaps give her a blurb for the book by early Feb. I was super busy, but the premise sounded really cool, so I made time for the book and was glad I did! There's lots going on in this book and there's lots of explanations in the beginning chapters so a reader really needs to pay attention - I think those who enjoy re-reading will pick up on more the second time through.

Once the action starts, it doesn't stop and the characte
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Emily has voluntarily had her memory erased. She's paid the people who erased her memory relocate her and give her a new identity. When we meet her, the person sent to help her acclimate is leaving.

Helper asks Emily to give her a ride into town, but before they go, she gives Emily a letter written by her pre-memory erased self.

She can read it when she returns.

While in town, Emily (who lives in the middle of nowhere) decides to hit the store, where she meets a man who watches her and behaves str
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, christian
Full review now posted!
Original review can be found at Booknest.

It got better.

When I first picked up this book, I was pretty excited. Tosca Lee cowrote an amazing trilogy with Ted Dekker, one of my favorite authors of all time, called The Books of Mortals (the first book is: Forbidden). It was Christian speculative fiction at its finest. I’ve read Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee, which was a reimagining of the life of Eve, but that’s the only book I’ve read written by her alone. When I saw
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
I must admit that I’m a total sucker for anything that references Lady Bathory. Her history is mired in myth and legend and we’ll never really know what happened. Hence, I hungrily devour anything that might provide either some insight, or some new false horror that I find to be downright gruesome. And because of that, entertaining.

I wish I hadn’t really bothered with this one. I can’t even muster up enough energy to go through all the things I had issue with in this book, but the big one is bas
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Started off really well,then started to lose interest maybe not my type of book.won this book on first reads.she wipes her memory hidden secrets who can she trust.I can see some people want to read it a historical and Di Vinci code combined.
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Emily Jacobs is recovering from a procedure where she chose to have her memory wiped. She remembers small details but can't remember her own name, her family or most of her life before she woke. She's had a caretaker for the last couple of weeks but now it's time for her to be on her own. Before parting her caretaker leaves her a letter that Emily had written to herself telling her not to look into her past and that it would be dangerous.

Of course the past has a way of catching up to us even wh
Emilie Haney
The Progeny by Tosca Lee delivers question after unanswered question through shocking twists and turns with answers that dance just out of reach.

One girl is the center of mystery, she just doesn't know it yet. Emily Porter is the descendant of a serial killer. She's smart, intuitive, and gifted, and she would do anything to save the ones she loves.

I loved this book! I mean...I didn't expect anything less from Tosca because anything she writes is fabulous, but I wasn't sure what I would find hi
Scott Sigler
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
MEMENTO meets The Da Vinci Code. The main character, Audra, is faced with an ever-expanding puzzle box filled with centuries-old conspiracies. Danger abounds, as does love. While this book has several frustrating LOST-ish elements, (i.e., why don't the characters just tell each other what they know instead of keeping some things secret for no apparent reason), those moments are easy to gloss over in the context of the big picture. Mysteries, raves, masquerades, evil plots, beautiful people doing ...more
Tosca Lee's The Progeny started out with a bang. Great hook, really great build up, decent characters, very interesting premise. Around 50-60%, it took a weird turn to some partying, which made me take a pause and struggle to push through. I'm glad I did, because soon the explosive pace returned and raced to the finish. But then it ended. I'm okay with cliffhangers, and I know the author has mentioned this is going to be a duology, but seriously. It just ended. It dropped a few bombshells and th ...more
April Sarah
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed, owned
Video Review:

There is so much going on in this book, I recommend that you don't blink while reading it.

When I first picked up this book, I wasn't 100% sure what I was getting myself into. Would it be an amazing action adventure story? Would it be a sci-fi romance? Would there be sushi mentioned? I wasn't even sure who the Blood Countess was in history.

