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The Deadbringer

(The Ellderet Series #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  37 reviews
FINALIST MEDAL IN FANTASY from Next Generation Indie Book Awards, 2017


The ashes of the Purging lie cold, and the next dance is about to begin in the Land of Moenda. Kira Vidal, a Deadbringer boy of fifteen, has escaped the fate of the rest of his kind, living peacefully with his uncle in the northern city
Paperback, 298 pages
Published May 2016 by Tomes & Coffee Press
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  52 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress)
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
4/5 Stars!!!

A dark fantasy novel that involves Kira who has a special ability that is not widely accepted. His uncle raised him since his mother passed when his life was just beginning. Kira is a Deadbringer. The Ascendancy is after him and will stop at nothing.

This took me a good bit to become fully immersed in the story and characters. Probably around page 150 is when the story really took off for me. Also I had some trouble with the names only because some were gender fluid s
Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt)
*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
"The people act according to their own selfish interests, using tragedy and pity and religion as weapons and shields."
This book mainly follows, Kira Vidal. He's one of the last Deadbringers in this world and one of the most kind-hearted characters I've ever met. He's extremely loyal and would do whatever's necessary to keep those he loves safe. I extremely enjoyed witnessing everything he did and thought. It hurt my heart to see him go thr
E. Mellyberry
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
The premise of this book is quite unique. Though I had a bit of a hard time in the beginning, I became engaged once we arrived at that bloody cemetery. I was intrigued, I wanted to know what Kira could do, and I wanted Kira to be safe.

At first, I need to reread sentences just to get what they meant because the banters were unusual. But then I remembered they were not supposed to talk like us, modern people.
If this is how the characters talk, then so be it. It actually suits them well. Once I g
Greg Del Mar
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Surprised by this first novel by E.M. Markoff. It's tough to do something original in fantasy, so my hat's off to the author. 15 year-old Kira is a Deadbringer, or so he is told by his uncle Eutau, who has raised him after the death of his parents. Deadbringers blur the lines between death and life, and can animate corpses, among other things. This makes Kira an outlaw, as his talent is punishable by death. The ruling power in the land, the Ascendancy, is hunting them down. Kira and his uncle li ...more
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Deadbringer by E.M. Markoff Book Review:

It's not often that a reader gets the chance to meet with the author of a book they just purchased, but that's where I found myself when I made
my recent trip to San Francisco Comic Con and met author E.M. Markoff. While speaking, she told me of her book, The Deadbringer, and getting to
see the passion in which she spoke of it really got me interested in reading this story, and I have to say that after reading this book, I can
understand why she felt so s
Ashley Nestler
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The concept of The Deadbringer is fantastic. I have never read a book even remotely like it, and I couldn't put it down. I ate up the cryptic ideals and story line, and fell into E. M. Markoff's world easily.

Markoff has the unique old world writing style that links folklore with modern ideals, and her work read to me like that of the darker authors such as Edgar Allan Poe. She effortlessly wound youth and death together, while casting a darker shadow on life and on the world as it is and has bee
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. A very different story, well-developed characters and a fantastic world building. Loved the characters and the dialogues. Something about the character's interactions that gives the story a very special touch.

The Author does a pretty good job at showing us this world and these characters that after the first few pages I was totally invested in the story and the journey Kira and all the other characters go through. There are very specific scenes that took my breath away and I just wa
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There is a purging of the deadbringers in the land of Moenda. However one has been missed. Fifteen year old Kira Vidal lives in the city of Opulancae working as a mortician and headstone carver for his uncle's funeral parlor. He is also helping Bastion agents track down a killer until an elite warrior attacks Kira. Kira must use his special abilities to keep from being killed. The Sanctifiers have now become awarded of Kira and are after him.. He goes on the run with his Uncle Eutau. On the run, ...more
Jay Williams
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a great introduction to the Ellderet Series. It creates a new world with a number of strange humanoid species. The action in the story starts in the very beginning and carries through to an ending in a blaze of battle. Strange features of the land play a role in the tale, which includes a hair-raising trip along a haunted road to cemetery hill, and a chase over a knife ridge and through an evil forest of giant pine trees. The only negative I found was the sudden change in action at ...more
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A mix of dark supernatural and political resentment. I enjoyed the story but found some of the "twists" to be over manufactured and didn't feel natural. I don't feel as connected to Kira as I feel like I "should", especially since everyone seems to love him to the point of dying for him. But the Deadbringer lore and the world at large, with such a mix of races and politics was good and I look forward to reading more.

