Title: Stasis (Ennek Trilogy #1)
Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: DSP Publications, 2nd Edition
Release Date: May 17th 2016
Page Count: 204 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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.
First Edition published by CreateSpace, 2009.
I was impressed with the world-building in this book; I thought it was quite original and very imaginative. It’s a fantasy world, but similar to ours in some ways (before technology), so I could imagine it quite clearly.
While a little slow to build, once it gets going I found I could not put it down. I felt for both Ennek and Miner, and though the story is told through Ennek’s POV only, the reader gets a rough idea of the anguish Miner is and was in.
Frankly, Stasis, the punishment meted out for offenses, particularly treason, against the establishment, is horrifying, and the way Fielding doesn’t downplay or amplify Stasis, but rather explains it as part of the status quo that makes it all the more nightmarish.
The magical aspect to the story, with one the four elements being a cornerstone to a wizard’s power was interesting and well played. The “evil” wizard here is a deliciously horrible bad guy.
Luckily, even though the book ends with a cliffhanger, it’s not the kind that leaves you angry, and the other books have already been released.
This is a low steam book. There is not a lot of passionate interaction between Ennek and Miner, because Miner is a slave. Though it’s not expressly or explicitly said or thought, it’s understood by the reader that Ennek wouldn’t do that to Miner when, as a slave, he can’t really consent. So there’s low steam, with merely hints at more, and I personally felt like that was appropriate to the situation.