From the very beginning of this novel, things just move and don't stop. You are left putting together the
One of the best thrillers I've read in a very long time. Don't miss this one.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Progeny is one killer story! Exploring the violent backdrop of the Bathory’s legacy, Lee pens an intriguing tale of persuasion and mystery, redemption and love! It’s a roller-coaster ride that picked up speed, racing to the gasp-out-loud conclusion. Progeny makes readers hunger for the next installment!

I loved Audra's story, right from the beginning with her missing memory, confusion, and mystery. Danger nips at her heels from the get-go and really never lets up as she traipses across the globe
Taylor of Elfhame ❦
Short non-spoiler review. 3.5 stars.
I must say, this was a lot more enjoyable on the second read. I hope this duology ends well, so that I can say for certain I am happy to have read it. I’m leaving my original review intact, because it’s still a decent summary of my thoughts.

So the Progeny revolves around Emily, who is really Audra, who in the first two pages of the novel undergoes a procedure which completely wipes her episodic memory. That is to say, she has no idea who she is, everyone she
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Here's my main issue with this book: I spent 85% of the book shouting (in my head), "WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL? WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE TRYING TO KILL EVERYONE?!"

Seriously, I didn't get it. The premise didn't really explain the craziness of the plot. The premise just says that Emily is the descendant of a serial killer and she has become hunted. Sounds exciting enough, right? Here's what the premise didn't say: Emily is hunted FOR NO O
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I received an ARC of The Progeny by Tosca Lee from NetGalley. This is no way influences my opinion on the book or this review.

I didn't come to start over.
I came to hide.

Emily Porter has had her memory wiped—voluntarily. She can't remember anything about her life before, or even why she decided it was a good idea to forget everything. On top of not knowing the important whos, whats, whens, wheres, and whys about her life, the procedure has left her with a sketchy short-term memory as well. The be
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan of Tosca Lee's books. She writes amazing stories and I don't even have to know the synopsis of her new books because I'm sure I'm going to love it anyway. But when I read the synopsis for The Progeny, it just blown my mind. It sounded very different from her previous works, so I had very high expectations for this book.

The beginning was a bit slow, but once the story continued, it was absolutely fast! I think the way it started made perfect sense because it helped me to understand the
Katie Grace
I wanted to like this one. A lot. But... I don't know. Not my type of book. :/
I'm not usually into thrillers, but The Progeny by Tosca Lee was really good! Fast-paced, intriguing, and keeping your mind spinning! Besides one very gruesome story about a supposed serial killer queen of old (which I whited out), it wasn't too frightening/gory at all.

Unfortunately, I had some concerns. There was a bit of minor language. And the worst, three or four misuses of God's name. Though The Progeny had somewhat of a faith theme, I'm not sure it's actually a Christian fiction book. Also
Kelly Roberson
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe just how much I loved this book! Initially I was a little skeptical about it, but I loved how easily it sucked me in right from the first page. The writing was very easy to read, and overall addictive. I found it hard to put down and could have easily finished it in one sitting. I loved the main character, and I loved that we were reading from the perspective of someone who has no memory of her past. I think it made the story that much more thrilling, because right along with her ...more
Paula  Phillips
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book has been on my to-read list for a while now as it sounded very interesting. It grabbed me from the tagline of a serial killer descendant and the amnesia storyline. Emily Jacobs wakes up in a small hidden town of Maine with no recollection of her past or her life. All she has is a letter explaining to her that she paid for her memory to be wiped and it to look like she has been killed in an accident. That's all good and well, but she is about to discover that she is being hunted by a gr
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Wow. Wow.
This historical mystery kept me on edge till the very end! Such an intense and fast paced read. Very intriguing and complex concept! I love that Tosca Lee took this old historical myth and weaved this story from it. I haven't seen much done in the Croatia-Hungary-Russia setting either so that was a very refreshing and unique aspect this book had as well.

The characters were very enjoyable and very diverse. American, Croatian, Slovakian, Hungarian, French. The list goes on lol. I l
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

AHHHH! Fantastic! Such a wild ride! Fast paced, action packed, full of mystery, and suspense. I loved it!
OK Deep breath. Maybe write something slightly more collected.

