Jane Dougherty is the author of the previously reviewed book The Dark Citadel. She has written what I’m calling a novelette, a set of stories that will open up that world even more. The stories found in her novelette, In the Beginning.
Readers will find three back stories to characters that play a crucial part in The Dark Citadel. The tales will introduce you to Rachel (The Green Woman), the cruel Hector, and the kind Jonah. The stories will help give the reader a further understanding of the characters and what drove them to the spot you find them in as you read, or read The Dark Citadel.
The stories begin with who will become a major player, and that is Rachel. She is the Green Woman, the holder of memories of the past. As you read the story, Of Dreams and Horses, you discover how Rachel first discovered her “gift”. You will find out how others helped her to understand the gift and the importance it will have on their world. At the same time the reader will find out about the sacrifice that she will have to give to escape the city.
The story Fathers and Brothers, takes us into the cruel world of the young boy named Hector. A boy who has an abusive father who is “important” to the city and has a job no one else can do. Hector is proud of his father knowing that his job is important but also misses the love his mother gave. The boy has some physical challenges but his lonely torment is going to be seen by others. The story tells the reader what may lead this kind but misunderstood child to the villain he becomes.
The last story found within is called, Jonah’s Story. As in Hector’s tale this tells of a young man who deals with the loss of a loved one. What makes it worse for Jonah is after a lock down his mother suffers a terrible fate that sends Jonah running into the tunnels under the city. It is during this escape that a voice comes to him and will help him for years. Along the way, and outside the domed city, he is introduced to the pack of pups we find in The Dark Citadel. As in the other stories you read and understand how he becomes such a pivotal character.
All three of these stories give the reader a deep understanding of the motivation for each character. This is a great addendum to The Dark Citadel as it gives the motivations that push these three characters. A reader can either read In the Beginning before or after they read the primary book. In either case it will draw you in deeper to their world and hopefully wanting more.