Ilyon & Acktar Blog Tour

Ilyon and Acktar Blog Tour Header

Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Bitter Winter, and companion novella Lacy have been released! Bitter Winter is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles.

Tricia Mingerink’s newest novel Decree is also releasing! Decree is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy/kingdom adventure series The Blades of Acktar.

Read about these books below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

I’ve read all three of these books, and they are seriously amazing. Today I’m reviewing all three, and to avoid creating a monster post, I’ll be posting the reviews separately.

For information on the books and to enter the massive giveaway, keep reading. If you’re here just for my reviews, click the following links:

The Ilyon Chronicles

Bitter Winter

About Bitter Winter

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Available now on Amazon!



About Lacy

The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection.

When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom.

An Ilyon Chronicles Novella

Available now on Amazon!


Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

About the Author

JayeLKnight Author PhotoJaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.

The Blades of Acktar

Decree Cover 101518 Final

About Decree

The Adventure Continues.

Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.

The Blades as They Should’ve Been

A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept the man who attempted to kill him as family?

The First Mission

When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?

To the Far Great Mountains

A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves?

From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.

Available now on Amazon!


Haven’t discovered the The Blades of Acktar yet? Find out more at on the official Blades of Acktar page.

DSC09450-2About the Author

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.) Click on this link to enter.

Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour!


Exiles Release Giveaway, Review, & Interview!

I am excited. It’s finally here! The wait is over and you can find out what happens next…

Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Exiles, has been released! Exiles is the fourth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. Below you’ll find MY LENGTHY REVIEW as well as an INTERVIEW with a very special and fun character. Be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page, and don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book
Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest.

Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all.

Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir, but with other forces at work, it might not be that simple.

One small misstep could prove fatal for all.


Available now on Amazon
(click here to view)!


My Review

Exiles…unexpected in some ways, fulfilling in others, satisfying in still more. If I could sum up Exiles in one phrase, I would call it an “exciting bridge.” It’s truly a transition between the first three books of the series and the last two, and it both clears the stage and resets the stage in multiple ways.

But never fear. There are no boring info dumps or slow plot-setting sections here. This Bridge is exciting. Exiles offers the same depth of character, adventurous plot, breathtaking descriptions, and spiritual parallels as the rest of the series.

To me, Resistance was amazing. The King’s Scrolls was even better. Samara’s Peril was better yet. I was quite interested to see if Exiles would top them, but personally I found it more on a level with Resistance. Just as Resistance is setting the stage, Exiles is clearing the stage and resetting it. Personally, to reach the level of surpassing favorite, a book needs to touch a deep chord spiritually in me, and whereas The King’s Scrolls has Timothy, the Scrolls, sacrifice, and family, and Samara’s Peril has Elon, there wasn’t a particular element of Exiles that pushed it over the top for me. But if you know my passion for Resistance, you know I still absolutely LOVED Exiles, so never fear. Exiles is like Resistance magnified. The stakes are higher. We already know and love the characters, so we can jump directly into the fast-paced and action-packed plot. With so much happening in Exiles, I can’t wait to see what amazing things will take place in the next two books and I fully expect at least one of them to become my new favorite once they are written and published.

Exiles is the fastest-paced Ilyon book so far, and with three separate storylines, it’s easy to understand why. Large chunks of time are skipped; we see what’s happening, but not the details. Although I enjoy reading the details of daily life, I understand the need for a fast-paced story in this case. I loved following the different people in the various places of the three storylines, even though the necessarily shorter scenes don’t allow as much time to get into what’s happening and into the characters’ minds.

Content: Romance (discreetly portrayed), matchmaking talk, mild kissing, mentions of ryriks wanting to “have fun” with a girl (using those words), some injuries mentioned (mild description)

What I Liked Less:

  1. Timothy and Leetra. I don’t know why, but I really don’t get the right feeling during their scenes. Realistically, sometimes someone falls in love but the person doesn’t reciprocate. They just don’t feel right together to me, though I do appreciate what is happening with them. Aside from that, I do love Timothy and his mature character and actions.
  2. A very young crush. It wasn’t a big part of the story or dwelt on, but I still wasn’t comfortable with the message it might send to the youngsters reading this story.

