Read The Dark Citadel by Jane Dougherty Online


Evil is slouching into Providence, crawling into the rotting core of the Elders’ regime, and only a pariah girl seems to care. Even in Providence, city of eternal night, there are rebels. Deborah refuses an arranged marriage and runs. But more is at stake than her unhappy future. Her destiny is to become the catalyst that brings down the whole corrupt edifice and its creatEvil is slouching into Providence, crawling into the rotting core of the Elders’ regime, and only a pariah girl seems to care. Even in Providence, city of eternal night, there are rebels. Deborah refuses an arranged marriage and runs. But more is at stake than her unhappy future. Her destiny is to become the catalyst that brings down the whole corrupt edifice and its creator—Abaddon, dark angel of the bottomless pit. Deborah runs to find her mother, the legendary Green Woman, who is drawing a host of dreams and heroes from the Memory of the world to defeat the evil that thrives in Providence. But the Green Woman’s strength is failing—she needs her daughter to take up the burden.In the apocalyptic wasteland outside the city, Jonah, another runaway, is waiting—to give Deborah his help, then his heart. Together they brave the terrors of the desert. Together they believe they can change the world.A girl, a boy, and a pack of wolf-dog pups search for the Green Woman, but Abaddon has set horrors on their trail that not even courage and boundless love can defeat.The Dark Citadel is the first volume of The Green Woman series, an epic story of evil, heroism, bravery, treachery, hatred, and the invincible power of love....

Title : The Dark Citadel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781619375284
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 227 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Dark Citadel Reviews

  • Kate Wrath
    2019-01-19 04:07

    Amazing. Stupendous. Beautiful. Moving. LOVED this book. Will write a more thorough review soon, but just had to say, for now, GO READ IT.And here's the proper review:Jane Dougherty has simply created something amazing. The feel of The Dark Citadel is Anne McCaffrey meets Clive Barker-- incredible language, immersive world-building, and truly complex characters, all rooted in a landscape that combines the best aspects of a dark, twisted dystopia and a rich, magical fantasy realm. I could draw comparisons to so many things, but this book ultimately stands on its own, and there is nothing to compare it to that will do it justice.Language:The language is rich and beautiful, but not overly heavy. As I read, I continually found myself pausing to savor the writing. My favorite quote from the book: "Jonah felt the shadows take his hands, leading him into a darkness that was full of a silent menace." Chills! This gave me chills!World-building:The Dark Citadel begins in Providence, a bleak and truly horrible dystopian city. Dougherty gives us all the gory details we need to feel truly oppressed along with the rest of the citizens of Providence. Brutality, apathy, and injustice are absolutely rampant. The people are used to cruelty. If the whole story took place in Providence, it might be too much to bear. But there's so much more to this fascinating world that continues to be revealed to the reader piece by piece, just as it is revealed to the characters.Characters:When we first meet Dougherty's heroine, Deborah, she's not very likable. She's feisty and fiery. She acts on gut impulse, often without thought. There is something sympathetic in her nature, though. The more I learned about her, the more I realized I would probably not be the nicest of people under those circumstances, either. And the longer I followed her journey, the more I saw her grow. By the end of the novel, suffice it to say she is an entirely different person. The same goes for all the characters we encounter-- they change, grow, and affect each other in subtle and deep ways. Even the cameo characters have personality and depth.Romance:After the incredible harshness of the beginning of the novel, the romance caught me completely off-guard. I mean, I expected there to be a romantic thread somewhere in there, but I never expected it to be rendered so tenderly or with such potency. Craft:This book is beautifully rooted in mythology, borrowing symbolism and power from a spattering of ancient stories, all twisted into a modern legend. Somehow a huge variety of things-- centaurs, demons, post-nuclear potatoes-- are all brought together into a picture that makes sense. A world with so many different elements could easily seem disjointed, but Dougherty has managed to pull it off in a way that works, which is pretty impressive. Dougherty is what many people might call a "storyteller". Her world is so vivid and complete, and her story has an epic feel that makes you think (and hope) that it will go on and on. At the same time, she carefully creates a story that is always moving, never boring. She directs and subtly misdirects at all the right times. Every time I thought I knew where it was all going, she'd yank the carpet out from under my feet, and I'd have to start figuring it out all over again. Who would I recommend this story to?Pretty much everyone. Readers: If you like dystopian stories, fantasy, sci-fi, or epic adventures, you will probably love this book. The only thing I would say is be prepared, because, yeah, it's powerfully dark! In a good way! The quality of the writing is fabulous and on par with some of the most famous fantasy writers out there.Writers: This is the kind of book that you want to read, because maybe you will absorb just a little bit of Jane Dougherty's magic, and it will make you a better author. As for me, I am now officially a Jane Dougherty fan, and you can be sure I will be buying and reading the rest of this series, and probably anything else that Jane Dougherty ever writes. :)

