Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A Rocking Review of The Subtle Fiend by Jane Dougherty


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.

Firstly, let me say I did not intend to review this book, at least not right away.  Somehow, immediately after finishing the last book, I found myself on Amazon clicking the "Buy Now" button.  I simply had to have it.  I had to know what came next in this amazing series.  But honestly, part of me was thinking this one couldn't be as good as the first, especially considering I knew already that this book left the main character of the first novel behind for a little while to focus on telling a different aspect of the story.  I was so wrong.

The second book in The Green Woman series does not disappoint at all.  In fact, it is even better than the first.  Seriously.  

You want characters you can root for?  Characters you will love for their humanity and admire for their growth?  Got it.  I loved so many of the characters in this book (of which there are quite a few, but somehow Jane keeps all those balls in the air without confusing the reader or losing the strength of the connection with each character).  Every time the perspective switched to a different group, I experienced that little disappointment of leaving the last character behind, but then immediately found myself caught up in what was going on in the new scene.  My level of engagement with the characters and the plot was very high.  I did not want to set the book down at all!

Speaking of plot, wow, there is a lot going on in this book.  When Jane heard that I was reading the second book, she emailed me something to the effect of "You really don't need to read that one.  It's just what's going on in Providence in the meantime."  To which I say, Jane, you are indeed crazy.  If I had missed this one, I would have missed sooooo much.  "Just what's going on in Providence" is epic, moving, heart-breaking, and absolutely not to be missed.

Emotion:  This book reached up and slapped me in the face.  Literally.  I have bruises to prove it.

I could ramble on all day about how amazing this book is, but I am afraid to say too much.  Here is the bottom line:  Put this series on your to-read list.  If I recommend one series to people right now, it's this one.  It's one of the best things I've read in a long time.  I now have the third book, Beyond the Realm of Night, in my possession, and it is all I can do to make myself not read it so I can make some progress on the waiting list of review books instead.  (Sorry all you waiting authors out there, but blame Jane, not me.  It's completely her fault.)

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1 comment:

  1. I'll try again to say thank you for this tremendous review. It is such a wonderful feeling when somebody, in particular a reader as talented as Kate Wrath, shares the same vision of the book. I shall be chewing my finger ends to pieces now waiting to find out what she thinks of the final volume.