Title: Nigsu Ga Tesgu
Author: Jeff Somers
Series: The Ustari Cycle #4.5
In: Urban Enemies (Joseph Nassise)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Horror, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 26th August 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gallery Books
5th sentence, 74th page: His spell, his curse, it should have consumed me long ago.
She is the most powerful of her kind. Her apprentice thinks that he’s finally found a way to usurp her. But there’s a reason that she’s survived for so long… a reason why she understands the words better than anyone else.
I absolutely adored the creepiness and spine-tingling evilness of this story. This might be in a collection of Urban Fantasy Villains stories, but there was something extra creepy about a girl chewing her own tongue to kill her father. A whole other level of darkness that hasn’t so far been portrayed in this collection – most villains use the sacrifice and blood of others. This woman starts off sacrificing parts of herself willingly.
I love that the woman in this is the most powerful in the world, but she is also incredibly feeble. This fantastic juxtaposition between physical and mental strength is incredibly fascinating and drives home the point that sometimes the most powerful aren’t the most physically able. The entire looks can be deceiving, and don’t judge a book by its cover ideal is heavy handedly highlighted in this story. But in a way that doesn’t feel clunky and irritating, just slightly humorous.
Nigsu ga Tesgu introduced me to a world that is entirely shades of grey. There is nothing black and white, good and evil in the world. There are just choices that aren’t good and aren’t necessarily evil. They’re just about survival and finding a way to move forwards further in your life. Normally the stories I read have a clear villain and hero (even if the hero is more than a little damaged), but this didn’t feel like that kind of story. I know that the woman was supposed to be the big Cahoona in the villains’ world, but it just felt like an old woman struggling to survive in a horrible world… in a incredibly horrible manner.