  • Tricia Drammeh
    2019-01-14 00:00

    It's been a long time since a book captivated me the way this book did. I thought about the book constantly when I wasn't reading it and finally stayed up all night to finish it. I absolutely loved it. Ms. Dougherty is a very gifted author. The writing is descriptive, but not so much that it interferes with the pacing. From the desolation in the city of Providence to the dark underground. From the unforgiving desert to the deep forest, the author gives the reader a full sensory experience. This book really moves! There wasn't a single scene where my attention wandered. It wasn't a non-stop barrage of action scenes, but a very thought-provoking novel with twists and turns and danger. Always danger!The story follows two main characters--Deborah and Zachariah--but also branches out to include Abaddon, the evil lord hellbent on destroying the Green Woman. We also meet Jonah, the dog boy (and probably my favorite character besides Deborah). The key to survival in the desolate, authoritarian city of Providence is to keep your mouth shut and do as you're told. Deborah is not well-suited to survive Providence. She's rebellious, questioning everything and everyone around her. Her sense of fairness and justice lands her in the House of Corrections where she meets Zachariah. I didn't like Zachariah as much. His rebellion isn't triggered by an innate sense of fairness and equality, but more from a personal disappointment. In Providence, evil is at work and it's only going to get worse. For those who are considered the Ignorants, there doesn't seem to be much to live for. But, we find out through Zachariah's storyline that the Ignorants--or Danaans--are very poorly named. They know the legends from the old times, the songs, the stories. It's Deborah who hold the memory and she is in more danger than even she realizes.The only problem I had with this book was the ending. There wasn't really an ending to it at all, which is understandable since it is part of a series. There were so many loose ends and I'm sure I'll have to reread this book before the second book is released. But, this is a personal preference, and not a failing on the part of the author. I'm very desperate to get my hands on the next book. It's definitely worth waiting for.Due to the ages of the main characters, this book has landed in the YA category. As a mom of teens, I'd say this book is great for ages fourteen and up. It's fast-moving enough to engage the younger reader and will make them think long after they're finished reading. As a parent, you can't ask for more. As a reader, I almost hate to see this in the YA category because I'm afraid some serious fantasy readers might pass it by. This is epic fantasy at its best. It put me in mind of a Tad Williams or Terry Goodkind tale. If you're a fan of high fantasy or even urban fantasy, you need to give this a read. Highly recommended. I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  • Margaret Lesh
    2018-12-30 05:22

    The dystopian society Jane Dougherty created in the “holy city” of Providence rivals that of Orwell’s 1984. It’s a bleak and gray authoritarian world, where goodness is met with force, children are separated from their parents, and a caste system exists. The group known as Ignorants are anything but. Love and emotional attachments of any type are not allowed. It is, simply, a world without hope. Outside of the domed city lies desert that is said to have poisonous air, filled with demons and other perils, overseen by the evil lord of hell, Abaddon. Somewhere beyond the domed city is the Green Woman, humanity’s last hope. The action follows Deborah, a strong and independent fifteen-year-old who rebels against the cruel systems in place in Providence, against her arranged marriage. There’s something different about her. She is mocked by her classmates and called Serpantspawn. She thinks the Green Woman might be her mother. There is also Zachariah, another young rebel. Their story lines alternate.I was drawn into this book right from the prologue, with its reverse Creation story. The world-building is strong and the characters well developed—teens on the verge of adulthood, relying on their wits, struggling with their emotions. A mixture of mythology, religion, dystopia, and fantasy, this book is nicely paced and extremely imaginative. I found myself turning the pages quickly--well, flipping them on my tablet. The writing is first rate, and I was a bit disappointed to see it end. Must wait for the next book in the series!

  • Julianne
    2019-01-24 01:20

    Title: The Dark CitadelAuthor: Jane DoughertyPublisher: Musa PublishingGenre: YA/FantasyPublication date: October 4 2013 ISBN: 978-1-61937-528-4Length: 227 pgsBook Series and number: The Green Woman Book 1 Rating: 5Heat Rating: 0I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.Reviewed for For Whom The Books Toll5, No heatEvil is slouching into Providence. Will the awakening memories of a rebellious runaway be enough to send the demon back into the shadows?Fifteen-year-old Deborah is angry and bitter. Rebelling against an arranged marriage to an idiot, she flees the oppression of Providence’s religious Elders to search for her exiled mother, the legendary Green Woman.Zachariah, dark, brooding and unhappy crosses Deborah’s path as they both plot escape from the House of Correction. Dislike is instant and mutual, and Zachariah blunders off alone to seek the Green Woman’s magical Garden. In the desert wasteland, Jonah, the dog boy takes Deborah’s hand, first as a friend and guide, then as something more.Abaddon, Lord of Hell is waiting to crush the green magic that will destroy his realm on earth. Deborah is discovering love and the mysterious power of her memories, but will this be enough to defeat the demon and the Elder’s regime, and dispel the shadows cast by the Dark Citadel? My review:I was captivated by this story starting with page one. The terminology took me a few pages to get used to but didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book. The characters are fantastic and very well written.Deborah was young and rebellious and questioned the ways things were in her world. She got into a lot of trouble and that didn't stop her from wanting to find her mother and way out of Providence. I admired Deborah's spunk and tenacity and her never quit outlook.Zachariah was a dreamer and had a wonderful creative mind. He often didn't do as he was told and got into some trouble of his own. Zachariah had a strong character and was enchanted by the stories of The Green Woman and wanted to find her. I so wanted him to succeed in escaping.Jonah the dog boy was from outside in the wasteland and knew how to survive. He helped Deborah when she needed it most. There were times when neither Deborah nor Jonah understood the other. The dangerous journey they traveled together only made them stronger.As I was reading this book, my mind flashed on 'this is a different take on the bible' or the way the would could be if evil truly took over the world.The Dark Citadel gives the reader a full range of emotions, a wild roller coaster ride into the unknown and evil that is inside and outside of Providence. The story also has some shocking and surprising scenes.I wouldn't have thought I would enjoy a YA book, but I can't say enough great things about The Dark Citadel and I can't wait to continue reading this series.

  • Julie Ramsey
    2018-12-31 00:11

    “The Dark Citadel”, by Jane Dougherty5 starsSynopsis:Ah, Providence. What a lovely word. The dictionary defines it as “The protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power”. Sounds like a lovely place, doesn’t it?It may have been at one time, but after the bombs were dropped and the demons unleashed from Hell, it becomes the only city still inhabited, still in existence, thanks to the crystalline dome that covers it. And it’s a real question as to which is safer—the demons swirling with the desert sand Outside, or the life of the citizenry inside.All is grey, all is iron-ruled. Color is quenched, creativity is frowned upon. Asking questions can get the inquisitive thrown in jail, where he/she is forced to chant passages from the book that rules their lives.Food, water, even newborns, not to mention the very air the citizens breathe, are meted out by the whims and decisions of the Elders, who have enough demons in their souls to challenge the population outside the dome.Yet there are those who harbor hope, and hide it in the secret spaces of their ramshackle tenements. They are looked down upon, despised, yet they know of the Prophecy.And when two young people, each on their own missions, gain entry to the secret world of the hopeful and thus to the Outside, it is apparent that the Prophecy will soon be revealed.But at what price?This was a terrific read. I enjoyed it cover-to-cover. Never was there a dull moment, as we follow two young people in their scrapes with the law and their flight from the city. Their destinies, if that is not too hackneyed a word, seem to take them in diverse directions, but they end up in the same place—hours or days apart. To enable the reader to see the same scene through two different sets of circumstances took a great amount of talent by the author.It was really easy to get into the hearts and minds of the protagonists, and I wonder what will happen when they meet up again. For they did have a chance meeting at the beginning of the story, and it was not a pleasant encounter. How will time and experience change their views of each other?This is a cliffhanger, and I am rabid about getting hold of the next one. complimentary book given for a free review.

  • Susan Lodge
    2018-12-25 01:06

    The Dark Citadel has a really hard hitting first chapter that sets the heart strings tugging. From then on I was glued to the book, eager to learn how this outrageous, post-apocalyptic community works.The mere mention of the House of Correction and The Ignorants, reeled me further – I had to find out more.Action packed, with plenty of poignant and humorous moments the Dark Citadel is totally absorbing as it takes you through Deborah’s desperate quest to find her mother.The heroine grabs your sympathy from her first appearance. A character with attitude who develops and grows as the story unfolds.There are some gruesome moments and eye wateringly tragic scenes, but these are skilfully interwoven with a well-paced plot. All in all, a hell of an adventure.

    2018-12-28 06:21 to you by OBS reviewer Marie-Reine*Beware of possible Spoilers*In Jane Dougherty’s first installment of the Green Woman trilogy, The Dark Citadel, she introduces the reader to an Orwellian city state, Providence. The last remaining city after a nuclear holocaust, it sits rotting beneath a dome while outside, toxic fallout and barren sands storm against the protective barrier. Deborah, the child of a convicted father and a sinful mother, rebels against the abuse she suffers because of her scandalous origins. But in order to escape this oppressive regime, she must face what lies beyond Providence, where darkness and evil have flourished since civilization’s fall. She possesses the power—unknown to herself—to destroy the evil that has choked the world for so long.Even if the homage is not conscious on the author’s part, the totalitarian society of Providence is reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984. Doughterty does not add much to the tropes of the Orwellian genre. She incorporates them with her use of the post-apocalyptic genre, much like many other young adult novels. Inside the dome, everything is controlled and the dogma of a revised past keeps the ruling class subservient to the established order. Ironically, the Ignorants are the ones who understand the evil that threatens Providence and they are ready to rally themselves to their messianic leader, the Green Woman. The two main characters introduced in The Dark Citadel come from the higher class but both have been rejected by it—Deborah, because of her lineage and rebellion, and Zachariah, because he dared remember and seek out his birth mother. Both characters then encounter Ignorants—or Dananns, as they call themselves—who rescue and guide them in their escape from Providence.Dougherty also weaves a third genre in her story: fantasy. The evil that threatens the world is one of fallen angels, demons, hellish wolves and other dark creatures ruled over by the supreme demon, a devil figure named Abaddon. There is also good in the form of Deborah and the magical powers she gains by “remembering” the world prior to its destruction. There is the Green Woman, a good witch and her armies. But the plethora of genres and the varied creatures introduced seem to overload the narrative rather than add complexity. Dougherty strikes a dissonant chord with the overabundance of genres, and does not incorporate the fantasy elements as well as the other two genres. And since she moves further from the Orwellian and post-apocalyptic genres as her characters physically move farther from Providence, this uneven shift in genres is a significant weakness in the story. Also, the juggling that takes places between genres overshadows the characters, in the end making them rather bland and forgettable.This book is an interesting read, with some dysfunctions with the unharmonious melding of the genres it explores. There is hope that since this is only the first book in the trilogy, more focus can be given in future volumes to the characters themselves and developing them.

  • Bodicia
    2019-01-09 22:56

    I loved this tale of Deborah and Zachariah who live in Providence, a city in the middle of a vast wasteland where demons and evil roam over its crystal dome trying to get in whilst the people inside live like zoo animals under the law of the Elders who are just as bad as the demons. It is the very worst of humanity in a petri dish as most of them accept their lot and a few enjoy their power over others. The lowest caste, the Ignorants (Or the Dananns as they prefer to be called) are the worst treated of the lot but they are the ones who hold the key to a better life and they wait patiently for the Green Woman to come and save them.In this first installment we meet Deborah who has visions of green lands, sun filled skies and bountiful food for everyone. Is she going mad or is there more to these visions? She rebels against the system and decides to seek out the truth by finding her mother whom she was separated from as a young child. Her journey takes her outside of the relative safety of Providence into the darker world outside where it is said no human can survive.Zachariah takes his own path to find the Green Woman. His upbringing still very much entrenched in him until he comes across the Dananns and realises there is something more.Jane Dougherty has a bit of a winner with this fantasy tale and it is beautifully written. A real page turner. This book is marketed as young adult fiction but I think it passes over that boundary and is suitably dark enough for adult fans of this type of fantasy too. I would have liked the book to answer a few more questions before it ended but it is such an absorbing tale I would happily purchase the follow on to find out what happens. The Subtle Fiend, Book Two of the series is now available.

  • Charlene
    2019-01-04 06:14

    Jonathan Swift May Have Met His MatchThe apocalypse has happened. The Earth is a wasteland. The survivors, the known survivors, live inside a crystal dome where life is controlled. There are other survivors, though. Demons, angels, old gods, or the radiation mutated. Their names depend on who tells the story. They all want what's inside the dome. They want Her. Deborah. Problem is, no one inside the dome wants her. Father is in prison. Mother is gone. Deborah is unruly and outspoken, something that is forbidden in a society that is ruled with cruelty and an iron fist. The most horrible thing of all is that she keeps seeing things - like green grass, singing birds, people laughing and caring for one another. Those are things forbidden as well. There is only one solution for Deborah. Go outside the dome. The Dark Citadel (The Green Woman) Part One of Three is, by the age of the protagonists, a young adult novel. Teenagers and Adults are the audience. Jane Dougherty creates a multi-dimensional world layered with suspense, danger and most surprisingly, a social commentary that not only entertains but provokes thought as well. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift was and is a social commentary that became a children's book. Perhaps, The Dark Citadel trilogy by Jane Dougherty will be this generation's young adult's book that becomes a social commentary. It is well written and absorbing. Anyone who reads The Green Woman, which is part one, will be anxious to continue the saga with the rest of the trilogy.

  • Alisha Howard
    2019-01-23 02:03

    It’s been a long time since I've had to research while I read a book. The Dark Citadel definitely challenged my immediate mythology and creationist knowledge, but it was a fun ride. The story is told from the viewpoint of the two main characters, Deborah and Zachariah (both names with religious meaning behind them). The two are young teens who decide to break away from the dystopian Providence city, where the majority of humanity lives under strict regime with little free will. Deborah realizes that her mother is the prophesied Green Woman who will leave the oppressed people to the promise land and vows to reunite with her no matter what it takes. Zachariah is also trying to find his mother, who is somewhere in Providence, after being taken from her ten years ago.The Dark Citadel is beautifully written, telling the story of all the people involved with passion and creativity many modern fantasy books lack these days. As Jane Dougherty weaves the tale of how Providence comes about, she tells it with such conviction and passion I had no problem suspending disbelief the entire way through. The ending did feel a bit incomplete and vague leaving me disappointed, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the whole story overall.

  • Evelinn Enoksen
    2019-01-22 01:00

    I’m not sure I’d call it a YA, the story has a cruelness to it that sometimes sent shivers down my spine—but the good kind of shivers! When I started reading I couldn’t put it down.In the aftermath of a war between Gods and Demons the world is shattered and desolate, because this time evil was the victor. Evil turned the ground infertile and the forests barren and sent humanity fleeing. The remaining humans live in the domed city of Providence ruled by the Elders who keep the people in a kind of controlled dark-age, and an old-fashioned culture where women are viewed as second class citizens and no one—except the ones with the right last name—has any chance to change their fate.But there is one who can bring back the light; Deborah, a young woman carries within her mind the memory which can restore balance. But of course there are others who know of this and fear it more than anything.The Dark Citadel illustrates that even with dangerous demons lurking there is nothing more evil than that which already recedes within the human mind.Well written, great plot, wonderful imagery and brilliantly brutal.

