Book Three in the Heartwood Series
When all you have is doubt, how do you become who you’re supposed to be, do what you’re expected to do? Why bother when you spend every minute trying to prove to everyone that you are capable of what they expect of you?
Demons of the natural world are working to destroy it. Xaphan is the strongest, most dangerous so far. If he succeeds with what Ela believes he is planning to do, he will destroy most living things on earth; man, plant, and animal. Hell, even bugs. She has no idea how to destroy him. But she has killed two other demons before, and now she has a very large, very magical wolf beside her.
It’s bad enough she can’t heal the wounds of the natural earth caused by human destruction—like global warming. But she can kill the demons.
If they would just stop treating her like a child, maybe she wouldn’t feel like one—uncertain she can be who they need her to be. The true Xylem. The only one who can extinguish the demons of the natural world.
So, when you begin to doubt yourself like everyone else around you, do you walk away?
Ela can’t walk away. It is her legacy, and she won’t fail despite what everyone thinks. So, in the face of the dubiety that constantly engulfs her, she is determined to find a way.
Reader's Favorite 5 Star Review:
Dubiety by Nancy Newman is the third book in the Heartwood series, which began in the Adirondack Mountains where the teenager Elathea was revealed to be the next true Xylem. Ela was sent to the magical edifice, Heartwood, to learn about her destiny of protecting the natural world from destructive supernatural demons. Ultimately accepting her role, in the sequel Ela confronts another demon in Pennsylvania that threatens the world's ecosystem by causing destructive fractures in the earth. She also battles self-doubt due to scrutiny from her ancestral community, causing her to question her capabilities. In Dubiety, Ela grapples with her expectations and, feeling underestimated, faces her most formidable opponent yet. Xaphan threatens to decimate most of life on Earth. Despite her doubts and inability to heal the wounds of human-induced environmental damage, her unwavering determination to preserve her legacy pushes her to devise a way to exterminate the natural world's demons.
I love how Ela's journey and her outlook on what her role is have shifted so much in Dubiety and how her character arc is so well embedded that we truly do feel what she does. This is enhanced by moving prose which is so prolific in Newman's writing that we almost stop noticing it. Almost. "She was home. She had come to reconcile that home would no longer be in a city, a state, or even a country." There is one particular scene where Ela's emotion so resonated with me that I got really choked up. Ela is in extreme pain. Her companion is deeply injured. In a cocoon of magic from the natural world that is so debilitating in the strength it requires that it utterly depletes Ela...it's the most beautiful moment. Not only for how it is depicted but for how Ela's heart, her connection, her ability, her empathy, and her selflessness all culminate in this deliriously spectacular moment. Nancy Newman's growth as an author is surging as well and I am looking forward to seeing where she takes us next. Very highly recommended.