Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages/Word Count: 204 Pages
At a Glance: If this introductory novel is anything to go by, the Ennek trilogy is ramping up to be an exciting and romantic series.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Praesidium is the most prosperous city-state in the world, due not only to its location at the mouth of a great bay but also to its strict laws, stringently enforced. Ordinary criminals become bond-slaves, but the worst punishment—to be suspended in a dreamless frozen state known as Stasis—is doled out by the wizard and reserved for only the most serious of traitors.
Ennek is the youngest son of Praesidium’s strict Chief. Though now a successful portmaster, Ennek grew up without much of a purpose, unable to fulfill his true desires and always skating on the edge of the law. But he is also haunted by the plight of one man, Miner, a prisoner for whom Stasis appears to be a truly horrible fate. If Ennek is to save Miner, he must explore Praesidium’s deepest secrets as well as his own.
Second Edition: First Edition published by CreateSpace, 2009.
Review: Author Kim Fielding aims straight for the heartstrings in Stasis, book one in the Ennek Trilogy, and she scores a direct hit. The series’ namesake, Ennek, is the spare son of the ruling Chief of Praesidium, a polis in an alternate universe to which the author’s given both an archaic and modern feel. Ennek is largely dismissed as a man of any sort of worth in spite of the fact that he’s more than just a pretty face. And he also has a secret. A secret that he must hide at all costs, because this particular secret could cost him his freedom. If not his life.
Justice is meted out in varying levels of horrid in this -verse: indentured servitude being one of the kinder punishments—if one punishment can be considered kind in relationship to another—the other being Stasis, a state of suspension that is akin to a living death. Prisoners are kept in a place called Under, the Tartarus of this world, where they exist in a state deeper than coma; alive yet not breathing, living yet not aware, surviving yet not thriving. And it’s here that Ennek first encounters a prisoner who begins to haunt his dreams, a man who is in a limbo of sorts between Stasis and Sentience. And has been for three hundred years.
Miner is that criminal, thought that’s rather an ungenerous term for a man who committed a crime of passion for an unjust punishment carried out against the man he loved, and he unwittingly becomes a bargaining chip and a tool of leverage between Ennek and Thelius, Praesidium’s wizard, a man whose absolute power has corrupted him absolutely.
Ennek and Miner’s circumstantial relationship begins with Ennek’s curious obsession with the prisoner whose unseeing gaze haunts Ennek’s conscience and sub-conscience, especially as this Chief’s son experiences an awakening and an awareness of the world around him, and sees that slavery is the means by which his family has maintained its privilege. It was easy to feel a great sense of compassion toward both of these characters, Miner in particular, as he not only wakes up to a world that has gone through major changes in three centuries but he also wakes up grieving for the life he’s lost. He’s also coming to terms with his rather unsettling position as the pawn in Ennek and Thelius’s bargain, but Ennek’s gentle kindness begins the sweet evolution of deeper feelings. And forbidden emotions also give rise to no small amount of fear.
I am nothing less than hooked on the danger Kim Fielding delivers to keep the pace of this story in direct competition with the slow and sweet untangling of Ennek’s and Miner’s feelings for each other. The world she’s building around them is harsh and unforgiving but is tempered by the love that’s growing between them. Fair warning, this being a trilogy, the story arc is intended to carry out over the three books in the series, so Stasis ends in a cliffhanger, one that has me anxious for the next book’s release.
If this introductory novel is anything to go by, the Ennek trilogy is ramping up to be an exciting and romantic series.
You can buy Stasis here: