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The Deadbringer by E.M. Markoff

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://www.ellderet.com/
SERIES: The Ellderet Series
PUBLISHED: May 27, 2016 (Self-published)
PAGES: 315
GENRE: Dark Fantasy

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Blurb

IN THE WORLD OF THE ELLDERET, NO ONE IS INNOCENT AND NO ONE IS SAFE.

The ashes of the Purging lie cold, and the next dance is about to begin in the Land of Moenda. Kira Vidal, a young Deadbringer, has escaped the fate of the rest of his kind, living peacefully with his uncle in the northern city of Opulancae. But then a strange man knocks on their door and a band of the Ascendancy’s fearsome Sanctifiers appears, hunting for Kira, and nothing will ever be the same.

The Deadbringer, the first book in The Ellderet Series, is a story of damaged heroes and imperfect villains, of a land scarred by ancient wounds that never truly healed. As Kira and the Sanctifiers approach their final confrontation, hunter and hunted alike must confront dark forces that threaten to overwhelm them all . . .


Review

ALSO REVIEWED AT: Goodreads

The Ascendancy and its Sanctifiers are on the hunt for remaining Deadbringers throughout the land, and young Kira finds himself on the run in pursuit of survival. Traversing cursed forests, hungry bogs, and countrysides filled with citizens that loathe and fear the very thought of what he is, Kira must hide in plain sight in order save not only himself, but those he holds dear, as well.

The Deadbringer is a dark and intriguing tale of finding one’s true self and bearing with the consequences of lies told. We’re dropped into a rich world with various races and mysterious, dangerous landscapes that house tons of facets waiting in the shadows, just plotting to reveal themselves and shatter what you believe to be the truth. A stunning blend of fantasy and horror, with beautiful, elegant prose, and blood and gore aplenty, this story is an incredible foundation for a potentially outstanding series.

As this is an account of the hunt, we’re introduced to several point of view characters that lie on each end of the spectrum. We witness events through the eyes of the hunters and the prey, and at a point the lines between the two begin to blur. This alternating storytelling allows Markoff to refine the world around us without copious amounts of info dumping, something that I always appreciate. However, many major events suffered from a jarring time-jump mechanism, where readers are forced to observe the aftermath, rather than event itself, causing the flow to become unfocused and confusing at times. Also, a substantial amount of moving pieces and a bit of meandering led to just a few missed opportunities that I felt could’ve been beneficial to the story.

The conclusion of this book is its ultimate shining moment that left me at a point where I not only wanted more, but NEEDED more, and I cannot wait to continue my journey through Ellderet with The Faceless God.

Justine Bergman

Web developer by trade, ravenous reader, excited reviewer, dark fantasy enthusiast, mother of pups, drinker of strong coffee, and player of games. I'm also a contributor over at Fantasy Book Critic and The Fantasy Hive, and I love sharing the love.

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