They're <devilish hard> to capture

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park sang joon

Senior Member
A sorcerer and one of royal family member of Courts of Chaos, the protagonist got into his best friend Luke's dream about "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."
He stepped down into the white rabbit hole, carrying Luke fainted, to evade a invincible Fire Angel, it chased after them, and a Jabberwock went after it.
They all fell through the tunnel and the two beasts landed through the opening following the protagonist and Luke.

There was no reason for a Fire Angel to be stalking about this far from Chaos unless it had been sent. They're devilish hard to capture, harder to train, and dangerous to handle.
["Blood of Amber" of The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny]
I know there is a case the former plays the role of an adverb when two adjective is used sequentially.
And I'd like to know if an adjective "devilish" adverbially modifies "hard."
Thank you in advance for your help.
  • perpend

    American English
    I agree with SR.

    In American English, I'd prefer:
    they are a devil to capture
    they are devilishly hard to capture

    This writer doesn't write conventionally (Zelazny), but you know that PSJ. :)


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    "Devilish" is principally an adjective, but the Oxford English Dictionary lists it as an adverb too: "adv. = devilishly 2; excessively, exceedingly, enormously: originally of things bad, but in later use a mere coarse intensive."
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