What I Loved Most:

  1. Ryriks! Jace! Ryriks! To avoid spoilers, I will simply say that the emotional and spiritual impact of this element is excellently done—not to mention paired with beautiful and picturesque description that makes me want to leave Earth, hop to Ilyon, and hunker down there for a lifetime.
  2. CRETE COUNTRY! It’s so wonderfully described, and it’s beautiful. I felt as though I was actually visiting. All the hype about the cretes’ home in The King’s Scrolls and Samara’s Peril is satisfying fulfilled and surpassed in Exiles. It was magnificent. And I don’t even like heights. 🙂
  3. Anne and Trask! They are wonderful together.
  4. Jace and Kyrin’s relationship. I’m not big into romance (and most romance isn’t written well or as discreetly as I’d prefer), but I need so much more of Jace and Kyrin. They are realistic, loyal, loving, understanding, open, honest, raw, gentle, modest, chaste, patient, kind, and did I mention real? 🙂 Their ups and downs are portrayed so realistically. I can relate to all of it. I especially love Jace and Kyrin’s loving, gentle, chaste conversations. This is such a sweet time in their life and relationship, and I enjoy going along for the ride. Thanks to the author for writing such a beautiful relationship.
  5. Daniel! He hasn’t made the top of the list of what I’ve loved in any other book, but that changes here. 🙂
  6. JAMES?! I can’t wait to see more of him in a later book…
  7. Family life in Camp is the best! I love those little homey scenes!
  8. I love the scenes the book begins and ends with…that’s all I will say to avoid spoilers. 🙂
  9. Saul is amazing. You’ll have to read the book to find out why.
  10. Giant cabins…again, go read the book.

All in all, I enjoyed Exiles – Five Stars! I am looking forward to the next book!

Interview With… Meredith!

Meredith walks in and sits down, looking around timidly. “I’ve never done an interview by myself before, but Kyrin said I could do it.”
“Of course you can,” I reply with an affirming smile. “Kyrin is right. I’m glad you’re here. I’ll just be asking you a few questions, and they aren’t hard. Not like the interviews Jace has to do sometimes…” I glance away from her and wrinkle my nose a bit before returning my attention to Meredith.
“First, what is your favorite memory and why is it special to you?”
Meredith smiles a bit, and I can tell she’s searching my face carefully before answering. She seems satisfied since she answers without further hesitation. “I like to remember my birthday before I had to go to Tarvin Hall. My mommy and daddy took me out for a picnic by the river, and my daddy helped me try to swim. It’s my favorite because we were happy and it was just before the emperor’s men came.”
“That’s wonderful!” I exclaim. “That sounds like a fun day. I’m glad you have a good memory like that with your parents. So what might you like to be or do when you grow older?”
“I don’t know what I want to do. I hope I’m brave like Kyrin. And maybe I’ll be a mommy like Lenae or my mommy. I would like that.”
I can’t keep the smile off my face as I watch the light in her eyes. “I’m sure you’ll be a wonderful mommy. I hope you get to sometime. And I hope you get to spend time helping younger children even if you’re not a mommy yet. Next question: what do you like to spend time doing?”
“I like to play with my kitten, Violet. She’s fun. And I like to play with dolls, especially if Kyrin can play with me. If she’s busy, I like to play outside with Ronny. Sometimes we pretend I’m a princess and he has to rescue me from evil bandits.”
“That sounds fun. I didn’t know you liked dolls. I suppose you help with the chores and cooking around camp, too. So what do you think of Jace?”
“I like Jace. Some people think he’s scary, but I don’t, and we both like animals. I like when I get to play with Tyra when he’s gone so she won’t get lonely.”
“Aw…that’s so sweet of you. What do you think of Kaden?”
“I like Kaden too. He’s like my big brother. No one wants to mess with him.”
I grin. “Always good to have someone like that around. Last question – do you have a favorite passage from the Scrolls?”
“I like the verses that talk about how Elôm takes care of us and won’t ever leave us alone, even if bad things happen.”
She pauses and appears to be thinking, so I wait in silence for a moment. When she doesn’t add anything more, I speak. “So do I. He will never leave us nor forsake us, so that we may boldly say He is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.”
We share smiles. “Thank you so much for coming, Meredith. I’ve enjoyed having you here. Come visit again sometime, and keep an eye on Kyrin, all right?”
“All right,” she grins again. “Thanks.”