I read The Progeny beginning to end in one sitting and finished at 1:22 A.M. It was amazing! I’m now in the process of rereading it. I fell in love with the characters immediately. The tension between them, the chemistry, all the rich subtext in their interactions with each other, and the layers upon layers of personal
Carole P. Roman
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emily Jacobs has had her memory and past erased. She's been isolated in a cabin in Maine with the intention of starting a new life. Soon, two separate strangers interrupt her secret world thrusting her into a worldwide chase to find out her roots and discover who is trying to kill her.
Tosca Lee writes an exciting book revolving around ancient murders linked to the Blood Countess, the Hungarian noblewoman who allegedly murdered 300 women.
History is woven with the science of today, DNA plays a rol
I enjoyed this duology the second time around as much as the first. I really needed just one more paragraph....just one.

- The series is fast paced with twists and turns you won’t see coming.
- The world is fascinating and unique.
- I definitely recommend starting with the first book and I recommend both.
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Outstanding plot twists, great suspense and surprises abound in this book!

This is a real page-turner, too!
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. At first I wasn't sure what I would think, but it is a great book! Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. What a fun book for me to read and it was captivating. I love it! *This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.*
Julie Graves
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
Audra Ellison, now Emily Porter, has had her mind wiped of all memories. She doesn't know why she voluntarily had her mind wiped, but she knows there was a reason. Moving on with her quiet life in Maine, Audra is adjusting to her new life. Meeting Luka at the local grocery store and then seeing a mysterious figure watching her has Audra becoming paranoid. Who can she trust? Has her past caught up to her?

My Thoughts:

There is so much in this book that is so hard to explain. The story centers arou
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this for free through NetGalley

Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

4.5 stars

The only bad thing about reading an arc is when it ends on a cliffhanger - why Tosca Lee, why?!

This was my first Lee book and I was enthralled from start to finish. The premise of this book sounded really interesting and I'm happy to say I thought it was executed perfectly. Love all the historical facts strewn throughout and felt like I learnt a little bit
Sep 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
DNF at 36%

I just didn't like this story. I thought that it would be akin to historical fiction or rooted in something along those lines but it was more on the magical realism side, based on a historic fact. I think that the protagonist got on my nerves and made the story so far fetched and unbelievable that it turned me off to the mystery. Who erases their mind, then believes some stalker and tries to find out why their mind was erased in the first place, when it will mean people will be hurt? M
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sovereign (The Books of Mortals, #3)
  • Mortal (The Books of Mortals, #2)
  • Forbidden (The Books of Mortals, #1)
  • The Girl Behind the Red Rope
  • The Returning (Seer, #3)
  • The London Restoration
  • Hacker (The Outlaw Chronicles, #3)
  • The Keeper: A Short Story Prequel to Forbidden
  • The Lightkeeper's Bride (Mercy Falls, #2)
  • The Lightkeeper's Ball (Mercy Falls, #3)
  • Seeing Jesus from the East: A Fresh Look at History’s Most Influential Figure
  • When The Gods Fell
  • The Mercy of the Tide
  • Rise of the Mystics (Beyond the Circle, #2)
  • Fire Storm (Kaely Quinn Profiler #2)
  • Nightingale House
  • A New Leash on Love (Rescue Me, #1)
  • Reservations
See similar books…
"Superior storytelling."
-Publishers Weekly

"One of the most gifted novelists writing today."
-Steven James, bestselling author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times, IndieBound, and Amazon bestselling author of eleven novels including THE LINE BETWEEN, A SINGLE LIGHT, THE PROGENY, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, ISCARIOT, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker. Her w

Other books in the series

Descendants of the House of Bathory (2 books)
  • Firstborn (Descendants of the House of Bathory #2)

Related Articles

Let’s face it, 2020 is making us long for other timelines. Luckily, these 32 novels are ready to sweep you away to vastly different eras and...
169 likes · 145 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »