Author: Jane Doughtery
Date of Publication: June 14, 2013
Buy This Book: Amazon
Formats Available: E-Book
Synopsis: Evil 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?
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.