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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.