The Green Woman trilogy #3 Beyond the Realm of Night

This third and final volume brings us home. Deborah’s task approaches its end. She holds out the promise of something better to those who want it. But it’s surprising how people will hang onto what they know, even when it has teeth and claws and every intention of swallowing them alive.

Here is what the reviewers said:

“the author has drawn her readers into a fantastic story, one that clashes the drear bland existence of a tyrannical government with a colorful, exciting world that is mere myth to those who plod along in the greyness of survival.”

“Whew, this is an unforgettable page-turner, the kind of book that leaves me wishing there will be more. Like life itself, the story never really ends.”

“Despite the darkness of the story, Dougherty always weaves in hope with the greening of the world and the growing strength of her characters. Her talent is bone-deep, and I’m confident we can expect great things from her. I highly recommend this story and the whole series!”

 

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You can find the end of this magical trilogy here

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So, what’s it all about then?

At the end was darkness. Now it is time to go back to the beginning and rekindle the light.

Deborah, the daughter of the Green Woman, reaches her journey’s end only to find it has barely started. Escaping Providence was the easy part. Now, as her mother’s strength fails, the burden of the Memory passes to Deborah. The Garden is waking, the Iron Horde is massing, the Queen’s host is gathering. The Fianna have sailed the western ocean and Providence is alight. But evil has put down strong roots in the hearts of the citizens of Providence and Deborah fears she has not the power to tear it out.

If she cannot summon up the green earth magic of the tree, Abaddon and his Iron Horde will trample the new shoots of the Garden. For Abaddon has the power of death with him. The weapons to defeat him are life and love, but Deborah longs to join the shadowlands, and her love is dead.

This is the final volume of The Green Woman series, in which the broken pattern will be mended and the balance of good and evil restored. Or not.

And here is a teaser

The amusement faded from Oscar’s face and he grew suddenly serious. Maeve found herself watching his changing expressions, waiting for him to speak again as he swept his thick hair back from his forehead, and his blue eyes grew as deep and mysterious as the sea. When he spoke, his voice was strong and rang out even in the thick, dusty air of the desert.

“The times are changing,” he said solemnly. “The Green Woman has given us the means to sweep the world clean again. The task is immense, but she has brought back the great ones to do it. You will have your part to play, my young hero. See that you play it well.” Then he smiled warmly at Zachariah and gripped his arm. Zachariah smiled back feeling vaguely foolish and returned the arm clasp. Oscar turned to Maeve, his eyes shining like sun on the sea.

“He has a good heart,” he said, “and a good head. He will learn.” His eyes searched Maeve’s face though what he was looking for he could not say. Her eyes held him and he could not leave until he had heard the sound of her voice. “But what of you, my silent one, what do you dream of for the future?”

Maeve held the young barbarian’s gaze. Something in the depths of his eyes was familiar. Something in his voice made her think of a familiar, well-loved song. “My name is Maeve,” she said, “and I’m not silent. Providence is beyond saving. Let the Green Woman show us a better place, and the Dananns at least will follow her there.”

Oscar’s eyes burned with a curious light and she dropped her gaze in confusion. She felt the excitement of the moment mounting to her head. She dared not speak again for fear of losing the magic, not even to return Connla’s salute as he wheeled his horse about and galloped back to the Fianna. Although she avoided meeting his eyes, Oscar’s presence filled her head, and she knew he was watching her, as reluctant to follow his kinsman as she was to have him go. He still held his horse’s head and it pranced and stamped excitedly.

“Maeve, is it?” he murmured. She nodded and reluctantly raised her head. Afraid that the flame in her cheeks would betray her wild, new emotions, she would have liked to turn away, but she couldn’t, held by the brilliant blue fire in Oscar’s eyes. Like Connla, his hair was thick and unruly and the colour of red gold, his cheekbones high and firm. Maeve’s heart lurched and she feared she was falling into depths from which she would never resurface. Then Oscar grinned with all his white teeth, and for the moment the magic was, not broken, but less intense. Like the fire in the hearth that dies down at night, the glowing embers needing only a strong breath to be rekindled the following morning.

Maeve smiled back shyly and did not even notice the darkening of Zachariah’s face. Oscar finally touched his mare with his heels and pulled her around so that she trotted side by side with Maeve’s Centaur. The pale morning light caught the bright brooch that held Oscar’s cloak at the shoulder, and Maeve’s eyes opened wide. She had never seen such intricate work. The green-cloaked woman reached out to her, her red hair like a halo of fire.

“It’s beautiful,” she whispered.

“It’s pretty enough,” Oscar acknowledged. “More suited to a woman, though. Here!” And with a careless gesture he undid the pin and passed the cloak over Maeve’s shoulders. He fastened the brooch and looked from it to the girl’s face. “No,” he said shaking his head, “not nearly pretty enough.” Then his face lit up in one of his brilliant smiles. “When this battle is over, I will take you home with me, and you shall have whatever of mine your heart desires.”

Zachariah flinched as if he had been stung. His jaw tightened and a faint flush of anger coloured his cheeks, but he was the only one to have heard anything enigmatic in the words. If Maeve noticed, she put it out of her head as the excited horses darted forward, and the Centaurs thundered after. They had joined with the Queen’s host.

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