It reminded me of the Grisha series by Bardugo.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Markoff has beautifully crafted a compelling narrative that kept me turning pages. The development of the backstories is well-timed and seamlessly woven into the forward-moving progress of the narrative. This fantastical universe is an intriguing one that consistently caught me off-guard (in the good way) and I anxiously await the second installment.
Darya Gurevich
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is a journey of a young man in a hostile world.
He needs to find himself, learn the truth and overcome many obstacles.
Readers presented with new universe, new peoples and creatures, different system of values.
It stimulates imagination, tickles your senses and makes you want to learn what is going to happen next? It is a first book in a series after all...
Arnie Cantarero
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
E.M has created an universe that is unique from anything I've read before. Not middle earth or fairy folk, but a brand new mythology that keeps you wanting more.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Kira Vidal is a Deadbringer, one of the last of his kind. As such he has been gifted with certain necronomic abilities like unwillingly making objects rot or decay, raising and speaking to the dead. The Deadbringers in this world have all been eradicated due to these abilities by the so called Sanctifiers and it is prudent for Kira to mask his true form. Therefore he works as a mortician, the perfect occupation for someone with his skills, in the city of Opulancae with his uncle Eutau. Eutau is ...more
Laura Henderson
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
The synopsis

This novel follows 15 year old Kira Vidal, one of the last deadbringers. A deadbringer basically being a re-animator and having the ability to summon souls. Deadbringers are supposed to have been wiped out, making Kira the sole survivor. Kira has lived peacefully and in secrecy with his uncle, until one day a strange man shows up asking for his help. Kira reluctantly agrees, only to keep his uncle safe. Will Kira learn who and what he really is? Will he finally test the limit of his
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, wow. I wasn't sure what I was getting when I requested this book. But before I was too far into it, I was hooked. It took me longer than usual to read this as I was very busy with work (I don't get to stay up as late reading as I used to), but it was hard to put down. E.M. Markoff has created a fantastic, full world. The different cultures, races, religions... It felt very complete. Often times in fantas
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very impressive debut novel by E.M. Markoff! I loved immersing myself in the world of Moenda and all that live there-I wish that Katarus were real because they are so badass! Loved the characters’ dynamics and how the story intertwines them together.

If you love diving into an intricate fantasy world, complete with heart racing plots and dynamic characters (with the perfect amount of gore: not over the top, but definitely gives you the chills), this is a must read! Definitely a series I'll keep
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels-at-night
It was a slow start for me but glad I read it. Good characters, good plot, good writing style. I recommend it!
I tend to be a distracted reader going from book to book and rarely finish one quickly. I couldn’t put this book down.

The interpersonal conflicts of the characters within this story are amazingly well done, and they are the driving force that causes the reader to turn the page! As you turn the page you also amazing world building, epic conflict brewing, dark shadows lengthening, and a story that you race to the finish to consume which leaves you eager for the next book!

Highly recommend! Give t
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Deadbringer is the first in a new series of dark fantasy novels by debut author E.M. Markoff. Markoff has created an intricate world where multiple humanoid species uneasily co-exist. The story focuses on Kira, a teenaged boy who is the last of his kind. Kira is a Deadbringer, his touch inevitably brings on rot and decay, and he can re-animate corpses. He is an orphan who is being raised by his uncle in a life of quiet seclusion, pretending to be just a regular boy, until events occur which ...more
Shay Williams
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Let me start off this review by saying how much I loved this book. I have always had a fondness for dark fantasy especially when it brings a unique texture to the genre. This book does that with a new world and new races.

The story is told from several points of view which adds to the richness of the tale. My favorite character has to be young Kira Vidal who while he has some truly frightening abilities also has a heart of gold. In fact, it's his goodness that brings him to the attention of the w
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book drops you into its world with little explanation...or worse, sometimes REALLY CLUNKY EXPLANATIONS. Dumping all exposition in the first chapter by way of stilted conversation by two characters is just not good writing; Kira and Spunky Old Lady talk about things they're already well aware of, solely for the purpose of the audience. This information could have been much smoother...we could have been EASED into the world, rather than tossed overboard into it without a life jacket.

