“Kaelan, where are you going?”
“Off to Ilyon to find adventures!”
“Hey! Come back here! I’m supposed to be editing your story. Don’t disappear on me.”
“I can if I want. Besides, I’m tired of home. Nothing’s happened for what? Four weeks now? I tell you, I’m wasting away here.”
“No such thing! As soon as I get this edited, I’ll be happy to send you on further adventures. But the editing comes first. Now, where were we? Oh yes, you were in Syorien’s Lower District meeting Caeleb.”
“Not Caeleb… I want to meet Kaden. He has an adventurous life.”
“He lives stuck in Tarvin Hall,” I remarked dryly, leaning back in my chair.
“I don’t care. Ilyon is way better than Taerna, and you know it.”
“I’m sorry. I can’t help it that I can’t create a world as interesting as Jaye’s world. But it’s the one you happen to live in, young man. Are you getting back on this page for me or not?”
“NOT!” His taunting smile is all I can see as he retreats further from Chapter 6.
I sigh. “Fine. Go visit Ilyon. But you have to take me with you. I’m your Author, after all. And Editor,” I couldn’t resist adding.
“Yeh-hee!” He whooped, “Come on!”
I close my eyes and reach out into nothingness. Kaelan’s hand catches mine, pulling me along with him. My stomach lurches, but I ignore the sensation. I know that I’m flying right through the place where my computer screen just was. My eyes slit open. I recognize my bookshelf, but it’s much larger than normal. No, wait. I’m smaller. He pulls me directly towards the cover of a huge green book with a giant sword in the center. The top cover whooshes open in the breeze to welcome us. Kaelan leaps onto the title page, and the cover closes over our heads in a mass of soft blackness.
The darkness that engulfs us gradually turns light. The sun is peeking from the clouds over a bustling marketplace. I’m squished in between two rundown buildings, their rough stone exteriors alive with moss and lichen. All around, buzzes and hums of bartering, trading, selling, and haggling fill the warm summer air – and more smells than I can distinguish all mixed up together. I raise up on one arm to peek around the corner – directly at a stout merchant displaying a variety of clay pitchers, delicate vases, earthenware cups, and gaily painted bowls beneath a showy red and gold banner.
My attention jerks down to the opposite end of the shadowed space between the two buildings. A man has squeezed into my hideout. Does he even see me here? I shrink down as small as possible. His entire attention is earnestly focused on his surroundings. I can tell that little escapes him. His eyes warily scan the crowded market, and he ducks back before the pitcher merchant can spot him.
Then he turns to me. His dark eyes pierce directly into mine. Worry is etched across his features, but his eyes are gentle and friendly. All at once, he abruptly swings back around as footsteps yank his attention.
It is a second man. “Rayad,” he breathes in a low tone, “Thank the King you made it.”
Kaelan nudges me. “I’m going to follow him.”
“Do,” I reply, “You just might encounter something worth experiencing.”
How I Discovered Ilyon
If you’ve read my blog before, you probably know what Ilyon is.
If this is your first time here, you’re probably wondering, “What’s Ilyon?”
Ilyon is a fictional world created by author Jaye L. Knight.
“So?” you might be thinking. Many authors have created fictional worlds. This is nothing new.
But Ilyon is one of those fictional worlds that the reader thinks is real.
“So?” you might still be thinking. That’s what everyone says. Lots of stories draw readers in.
Still, Ilyon is a cut above the rest. If you don’t believe me, check out Resistance and The King’s Scrolls, books one and two in The Ilyon Chronicles, for yourself. Today just might be the day you begin your story of How You Discovered Ilyon.
I have tried to retrace the complicated trail of How I Discovered Ilyon and Jaye’s books. Sadly, the precise trail is lost in the dust of antiquity, for at the beginning I had no idea how monumental the discovery would prove to be.
Nevertheless, my story begins, so far as I can retrace it, in the passion I developed for books and reading at age four. During my childhood, I spent every afternoon reading books. At age seven, I began my own writing career in a large spiral-bound notebook with poems and short stories. As I progressed through high school, I began noticing a passion for editing.
Fast forward to February of 2013. By this time, I’ve been following for several years the blogs of my fellow-writer friends Jessica Greyson (whom I have known since we were toddlers) and Katherine Sophia (whom I met as a young child). Through these two friends, I was indirectly introduced to a plethora of other homeschooled writers.
Thus, it must have been through their blogs (likely Jessica’s) that I came across Molly Evangeline. Possibly Homeschooled Authors was also a factor in this introduction. As nearly as I can trace it, it probably happened this way:
Reads Jessica’s latest blog post which links to Homeschooled Authors.
Clicks the link.
Browses through the list of Homeschooled Authors, always on the lookout for good books from sources I can trust.
“Hmm, books by fellow homeschoolers are likely to be good.”
Sees the name Molly Evangeline and her books.
Clicks the book link for Truth, Makilien Book #1, which goes to the Amazon page.
Reads the Amazon reviews.
“Hey, almost every review says that these books are just like Narnia and Tolkien, except more deeply Christian.”
My fascination with the reviews was likely due to the fact that I had just recently read Lewis and Tolkien for the first time and loved the allegories and analogies in a medieval/ancient setting.The Makilien books immediately became my next “to-read” books.
Authors and readers, never underestimate the power of Amazon reviews.
Pursuing Molly’s work further, I came across her website. Of course, I clicked the link for free stuff and discovered that I could apply for a digital copy of the Makilien books in exchange for reviewing them.
Without delay, I applied.
Late in the afternoon of February 18, 2013, Molly sent me Truth. Within 20 hours, I finished Truth, posted reviews on my blog, Goodreads, and Barnes and Nobles, gave editor’s feedback on the book, and requested to review Courage, which she promptly sent. Just as promptly, I read, reviewed, and gave feedback on it, and she sent me Trust the next morning, which I also dove into, completing the series in just two days.
To say I enjoyed the series is an understatement. And what is more, it laid the foundation for me discovering Ilyon – a foundation both for me and for the author. Over the next several months, I reviewed the series in other places, recommended it to friends and family, and reread parts of it.
Eleven months later, Molly (now Jaye L. Knight), contacted me about beta-reading her new fantasy series: Ilyon Chronicles! My answer, of course, was an enthusiastic yes. Within a week, I sent back the first part of Resistance with feedback, and four days later, I’d finished the story.
I was riveted. Ilyon captivated me entirely. The writing style was immensely improved from the Makilien books; the characters were real, deep, and enthralling; the plot was unique and interesting; the spiritual themes carried the story on a strong, steady path. I loved Ilyon from the first moment. I knew it was a masterpiece. In many ways, I didn’t discover Ilyon. It raced out to meet me.
In the following months, I participated in Resistance’s and The King’s Scrolls’ cover reveals and blog tours, celebrated the release dates, joined Jaye’s Goodreads group and street team, purchased Resistance for various friends as a gift, beta read The King’s Scrolls and Half Blood, followed all of the latest developments and posts, participated in character interviews, schemed about the big screen for the series, and remained a firm fan.
And in the Resistance Personality Quiz? I got Kyrin.