About the Author
JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Exiles, a pewter dragon necklace by treasurecast, and a sword letter opener! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)


Go enter, and then go visit Jaye’s Blog to find all the other release tour stops. Over forty other bloggers are posting reviews, author interviews, character interviews, excerpts, or other fun things this weekend about Exiles, so check them out!

Did anything in my review make you want to read Exiles? 🙂 Or start the Ilyon Chronicles from the beginning?

Jaye L. Knight: Author Interview

JayeAuthorJaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.


Once upon a time I met an author named Jaye. We had a conversation, and today, in celebration of the release of Samara’s Peril, book three of Ilyon Chronicles, you get to listen in!

“Hi Jaye! Congratulations on the release of Samara’s Peril! What an exciting day! This is a significant milestone in your long writing career. Speaking of which, what was the first story you ever wrote, and how old were you when you wrote it?”

“My very first story was about a girl named April, if I remember correctly. It was actually a little collection of one page stories about her and her friends and pets. I honestly can’t remember what each of them were about. I was eight years old when I wrote them.”


“How fun! I love reading and hearing about authors’ childish works! During your writing career, what’s the most unique, interesting, or unusual thing you’ve ever done in the name of book research?”

“I bought and had my brother lock me in a pair of shackles. Uh yeah, that was interesting. I guess it wasn’t purely for research, but rather for a cover photoshoot, but it still gave me a good idea of what it’s like.”


“Wow, you certainly trust your brother! I’m not sure I’d let my brother do that to me… On another note, you have quite a number of excited readers and fans. What do your fans mean to you?”

“My fans mean everything to me! Without such dedicated readers, my mom would probably be one of the only people reading my work. Without the interaction and encouragement, I don’t think I would even attempt to keep publishing my books. It can be a long, hard, discouraging process at times, but it’s the fangirly comments or sweet, encouraging emails I get that really help make it feel worth it.”


“I can assure you that your writing is much to valuable to be confined to such a limited audience. 🙂 And as long as it remains so encouraging, we’ll be sure to keep up the fanclub. Actually, we’ll keep it up anyway, because we can’t help it with a series like this… Here’s a random question: if you were a tree, which one would you be and why?”

“What are those huge, gorgeous, spreading trees over in England that you always see on Pride & Prejudice movies and Downton Abbey? I’m not even sure, but that’s the kind of tree I would want to be. I love those trees.”


“Nice. I’m not sure what they are either, but they are grand. Back on topic, Samara’s Peril gets deeply into conflicts in Jace’s heart. What were some of the challenges of writing at this level?”

“Well, when you’re writing a character, you really try to put yourself in their position and feel what they feel so that it’s real and accurate. It obviously can be difficult to get into the mind of someone who is so deeply depressed, though I do have experience with depression to draw on. Honestly, I think the biggest challenge of writing such deep and sometimes dark emotions is just the unknown of how readers will react. A lot of what goes into the series and Jace in particular is deeply personal to me, so it’s like baring your heart to the world. That’s a scary thing.”


