When reality becomes a nightmare, only dreams can save the world.
Deborah, daughter of the fabled Green Woman, has disappeared, and Hera, another grey-robed schoolgirl, has become the hostage in her place. Hera fears she will be left to languish, unnoticed and forgotten, in her prison cell. But the honesty in her eyes touches a young Black Boy, her prison guard—Amon.
Amon is destined for a military career, but convinced of the innocence of his prisoner, he begins to question the laws and values of his city. In befriending Hera, he risks his life by standing between her and the most powerful man in Providence—the Protector.
The Protector’s new hostage will serve her purpose. After all, one veiled girl looks much like another. But if Deborah has joined her mother and her host of myths and stories, the sham will be revealed. To hang onto power the Protector determines to destroy the Green Woman’s allies within Providence by lighting the sacrificial fires of Moloch. When the flames have burned out none will be left, not even the child at its mother’s breast.
As the flames of evil leap and dance in Providence, Hera and Amon resolve to defy the Protector, with courage as their only weapon.
My Review: This second book in The Green Woman Trilogy is a masterfully written, intense, amazing novel that had me on the edge of my seat. The elements of danger that were introduced in The Dark Citadel are amplified in this book, and as the villains take their evil to a new level, I found myself breathless as I turned each page. The antagonists in this story not only have their own foul reasons for doing what they do, they are also being manipulated by wicked forces beyond the city.
As Rachel’s memories pour forth, Deborah is coming closer to being reunited with her mother. Raphael is ready to step into his role as a leader of the forces against evil. Hera calls upon her inner courage to withstand the Lord Protector’s diabolical plan. The Lord Protector and the Elders set out to exterminate those who might rise against him. The city is on the verge of destruction and chaos, and only decency and bravery can overcome the evil in Providence.
The Subtle Fiend explores the complexities of human nature. How much can a person endure before they are pushed to the breaking point? How much evil can a person ignore before they’re forced to stand up for what is right? How do good people stand by and do nothing when innocent lives are being threatened? How do the seeds of rebellion grow? Can good really overcome evil? As always, Jane Dougherty takes the reader on an incredible ride as she weaves this intricate epic fantasy. I was captivated throughout this entire book. If the first two novels (and prequel) are any indication, I know I’m going to love the final novel in the series. I can’t wait to read it.
In the Beginning (Prequel)
The Dark Citadel (Book One)