  • Chris The Story Reading Ape
    2019-01-22 02:03

    A nuclear war destroyed all humanity except for those living in a domed city called Province, at least, that is according to the leaders of the city! But what REALLY lies outside the 'protective dome?Mix elements of 1984 and Blade Runner together, add Celtic folklore and peoples, sprinkle through with almost every type of ancient classical and gothic mythical creature you can think of, good and evil.This is the recipe (with a few more ingredients I won't name) for a cracking good read!See my review also at:

  • Aderyn Wood
    2019-01-03 05:55

    'The Dark Citadel' is a post-apocalyptic fantasy set in the last remaining city, Providence. Deborah, seventeen years old, is the heroine. She rebels against the strict rule of the authoritarian city elders who decide every aspect of civilian life from social ranking to when and who they marry. She is a 'given child' which means she was forcibly removed from her parents as a child and given over to other parents to bring her up. One of the main (and more interesting) threads of this story is the uncovering of secrets about her parents and herself. Zachariah is another lead character, also seventeen and a 'given child' who strives to flee the city. The novel alternates between the two characters and we follow their similar but separate escape from Providence and subsequent adventures in the barren world outside of the city.The novel begins with a bible-like retelling of the creation of earth and man according to the dark god-like entity named Abaddon. I enjoyed the dramatic and old world language of the opening, and its final sentence caused me goose bumps. It was an exciting preamble.I also enjoyed the first section of the novel set in Providence. The frustrations of Deborah and Zach were interesting and kept me turning the pages. The detail Dougherty put into her world-building was also a highlight of this part of the book (and indeed the whole book), she has envisaged a world rich in detail and multi-layered. The second half of the book is set in the barren landscape of the world outside Providence's crystal dome. It was certainly a pleasure to read the imagery, but I didn't enjoy this part of the book as much as the first part (set in Providence). I think there are two reasons for this. First, there was more emphasis placed on plot events rather than the development of characters, consequently I felt more of a distance from the characters. Secondly, there was a romance, which is nice, but I didn't really 'feel' very much about it. I think, perhaps, it was a bit of a rushed romance. But I'm sure others would enjoy it - this is probably just a matter of personal taste.For me, one of the greatest strengths of this novel was the way the author has written the bad guys. Naturally there are a number of them, and they are all great to read. In this story, the antagonists get great lines and are just the kind of characters we all love to hate.Dougherty is a skilled storyteller and fans of YA fantasy and post-apocalytpic fiction will certainly appreciate it.My rating - 7/10

  • Kitty Muse Book Reviews
    2019-01-04 04:08

    Ah, Providence. What a lovely word. The dictionary defines it as “The protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power”. Sounds like a lovely place, doesn’t it?It may have been at one time, but after the bombs were dropped and the demons unleashed from Hell, it becomes the only city still inhabited, still in existence, thanks to the crystalline dome that covers it. And it’s a real question as to which is safer—the demons swirling with the desert sand Outside, or the life of the citizenry inside.All is grey, all is iron-ruled. Color is quenched, creativity is frowned upon. Asking questions can get the inquisitive thrown in jail, where he/she is forced to chant passages from the book that rules their lives.Food, water, even newborns, not to mention the very air the citizens breathe, are meted out by the whims and decisions of the Elders, who have enough demons in their souls to challenge the population outside the dome.Yet there are those who harbor hope, and hide it in the secret spaces of their ramshackle tenements. They are looked down upon, despised, yet they know of the Prophecy.And when two young people, each on their own missions, gain entry to the secret world of the hopeful and thus to the Outside, it is apparent that the Prophecy will soon be revealed. But at what price?This was a terrific read. I enjoyed it cover-to-cover. Never was there a dull moment, as we follow two young people in their scrapes with the law and their flight from the city. Their destinies, if that is not too hackneyed a word, seem to take them in diverse directions, but they end up in the same place—hours or days apart. To enable the reader to see the same scene through two different sets of circumstances took a great amount of talent by the author.It was really easy to get into the hearts and minds of the protagonists, and I wonder what will happen when they meet up again. For they did have a chance meeting at the beginning of the story, and it was not a pleasant encounter. How will time and experience change their views of each other?This is a cliffhanger, and I am rabid about getting hold of the next one.