“That’s interesting that readers’ reactions play such a large role in the challenge of writing. Readers, too, then, have a weighty job. Thanks so much for pouring your heart and soul into your books so that such light and truth comes out! It’s a blessing to be able to read. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers and fans?”

“I just want to say how thankful I am for everyone who has been a part of this adventure so far. It has been two years since Resistance was published (May 20, 2014). Those two years have been the most exciting time of my writing career so far. Everything that has happened with this series has been incredible, and that wouldn’t be without such wonderfully dedicated readers.”

“Congratulations on this two-year milestone for Ilyon! I can honestly say it is the best series I’ve ever read. I look forward to where God will take you with it in the next two years!”

Don’t forget to scroll down and check out the posts containing my review of Samara’s Peril and many other Blog Tour goodies – including a giveaway! And if you’d like to truly enter the celebration, click one of the links below to purchase your very own copy of Samara’s Peril. You’ll be blessed through reading this book.


Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

Image source credit: Pinterest

Samara’s Peril Book Review & Excerpt!

If you’ve read my multiple posts on Resistance, The King’s Scrolls, and Half-Blood, you know my passion for Jaye L. Knight’s Christian fantasy series Ilyon Chronicles. 

Book Three in the series, Samara’s Peril, is the best installment yet.


We get to revisit all of our favorite characters from previous books, following them on new adventures and through new hardships, struggles, daily life, and joys. We get to walk beside them as they learn and grow, make mistakes and repent, struggle and rise, face danger and experience joys.

Jace’s character, in particular, grows tremendously in this book. From the first chapter, Jaye L. Knight sets the stage for a complex and involved plotline that takes us through some of the darkest and brightest times in Jace’s life so far.


Advisory/Content Warning: There’s a very short scene that involves torture, but nothing too descriptive and it’s kept quite brief. It also proves to be essential to plot development. There’s also an impulsive kiss.

What I Liked:

Elon. This part of the story was so deep, meaningful, rich, and personal. Without giving away the story, I will simply say that I have seldom or never seen this aspect of an allegory done so well. This storyline alone caused Samara’s Peril to shine above and beyond other books of its type.



Jace. His character growth, personal growth, and social growth all expanded tremendously in this book, and it was a delight and a joy to read.

Rachel and Elanor. Looking for sweet, delightful (yet very human and realistic) female role models? Look no further. I can’t wait to see more of these two in future books.

Jace and Kyrin. Need I say anything more? I appreciated how the two of them had equally important yet different roles in the first part of the book – and how they worked together after that. Despite one impulsive mistake on Jace’s part, I sincerely enjoyed how the two of them developed throughout this book. It’s sweet, touching, uplifting, and exciting to see them walk forward step by step in Elom’s plan for them.


King Balen. Now this is what a true king should be like. His behavior, attitude, and outlook on life are refreshing.

The professional, descriptive, and highly-polished writing style. Even the beta reader copy I received originally showed marked evidences of highly-refined grammar, style, and content. As an editor, I find this refreshing to read and it adds significant quality to the book. This is a well-crafted story in all respects.


Daily life in camp. The glimpses and scenes of life in camp were a joy and delight to read. With the constant perils of Resistance and The King’s Scrolls, we don’t get to see much ordinary life in camp, but in Samara’s Peril, several delightful glimpses of camp life provide a refreshing change to the dangers. I also enjoyed the Altair family interactions.

Realistic actions, reactions, emotions, thoughts, and feelings. It was easy to identify with the various characters.

Kyrin’s birthday. 🙂

Warin and Lenae.

Jace and Elon!

Timothy preaching.

Jace with Kyrin and Rayad towards the end – and Jace speaking truth and life.

Emotions. There’s joy and delight in simple pleasures, as well as excitement, tender moments, thrills, love, and peace. There’s depth of spiritual relationship. There’s danger, suspense, tension, fear, hopelessness, doubt, despair, stress, anger, and hatred – all portrayed and handled excellently.

