The Dark Citadel kicks off this YA fantasy series in the grim Holy City State of Providence, where a couple of determined young people, and a whole underclass are preparing to bust out or die.
What the reviewers said:
“THE DARK CITADEL is a breathtaking book, but it’s only the gateway into a deeper experience.”
“The thick, unhealthy atmosphere, twisted characters, and pervasive corruption is BLEAK HOUSE transported to a dome at the end of the remembered world.”
“This is a tale of good versus evil with the most sumptuous world building and scene setting I’ve come across.”
“The beginning is nothing short of brilliant and won’t let you up to breathe.”
“This novel rates with the very best of fantasy fiction. More than that, it rates with great fiction in all genres — great writing, unforgettable characters, an unlikely hero, and a story that will remain with you.”
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Want to know what it’s all about?
When all you have are memories, and all you’re promised is a warped husband, even Hell seems like an option.
Armed with determination and a handful of dreams, Deborah braves the demon-haunted wasteland to solve the mystery of her heritage.
One by one the pieces of the puzzle fall into place–one of them has a broken-toothed grin, and his name is Jonah.
And here’s a teaser to whet your appetite:
As always, the pups trotted in front at a steady lope, their bushy tails held low. One night, in the darkest hour before dawn, they stopped, hackles raised. As Jonah and Deborah listened to the throbbing darkness, they heard a shriek, like the call of a giant bird. The call was answered, again, and again.
“What is it?” Deborah whispered.
“Some people, the desert wanderers, call them grave worms.”
Jonah clicked his tongue to warn the pups and pulled Deborah beneath a clump of spiny bushes where they huddled together, not daring to breathe. The air turned icy cold, and they felt the rush of leathery wings on their faces. The wind passed but they were aware of a presence hovering above them. Their flesh crept in revulsion, and an icy trickle of fear made its way down their backs. They could see nothing, but they could hear a reptilian hissing and the sound of sniffing. The steady flapping of broad wings sent waves of fetid air to rattle the bushes of their hiding place.
Deborah felt sick with terror. This is it, she thought in a panic, this is where it ends.
Jonah pushed Deborah’s head down into the sand. “Close your eyes,” he hissed. “Whatever happens, don’t look up.”
Suddenly, there was the swoosh of displaced air, and the bird-shriek rent the heavy air, followed by a cry that might have been the beginning of a bark and ended in a scream of agony. Jonah pulled Deborah’s head towards him into the shelter of his shoulder, grinding his clenched teeth. Then the cold air quivered, viscous and evil smelling, and the presence departed. They lay, clinging together until the darkness began to break up.
* * * *
“What is a wyvern?” Deborah’s voice trembled. “I mean, what does it look like?”
“Ugly. A great winged serpent,” Jonah’s voice too was unsteady, “two-footed and venomous. It got one of the pups, the filthy vermin! They smell warm blood; they see body heat. Nothing escapes them.” He shook his head to clear the nascent tears and tried a feeble smile. “It’ll be light soon, we should find somewhere better to hide.”
But he didn’t move, just carried on gazing at Deborah’s face. With her finger, she touched away the damp beneath his eyes then kissed the place where it had been. As they got slowly to their feet, Deborah slipped her hand shyly into his.
You can read the wonderful reviews here