  • Rabid Readers Reviews
    2018-12-26 05:10

    Deborah has been poorly treated since being torn from her family and placed with “givenparents.” Each family is permitted a boy and a girl and if they have two boys one will be taken and replaced with a girl. The working class in “The Dark Citadel” is know as “Ignorants.” They are considered the lowest of the low. They are less moral, less clean, less human than their counterparts. Zacariah’s givenmother works in the House of Births and tells a neighbor of the horrible deformities of the babies born to the Ignorant class and celebrates the impending massacre of that class. She shows the neighbour the syringe she uses to stop the heats of the babies and the skin just crawls. Immediately the mind is drawn into the recent past of our civilization. How do you justify atrocities? You take the humanity of the person your subjugating. In the mind the person is no longer a person but a thing. A thing from which you must protect yourself at all costs. This society needs a hero and the reader hopes that Deborah could be that hero.Zacariah and Deborah may have paths that intersect but they also have help. The Ignorant class turns out not to be as unhuman as they’ve been led to believe. The men and women help the teens despite the risk to themselves. The characters, no matter how minor, are not cardbord cutouts. They are richly developed from the guard who uses the subjugation of the Ignorants as his excuse for cruelty to Abbadon, the dark lord who is discreetly looking for control. Deborah starts the novel as an angry teen and develops in a very real way as the story progresses. She’s facing things she never had to and is fortunate to have help along the way. I cannot imagine living in such a dark society. “The Dark Citadel” is beautifully constructed and a series I will continue with. I was in this story with Deborah. I feared for her as the Controller plotted and sobbed with her when she found her sick father and marvelled with her as her destiny became clear. There was not a single thing I did not like about this book.Because of scenes of violence I would recommend “the Dark Citadel” for older teens and adults. Pick this one up today.

  • John
    2018-12-31 00:15

    Jane Dougherty’s The Dark Citadel is an uncompromising dystopian fantasy novel that undermines your expectations of young adult fiction. In the old days we read C. S. Lewis and Arthur Ransome until we hit 13 and then we started on Stephen King and Clive Barker. There was no ‘YA’ category to buffer young readers with safe tales about adolescent revenge fantasies or vampires snogging werewolves. You were dropped right into the deep end. Jane Dougherty’s wonderful first book returns us to those perilous times with a fast paced and highly imaginative story that frequently sticks the knife in, and then gives it a couple of twists for good measure. The heroine, Deborah, lives in Providence, a fascist/religious totalitarian state with a strict caste system sheltering under an immense dome. Outside, the post-apocalyptic wasteland is inhabited by demons, supernatural evil and creatures from Earth’s ancient mythologies. As the novel unfolds Deborah discovers that she may hold the key to the future survival of the forces of good. To save the world she must escape from Providence to journey through the wasteland in search of her mother, the mysterious Green Woman. The author has created a massive tapestry for the backdrop to The Dark Citadel - imagine a painting by Hieronymous Bosch designed by George Orwell and set in North Korea. The novel throws a stream of fascinating ideas at the reader at a breathless pace and in many places I found myself wishing the book was longer, and spent more time delving into both the brutal regime of Providence, and the fantastical landscapes beyond. Hopefully in the sequels we’ll learn more about the complexity and mystery of this desolate world. As I mentioned before, Jane Dougherty tells a brutal tale, and clearly enjoys whipping the carpet from under her reader’s feet. There were several episodes that made me wince at the sudden viciousness, and stayed with me for a long time afterwards. This is a very powerful start to what promises to be an intriguing and refreshingly different dark fantasy series that's not afraid to discomfort and challenge its audience.

  • B.A. Morton
    2019-01-02 23:17

    A YA dystopian fantasy is not something I would normally pick up, but with that marvellous line “Evil is slouching into Providence” I couldn’t resist.This is a tale of good versus evil with the most sumptuous world building and scene setting I’ve come across. By the end I felt I knew Providence’s streets and culture like the back of my hand. Delightful prose brings the characters to life and it does feel that every word has been chosen with care. There are some lines that are so cleverly strung together I had re-read to further appreciate the subtle skill involved. I particularly liked the ‘Givenchild’ premise and the way the idea is incorporated and indeed crucial to the control of the dystopian society. There’s a sense of urgency throughout the story as we breathlessly switch scenes back and forth between Deborah, Zacharia and others, in almost cinematic fashion, as if somewhere behind us a drum is beating and the rhythm is getting faster. It certainly kept the pages turning.There are some violent/scary scenes, unpalatable rituals and the occasional use of bad language, and therefore it may be more suitable for older ‘young adults’ but these issues are integral to the story and handled sensitively. Make no mistake; the author doesn’t pull any punches in creating this grim and brutal society. The Black Boys are particularly scary. But alongside this there is witty dialogue and some heart warming moments.I enjoyed this immensely not only because it’s a cracking story, but also because of the clever word-smithing. I would certainly recommend it.

  • Nicola McDonagh
    2019-01-20 07:09

    A gritty and dark YA novel that is both exciting and dramatic. It is in general, a fast paced adventure with moments of stark realism mixed in with high fantasy. I love Jane Dougherty's descriptions; they are rich and evocative and really draw the reader into the story. 'The air was heavy and cloying, like tepid water with a little sugar in it.'The heroine Deborah, is a feisty and foul-mouthed fifteen year old fleeing from an arranged marriage. She becomes an outcast from the sinister world she lives in - Providence. But she also has a vulnerable side, which makes her a believable and interesting character to follow on her journey. The other main characters, Zachariah, whom Deborah meets when she ends up in the House of Correction and Jonah, who lives with a pack of wild dogs, are also well thought out characters.There is a lot of violence in this book and some younger YA readers may find the often graphic descriptions a little unpleasant, but I actually really enjoyed reading Jane's excellent no - nonsense narrative style. Although at times I found the narrative voice a little too angry. I wasn't sure about the use of realistic/English sounding slang words used by some minor characters in the book. They didn't seem to fit in with the fantasy language the story is mainly written in. But these niggles are minor and did not detract from my enjoyment of this excellent novel. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys not only dark fantasy novels, but anyone who likes to read quality fiction.

