– novel kindly sent by the author –
Original title : To Nurture & Kill
Author : E.M. Markoff
First published in : 2017
Genre : dark fantasy novella
Edition : Tomes & Coffee Press
Pages : 185
Status : read from 10/27/17 to 10/29/17
Note : 4/5
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Synopsis : A promise imprisoned him. Betrayal will set him free.
Eutau Vidal owed nothing to anyone and lived his life as he wanted. But then his sister died, leaving her newborn son Kira in his care, and everything changed. The Purging sweeps on, spreading misery across the Land of Moenda as the Ascendancy wages its war of extermination against the Deadbringers. Now, torn between a promise to his dying sister and the desire to regain his freedom, Eutau struggles to care for his young nephew even as the babe begins to manifest dark powers of the most dangerous kind.
To Nurture & Kill is a tale of love and loss, the story of one man’s search for meaning amid the ashes of war. It is a standalone prequel to The Deadbringer, the first book in The Ellderet Series.
Review : First of all, I would like to thank E.M. Markoff who sent me a copy of her novella in exchange of an honest review. It was a great pleasure to discover your writing and world!
To Nurture & Kill is a prequel for the Ellderet series but can be read as a standalone. I was a little bit afraid to be lost as I knew the first book of the series was already published but I hadn’t read it. I was wrong as this story is set fifteen years before the Ellderet series, so the characters and the setting are introduced to us as if we didn’t know anything about the whole story. I had the pleasure to meet Eutau, Kira and J’Kara, three strong and unique characters who are linked by a promise and a betrayal.
I really liked the plot and how the story is built. We discover a world with communities and minorities and, obviously, tensions between them. Some scenes show how people can be inhuman when it is about their own safety and interest, but this novella also points the fact that love is always stronger than hate, power and revenge and that forgiveness can be given to people we really cherish. I want to emphasize the fact that the world in which the characters evolve has been completely created by the author and we truly feel during the whole book that it has been a great work of research, creation and imagination to have this result. Places, characters and names show us how E.M. Markoff’s work is complete and unique. Moreover, the author’s writing is fluid and really pleasant to read. Thanks to details and the writing construction, I totally plunged into the story. It really deserves to be read and acclaimed by readers and reviewers.
The novella, as the genre suggests it, is pretty short so we could imagine that this is not long enough to spread a strong message, but this is not true. I have been deeply moved by the sincerity of Kira’s emotions and love towards Eutau. Even if Kira has powers other characters don’t believe in or we, as readers, don’t know a lot about, we can relate to him and be attached to him. I really hoped he would be fine until the last page of the novella and couldn’t help but think about him during each chapter, even when he was not mentioned. I also liked the other characters but Kira is my favorite one, without any doubt. I really hope I will find him back in the Ellderet series (yes, I plan to read the whole series because I sincerely appreciate the universe in which E.M. Markoff took me!) and discover the man he becomes!
Once again, thank you Eileen for giving me the opportunity to discover your novella. That was a great read and I won’t resist long before going to the Ellderet series!