Prayer. I mention this last on this list, but it was very important to me. There is more of an urgency of fervent prayer in this book than previous books. The relationship with Elom is becoming very real and personal.


What I Liked Less:

While I didn’t dislike anything about this book, I didn’t care for a certain torture scene. I also was disappointed with Jace in making an impulsive mistake near the end of the book at a pivotal point, but at the same time, I did enjoy seeing his character increase as he realized his error, apologized, and moved forward with true kindness, consideration, wisdom, and gentlemanliness. I also found one of the plot endings to be a bit bewildering, but there were enough “good endings” to wrap it up and leave me with a sense of satisfaction. And despite these few things, Samara’s Peril remains my favorite of the entire series and ranks near the top of my all-time favorite books.

What Else You Might Like:

Epic battles
Intense suspense during the mission
New characters
Surprises and plot twists


Overall, I highly recommend this book. Hop on over to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks and pick it up to celebrate release day! If you haven’t discovered Ilyon yet, pick up Resistance on Amazon. I assure you that the series is well worth it.

Samara’s Peril Excerpt!

A couple of hours later, Kyrin set one of the finished loaves on the table to cool. She had just turned to get another when the door opened again, letting in a string of excited male voices.

“—see that?”

Kaden walked in first, laughing a breathless chuckle fueled by adrenaline, and flashed a grin at Talas.

The crete shook his head. “I thought for sure you were going down!”

Kyrin could tell by their windblown hair that they had just come from flying, likely another training session for their group of dragon riders. They worked with them nearly every day. The laughter and conversation died, however, when Kaden met their mother’s probing gaze.

“What’s this about going down?”

Kaden’s gaze shifted to Kyrin, looking for support. She lifted her brows. If he was being daring and foolhardy, he wasn’t going to get any support from her.

His attention returned to their mother. “Ah . . .” A sheepish grin came to his face that Kyrin remembered him using as a child to cover up wrongdoing. “It’s nothing… I was just practicing a new maneuver and there was a little incident. That’s all.”

“Right.” Their mother nodded at Talas. “If he thought you were going down, that sounds serious.”

Kaden looked over his shoulder at Talas, probably hoping he would downplay the whole thing, but the crete merely shrugged, a mischievous twinkle in his bright green eyes. Turning back to his mother, Kaden insisted, “Really, I was fine. Exsis wasn’t going to let me fall.”

Scroll down or click “previous post” for the Samara’s Peril giveaway and other blog tour goodies! Scroll up or click “next post” for an author interview with Jaye L. Knight!

Image source credit: Pinterest

Half-Blood: Author Interview

I pull my car in next to the river, park, and head for the quaint tea house that’s a favorite in the area. Readjusting my straw hat and pushing the ribbons out of my face, I pull open the white door of the building that looks like a house from a century or two ago. 

Inside, a smiling face greets me at one of the tables-for-two. Yes, today I have the privilege of sharing with you another interview – this time not with a book character, but with the author of the fantastic series that I’ve been following avidly for the past few years: Jaye L. Knight, who penned The Ilyon Chronicles.

As I sip my peppermint tea and Jaye sips her English Breakfast tea I ask her a question I’ve been wondering about for years.

“So, the editorial process is essential for an author publishing her works. As an editor myself, I’m particularly interested in this stage. Can you describe how your editing, formatting, and final touch process usually goes?”

“The process has definitely changed for me over the years. When I first started publishing, I couldn’t afford editors or proofreaders and I didn’t really know anyone who could be my beta readers.”

I grin. Yep. I hear you.”

