Sometimes things don't work out the way you think they will......
Before Tiadone's birth the R'tan were conquered by the Madronians and their religion has been oppressed since before she was born. Worship of the Creator Spirit and reading of the Oracles is a punishable offense by either whippings or death. The other thing that has changed is daughters who are the firstborn must be declared male or discarded.
Tiadone's father declared her male after his wife died in childbirth. She is the first declared male among her people and her father hopes that others will declare their first daughters male if she succeeds. Being a declared male Tiadone must live the life of a man and at 16 she finds herself struggling to not have feelings for her best friend whom all but shuns her when the egg that each male and female are given at birth turns out to be a singer when all the other Rapion's are silent. This is where the story reminds me of the Taltos series by Steven Brust. As he has a pet dragon which communicates in the same way as Tiadone's Rapion does, by mind. They are bonded together as the Rapion’s are to protect the males while they defend what is called the Perimeter.
Firstborn is a story of not only female repression but also of life worth. As they believe that the firstborn daughters are worthless Tiadone hopes to prove them wrong. But will she succeed in defending the Perimeter for 1 year or will she fail?
This book is unlike any other book that I have read. With similarities to both the Vlad Taltos series and Mulan it is one nail biting adventure. It really makes you think that if you were in this situation what would you do? Could you live your life as a lie not being who you are? Or would you run away? I don't think I could live my life as a male, but Tiadone knows of nothing else.
I found myself feeling for Tiadone's situation as she is faced with the truth of her womanhood. She has to question her beliefs and make a choice that will forever change not only her life path but all the lives of all Firstborn Daughters. I really hope that the author decides to come back to Tiadone's world and live as I would love to read more about this world. I want to know more about if her decision changed their way of thinking.
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.