  • Sue Moorhouse
    2019-01-04 04:55

    This is a complex young adult book combining a grim dystopian future city with many elements of mythology in the world beyond the city. This novel is the first part of the saga. The novel's heroine Deborah is a particularly interesting character to me and I found her problems convincing and exciting. The novel is bursting with ideas on the twisting of religion into a instrument of control. The totalitarian system is accepted in all it's brutality by most of its citizens and the only people who actually still have some understanding of the past and what is happening are labelled as 'ignorants' and are a persecuted underclass of workers. Beyond the city monsters and demons dwell!An exciting and thought provoking young adult read.

  • Cheap and Lazy
    2019-01-16 02:11

    Dystopian with YA Characters - Good Read for Adult Lovers of Fantasy. Beautifully-written, deeply descriptive prose didn't slow the plot. Dystopian is out of my comfort zone, especially when it's as dark as this one, and there was an edge to the graphic cruelty that made me wince. But the story's so good, the young adult characters so sympathetic, I was torn between rushing and savoring the book. Being a trilogy, it ended without resolving much. It was a good place to stop, though, and I hope the next two installments come out soon.

  • Carrie Lahain
    2019-01-16 22:58

    I am always hesitant about "post-apocalyptic" fantasy novels. The pervasive darkness. The unending parade of grotesque mutants. The elitist, merciless "new regime," concrete evidence that all the death and destruction was truly for nothing. In my experience, there's never enough hope at the end of such books to justify slogging through them.THE DARK CITADEL, book one of Jane Dougherty's THE GREEN WOMAN trilogy, manages to elevate this bitter recipe of joylessness and desolation and create something fresh. The Last War has been fought. Demons have been unleashed and rage across the barren earth. What remains of humanity--most of it anyway--exists within a domed city called Providence. Society is organized as a fanatical theocracy. The focus of worship are so-called "wise Gods," but there's an undeniable darkness at the heart of the city. Men rule over women, but even men are subject to the harsh, strictly stratified social classes. There's a preoccupation with a figure known as the Green woman, a blasphemous, pagan-type figure determined to take the city and hand all the goodwomen and goodmen over to evil. In actuality, the Green Woman is the last keeper of Memory and has the ability to awaken this memory and rebuild the world. But to succeed she needs her daughter, who has been held hostage by the leaders of Providence for ten years. THE DARK CITADEL focus on young Deborah's discovery of her past, her escape from Providence, and the start of her quest to find her mother. Jane Dougherty gives us a richly layered, character-driven story. Part I, which takes place exclusively in Providence, reminds me of a Dickens novel. The thick, unhealthy atmosphere, twisted characters, and pervasive corruption is BLEAK HOUSE transported to a dome at the end of the remembered world. As in a Dickens novel, the major players come into contact with one another only tangentially at first. We readers can see the subtle, fateful intertwining of individual stories, while the characters often remain oblivious, caught up in their own struggles.Part II of the novel takes us out of the dome into the desert, which turns out to be populated by an assortment of living and demonic beings. The action ratchets up as Deborah and her guide Jonas struggle north with only a pack of wolf pups to protect them. Dougherty takes care developing the relationship between these two, but the romance is always subordinate to their fight for survival against marauding desert creatures and the minions of evil sent to intercept Deborah. The farther north the couple gets, the more myth begins to invade reality, as various races of creatures werewolves, centaurs, river gods, etc. make themselves known and begin to choose sides in a coming battle (encompassing the whole of human myth and history) that will decide more than the fate of a couple of teenagers or even the city of Providence. I have to admit that parts of this book are difficult to read. There is such cruelty, darkness, and loss. Sometimes, I had to put the book down and regroup emotionally. When I returned, Dougherty's lyrical writing--it really is a beautifully crafted book--carried me through. Another warning: this is not a stand-alone work. But it's also not a cliff hanger. I detest cliffhangers. That's where the action stops dead at a high point and you have no idea what will happen to the main characters. Too often this is a cheap and easy (and artificial) way to manipulate readers into buying the next book. The end of THE DARK CITADEL provides a definite pause. We know exactly where the characters are. It's a point where choices are made, transformations happen, and then things get quiet in preparation for something even bigger.THE DARK CITADEL is a breathtaking book, but it's only the gateway into a deeper experience. In this case, based on the quality of this introductory work, I'm willing to trust that what comes will be everything I expect.

