Third Born

(the Third Born of Évora, Book One)

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
29 Pages
Reviewed on 05/08/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Third Born: Third Born of Évora, Book One is a young adult fantasy novella written by Julie Hodgson. Beatriz Almada was a third born. It was the least palatable position for a girl to be born into in the township of Evora. The fortunate first born would marry well, bear children, and live a happy and contented life. The second was dedicated to a life in the Convent of the Church of the Great Aether Circle. The third was destined to visit The Doll Maker, who was, in so many ways, used as a bogeyman to encourage small children to behave. Beatriz thought it particularly unfair that she should even be considered a third born -- she and her sister, Willa, were twins after all. But her mother was adamant about the fact that Beatriz had been born thirty seconds after Willa, and so to The Doll Maker she would go. Her Aunt Oona comforted her as Beatriz washed and prepared to make that momentous journey to the white house where The Doll Maker lived. Aunt Oona had been there; she knew what happened when the door to that house closed and what the future now held for her niece.

Julie Hodgson’s young adult fantasy novella, Third Born, is a chilling tale about a matriarchal society gone terribly awry. Hodgson’s Doll Maker and the terrible fate waiting for third-born girls when they come of age make for dark and terrifying reading, and one can’t help but hope that somehow Beatriz will be able to escape her destiny. The author deftly builds her fantasy world and peoples it with credible characters one quickly comes to care about. Her plot is action-packed and thrilling, and her writing style works perfectly to keep the reader engaged. I was most moved considering how ethically wrong and corrupt those in charge of Evora had become. The story gives you a lot to think about. Third Born is most highly recommended.

Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer)

Third Born (the Third Born of Évora, Book One) by Julie Hodgson explores a world where your fate is decided from the moment you’re born. The first born was to marry rich, the second born would join the Church of the Great Aether Circle, and the third would visit The Doll Maker. Beatriz, a third born, didn’t think it was fair that she should be turned into a doll, but went to The Doll Maker’s house nonetheless. However, when she gets there, a voice inside her screams at her to run, and so she escapes, taking refuge inside the Convent. However, the Convent is not okay with her breaking the rules and seeks to punish her by turning her twin sister into a doll. Beatriz soon learns that her actions have inspired a rebellion amongst other third borns, but will they be able to change the way that people live in their town, or will the world they know be destroyed?

I enjoyed reading Third Born by Julie Hodgson. The story is fast paced, and is filled with action. The book is incredibly gripping. I was hooked by the first page, and I never wanted to put the book down. It contains shocking twists that are sure to make the reader want to keep reading. It is perfect for fans of dystopian and fantasy tales. Even reluctant readers will enjoy reading this book. The story introduces the reader to unique and memorable characters who are brave and rebellious. The characters are also very inspiring because they want to make their town a better place for third borns. The plot is well developed and makes sense, and does not feel rushed, even though the book is short. The story is very exciting and intriguing. I loved the ending, and thought it was perfect. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.

Stephen Fisher

Third Born by Julie Hodgson is the first book in the Third Born of Évora series. The story begins with the introduction of Beatriz Almada when she is summoned by her strict mother for her destined trip to the Doll Maker. Beatriz is just 30 seconds younger than her twin sister, Willa, who has already been sent to do her duty as a second born to the convent. Her eldest sister was married into a well to do family. While being escorted by one of the GNR guards, being of an independent, and defiant nature, strong-willed Beatriz seizes a familiar looking key from the guard's key chain, while trying to escape from his grasp. Missing her twin, she decides to enter the convent and chaos ensues.

Ms. Hodgson does an outstanding job of telling this intense tale with her style of creating vivid images in the reader's mind. Ever evident in the story is the 500-year-old history and tradition of how the city of Évora has created their very unique social structure, with all inhabitants being given their predetermined purpose at birth. This tale is fast paced, with lots of surprises. The characters are very real in their beliefs that Évora's traditions remain intact. That is until Beatriz challenges tradition, and havoc erupts. Although Third Born is described as a fantasy adventure, it has elements of other genres that the reader will appreciate as well. This is a suspenseful thriller with many surprises that keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to the end. I can't wait for book 2. Well done!