A prequel novella set in the world of The Ellderet Series
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.
"Markoff's novella, which takes place 15 years prior to the events of her previous book, is a laudable series forerunner, but also works well as a stand-alone work. It's impressive how much information is packed into the short tale, including background on the Purging . . . . Nevertheless, the uncle-nephew bond is the story's strongest quality; ever protective Eutau is perfectly suited to the father figure role, even if he occasionally regrets his pledge to his sister. Kira, meanwhile, tackles mundane obstacles (such as when his peers call his skin ugly) as well as supernatural ones, all in endearing, phonetic speech: "I pwomise, I'll be good," he assures Eutau.
An expansive, edgy genre piece whose earnest familial theme shines." - Kirkus Reviews
"Markoff has what feel like an effortless ability to help you immerse yourself in her words, and nothing else ... I also can't praise Markoff enough for the subtle diversity she incorporated into it." - The Bookish Crypt
"Learning about [Eutau's] past life and decisions really helped me to understand the strong bond he and Kira have in The Deadbringer." -FryisaMan (source: amazon)
"The diversity of the characters is wonderful, with each one seeming to mark Eutau, changing him, without him even realizing it. Markoff's writing style is so engrossing, I found myself ridiculously delighted watching Eutau and Kira's bond grow (little Kira is too cute btw)." -Steph (source: amazon)
"This novella is impressive and dark, with a well-developed, complex protagonist. Eutau makes mistakes and is not by any means a perfect hero, but his flaws make him all the more realistic and in many ways sympathetic as he tries to keep his baby nephew safe." -Jianing Liu (source: amazon)
"I’ve always enjoyed reading novellas about a character’s past ... I loved reading about Eutau and how he came to be the guardian of Kira! Reading of how Kira struggled for being different really brought me to tears, it just broke me. But at the same time, I loved that Markoff wrote about it because it teaches us that being different is okay and that we are loved by many just the way we are!" -Sandra The Bookworm
"I . . . loved how through the pages, the words, we get to see in depth this strong, beautiful and loving relationship between Eutau and Kira. How sincere, honest, real and transparent it is." -Reading, Writing, Living
"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." -Alyttérature