  • Tabitha (Lovely Books Blog)
    2019-01-17 05:17

    Read more reviews like this at! Novels like this one are always hard to review, mostly because I’m not quite sure how I stand on it. On one hand I can see the potential of the novel and how other readers would really enjoy it but on the other hand the novel just didn’t work out for me. I ended up feeling confused by the middle of the novel and I had a really hard time keeping all the characters straight, which really took away from my enjoyment of the novel. The Dark Citadel wasn’t a bad book exactly, but it just didn’t work out for me.Doughtery did a great job creating a cast of horrifying mythical creatures and a gritty dystopian landscape. The idea of combining Biblical ideas and fantasy was a very interesting one and was one of the major things that made this book stand out to me. Even though I really wanted to love this book, the ideas just didn’t come together for me and I ended up feeling confused by a majority of the novel. Maybe I missed something important in the beginning but the more the novel went on the more confused I became until I got to the end, where things started to come together again.Usually I’m a huge fan of changing perspectives; I love being able to see into other characters minds and see each situation through a new pair of eyes. However, in The Dark Citadel the constant changing of perspectives got to be a little overwhelming after a while and I found myself unable to connect to any of the characters because of how much moving around there was. By the end of the novel I felt most connected to Deborah but at the same time I felt like I was watching her from a distance instead of living the story with her.Not only did I have a hard time connecting to the characters but I had a hard time figuring out who everyone was and what exactly was going on. I would have loved to have more information on the “Ignorants” and what made them different from the rest of the population as well as more information on the point of Zachariah’s mission. Even though I was never completely lost by the plot I had a little bit of trouble following it in places. With a little bit more information on the characters and the setting I think the plot would be the strongest part of the novel, it just wasn’t quite there yet.Despite everything Doughtery has a lot of potential and in time I believe she could write a really fantastic fantasy novel. All the right elements were there but they just didn’t quite work together. The Dark Citadel is by no means a bad book, it was very entertaining in its own right, but it just didn’t work out for me.

  • Rosie Amber
    2019-01-07 01:06

    The Dark Citadel is a fantasy and book 1 of a series, it touches on a Dystopia style society left living in a dome surrounded by an inhospitable land full of demons. Inside the Eternal City a harsh system of High Class and Ignorants live where men are superior and women treated like a lesser class. Rules exist about families, only two children are allowed, one boy one girl and the authorities intervene and enforce this by taking children away and "giving" them to others. Food is scarce and there is talk of culling the ignorants to reduce demand.A young girl called Deborah resists rules and is a trouble maker, unbeknown to her she is a hostage having a rare ability to recall the memories of the people before life in the Dome began. Rumours amongst the lower classes talk of The Green Women, the keeper of memories who will one day return to rescue them. Escaping a correction centre Deborah meets her imprisoned father, another hostage, he urges her to escape the City and find her mother. There is quite a lot to take in, and the storyline is mixed between myths, legends and real time as the author drip feeds the reader layers of the storyline. I never quite got to grips with the mythical side and ancient beings waking to a calling. Plus there were all the demons and at times I was uncertain who the good guys were and who couldn't be trusted. More will be revealed in the next book in the series, this is a good start to a fantasy series.

  • Dylan Hearn
    2019-01-18 23:21

    In the Dark Citadel, Jane Dougherty has created a vividly layered, cruel fantasy world where the city of Providence acts as the last refuge of humanity against the demonic armies of evil. Yet even Providence has succumbed to the all pervasive corruption, where the heavily structured society where love and affection are suppressed by the rigid laws and a twisted, oppressive religion.Out of this gloom we follow Deborah, a young orphan shunned by others because of her parents, who rebels against the fate mapped out for her. As she gets further into trouble, Deborah starts to learn more about her history, and the true history of her people. She decides to escape Providence and find her mother, a direct descendent of Eve, to change the world for the better.I loved this book. Dougherty’s world may be bleak, but she has balanced the hope and despair with great skill to ensure the threat of disaster is always there but never overwhelming. Her multi-layered society is terrifyingly believable, especially the way the authorities use their twisted doctrine to ensure the population oppress themselves, and in Deborah she has created a wonderfully spiky, independent protagonist you cannot help but want to succeed – a great example of a strong, female lead.If you enjoy you are looking to escape into a well-written, unique dark fantasy, you would be hard pushed to find a better book than this. I cannot wait to read the next two books in the series. Highly Recommended.

  • Paul Trembling
    2018-12-25 03:09

    There's a lot of positives about this book. It has a detailed and well-developed background, a good flow of words, and some vivid descriptions. Yet it really didn't work well for me. Partly that was the pace, which seemed a little too slow, especially in the early parts. I was also put off by the way that significant background information is communicated by characters without any explanation as to how they know it. The wild orphan boy, Jonah, might be expected to know the tricks of survival, but his detailed knowledge of things (such as the true nature of the demon Abaddon) that he has no obvious means of learning I found to be inconsistent. In general, I didn't find the characters convincing. They tended towards stereotypes and to be driven by the plot. Overall, it was quite readable, but I won't be looking for the rest of the series.

  • Janice Spina
    2018-12-29 01:16

    An Epic series that is destined for greatness!The Dark Citadel is a series that would make a phenomenal movie in the fantasy genre. The characters are varied from good beings to evil creatures of all shapes and sizes who are constantly at war with each other. Evil is vying to take over the world from The Green Woman and her followers and prevent her from planting the tree of life. The tree of life will bring back the Garden and transform the world from the cold, dark shadows of evil to the warm, lush, light and green world where love triumphs over all. I could envision this series to become a popular book on many shelves of fantasy lovers everywhere.

  • Valery
    2019-01-02 05:07

    DNFWhen the f-bomb lands in the first chapter, I'm through. There are too many books out there to waste my time with foul language.