Don't get
Fantasy Literature
3 stars from Jason, read the full review at FANTASY LITERATURE

Disclaimer: just so you know, some of the books we review are received free from publishers

Kira Vidal is a Deadbringer. His touch brings rot, death and destruction to anything that comes into direct contact with his skin — human flesh disintegrates, metal turns to rust. Kira can also ‘summon’ death and put flesh and life back to that which is no more.

Kira’s an orphan. As is often the case in this fantasy trope, the lone wanderer seeks
Ken Hueler
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
EM Markoff’s dark fantasy The Deadbringer is a journey novel, but the twists are such that you can’t be certain the destination won’t change. Almost nothing goes to plan for the heroes or the villains, and the route deviations allow the reader to tour a well-thought out world. The slow, pre-Industrial rate of travel allows time to absorb each area, and details often blossom into later plot points.
A number of races, some with unusual abilities and bodies, populate this world. And while the cast i
Jessica Mcbee
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this fantasy novel. The premise was original and engaging and you really feel for the characters along their journey. Even when unsure if a character was good or bad, I felt empathy for their plight and wanted them to make it out of the situation. This book leaves you with many questions and I will definitely read the next in the series. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.
Robert Lee
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
One of my annoying traits is always having difficulty in starting a book set in a world that is unique and original. This happens more with fantasy book than science fiction. Back in my younger days, it was easy enough reading books set in Tolkien clones like Forgotten Realms or Shannara. Once I was familiar with a new world like Valdemar, for example, I would easily transition from one book to the next in the series. So for me it takes a while, sometimes with false starts but when I do manage t ...more
Susan Angela Wallace
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Deadbringer By E M Markoff is a sci-fi and fantasy read.
In the aftermath of the Purging, the Deadbringers are no more. The Ascendancy has positioned itself as the land’s dominant power by exploiting the people’s fear of the Deadbringers’ innate abilities to summon souls and reanimate the dead. Yet its hold is not complete, for in the North the Bastion stands in the way of the Ascendancy and its iron-willed elite soldiers, the Sanctifiers.
But, somehow, a single Deadbringer has managed to sur
Dani - Perspective of a Writer
Thanks to NetGalley and Tomes & Coffee Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Kira is a deadbringer, someone whose touch kills and rots and who can call the dead back to their bodies. The last of his kind, hidden by his uncle after the purging, who have been hunted to extinction. After a slip up costs him his safe life as a mortician he goes on the run from sanctifiers and learns the truth about his past...

This is a hard slog when you first crack it open. The la
John Meme
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
DNF at 46%

It's been a long time since I started this book, mostly because I've kept wanting to give it another shot, but for now I'm going to resign myself to not being able to finish it.

There are so many things I enjoyed immensely here, mostly in the potential of the world, the potential character dynamics, and the powers that the Deadbringers possess. But so much of that potential went untapped, or was tempered by a lack of focus or unrealistic dialogue. Two characters discussing events that t
Jason Golomb
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
Original posted at

Kira Vidal is a Deadbringer. His touch brings rot, death and destruction to anything that comes into direct contact with his skin — human flesh disintegrates, metal turns to rust. Kira can also ‘summon’ death and put flesh and life back to that which is no more.

Kira’s an orphan. As is often the case in this fantasy trope, the lone wanderer seeks his past, family and the truth of his power, and has grown in a world with ‘parental ambiguity’. In Kira’s case
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Goodreads Librari...: Update Book Cover (same ISBN/ASIN) 4 30 Apr 05, 2018 10:15AM  

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E.M. Markoff is the award-winning Latinx author of The Deadbringer and To Nurture & Kill. Growing up, she spent many days exploring her hometown cemetery, where her love of all things dark began. Upon coming of age, she decided to pursue a career as a microbiologist, where she spent a few years channeling her inner mad scientist. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and Broad Univ ...more
“Gossip is the swiftest bird alive," Amonos said darkly.
"Yes," said E'sinea, turning to view his surroundings. "I should like one day to catch Gossip and wring its neck.”
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