Eppis Banto…is Middle Aged.

The central cast of Femitokon are six forty-something’s, all destined to positions of rule, and their lives are complicated enough without the intrigue of impending ascension.

Sofita Kul is a doctorate scholar living life as a soldier when she finds her perceptions of self-exile altered by the cellular armor she carries. She’s forced to contend with the bad decisions she’s made, and decides to put herself back on the path set forth by her dead twin sister, to take their mother out of the ruling chair.

Velto Wram’s given up everything for her monogamist wife, Ilo. After she’s killed, Velto returns to politics and to balancing her new found freedom with her determination to follow Sofita to the end–even if it puts she and Ilo’s daughters at risk. Fyla Uym can’t escape her childhood sexual abuse enough to make any good decision in the series. She instigates an affair with an officer that’s far too good for her, and manages derail the relationship, proving she’s broken beyond repair.

Laxum Jyr’s an emotionally immature Ambassador that’s forced to alter her irresponsible life when her mother decides to terminate before her time. Laxum is thrust into dealing one on one with her other mother, a current member of the Ruling-Gen, the mother she always blamed for all the things wrong in her life. Pitana Dag meanwhile, learns her mother’s a cruel sort that cares only for herself and no one else; she’s done many underhanded things, the worst being that she orchestrated Pitana’s break up with the love of her life, the mother of a daughter that she’s never known.

The remaining member of the group is Eppis Banto. She’s stuck playing the role of sycophant to her powerful mother, a member of the current Ruling Gen. She’s spent her life convincing her mother that she’s no desire to rule.

At age 43, epibarEppis runs one of the most populated cities in Ramaxia. She’s the only character that appears together enough to handle ascension, but looks are deceiving as we discover in the second novel Holodomor. Eppis is a politician with two daughters ready to live on their own, and a marriage to three others that’s complicated because she’s a closet monogamist fixated on only one of her wives–the nestor (genetic parent) of her daughters.

Making matters worse for Eppis is the unresolved guilt she has over her own mother’s suicide, that took place when she was a teen. Her mother’s despair, brought on by the callous infidelities of her other mothers, leads Eppis to believe that she abandoned her mother–if she’d been there, instead of living away at school, her mother might’ve been strong enough to go on.

In Holodomor we find that Eppis is secretly seeing a doctor for arousal issues. She’s convinced herself that she’s a ‘husk’, a physical condition wherein her genitals cannot juice up, and so she doesn’t engage in sexual behavior, and hasn’t touched any of her wives in over eight years. Eppis is so guarded about her problem she tells no one, not even her nestor, the wife Eppis loves more than anything in the world. Their lack of intimacy has led her nestor to believe she’s seeing someone else, and their relationship becomes so fractured that Eppis moves out of the estate they share. Further complicating matters in Eppis’ life is her strained relationship with her eldest daughter, a young citizen with a career in politics that’s been hindered by Eppis’ unwillingness to promote her, for fear others might think she’s favoring her daughter because they’re related.

While the drama of Holodomor is centralized on Velto Wram, her own issues with her mother, her history with Ilo Cux, and their extraction from the Slavic Empire by Sofita Kul, the subplot slices of Eppis Banto’s life keep the narrative rolling. Eppis and Velto’s destinies are woven together in the series grand narrative–they’re old rivals, tenuous friends, but like it or not–they’re connected by more than just their genetic right to rule Ramaxia.

Eppis’ feels her life is half-over, and all she has to show for it is a failing marriage, an estranged relationship with her daughters, and she’s trapped under the thumb of her mother, a powerful citizen convinced that Eppis wouldn’t dare usurp her rule. When Sofita comes back to her with plans anew to ascend, Eppis must rethink the solutions to her current problems–of course this just leads to more problems.

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