“It was pretty much up to me and my mom to get my books ready to publish. We certainly weren’t perfect, but I had to start somewhere. Thankfully, I now have a much more thorough system. I usually go over my manuscript three or four times and then have my mom go over it. Then, once I’m satisfied, it goes off to my group of beta readers. Once I their feedback, I go through another round of editing. Sometimes my mom will go over it again as well. When I think it’s finally ready, I give it a final read-through out loud to catch anything that just doesn’t read smoothly. I then send the final version to my proofreader. While I’m waiting for her edits, I usually order an initial paperback proof copy to start getting the cover just the way I like it. As soon as I get the proofread version back and apply the corrections, I format the paperback, and by that time it’s usually ready for publication.”

“Nice. It’s really an interesting process – though it’s hard work.” I take another sip of tea and reach for a strawberry. “One part of books as a writer, editor, and reader that’s most important to me is the spiritual side. This comes across both in the message of the book and in the life of the Author. Books are an excellent tool to teach and illustrate the Kingdom of God–which I believe Ilyon Chronicles does very excellently. Can you share about your own spiritual journey and how God has worked in your life?”

“I grew up in a Christian home. I think I was saved when I was eight years old, although I can’t be sure I truly understood at that time, so it might have been a few years before I really knew what it was to be saved.”

“I hear you there, too.”

“My faith was always important to me, but it didn’t really hit me how important it was until I was about nineteen. I went to a Building 429 concert with my family, and hearing the lead singer speak really changed my life. It made me want to live my faith wholeheartedly. The year or so after that was one of the best times of my life. I went through some hard things, but I really grew during that time. That was a really good thing, because the years since than have been pretty difficult. I’ve struggled with a lot of health problems that took years to figure out. We’ve also gone through some very hard things as a family, and personally, I’ve had times where I’ve struggled with a lot of depression and anxiety. When I was nineteen, I felt very strong and excited spiritually. The last few years have been more of a season of feeling my brokenness and neediness for God. It’s been a time where God is teaching me to rejoice always, even in pain, and to be still and wait on Him.”

I can relate to that as well. I’ve had the times of spiritual excitement and passion for God as well as the times of feeling utterly inadequate and broken. I think God does that to bring us more nearly into the fellowship of His sufferings…that He may truly be ALL in our lives. And that goes for all that we do. Along the same lines, what are some primary spiritual messages or thoughts that you’d like readers to take away from Half-Blood?”

“A lot of the story of Ilyon Chronicles has come from the brokenness I mentioned. Life is a huge struggle. The older I get, the more clearly I see it. So often, things don’t make any sense, and so much of life seems so cruel. One thing I’ve constantly had to remind myself is that, even when I can’t see it, God is still working in the background. He has a plan. That’s the message I want to share with Jace’s story, not only in Half-Blood, but in the entire series. He came from a place of ultimate darkness and brokenness, but God was always working in his life and had a plan for it. I hope that can be an encouragement, especially for anyone who is suffering.”

“Amen. It is. I think that theme came out very strongly in the story. Think of how spiritually strong Jace will be because of the sufferings that God brought him through! He is our hope.”

We drain the last drops of tea. “Thanks so much, Jaye. This virtual tea chat has been most enjoyable. I hope we may meet non-virtually very soon. And – congratulations on Half-Blood.” 

“Thank you so much! And I hope we can meet non-virtually as well.”

I adjust my hat and turn towards the door. She follows. 

“Wait…. is that a dragon I see out there??”

Jaye grins.

Attribution: Photo 1 By SiefkinDR (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (, via Wikimedia Commons; Photo 2 By Thomas Quine (Casa Loma tea room) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons; Photo 3 By Simon Q from United Kingdom (Brewhouse Tea Room  Uploaded by tm) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons; Photo 4 By David REVOY [CC BY 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Half-Blood Review

In celebration of Jaye L. Knight’s release of Half-Blood, I am devoting a grand total of three posts to this marvelous book. This is the second of those posts, and in it I proclaim my dedicated review for this masterpiece.

Half-Blood. What does one say after finishing such a book? How long must one devote to emotional recovery? I liked Half-Blood. I don’t think I liked it quite as much as Resistance and The King’s Scrolls, but it’s different – it has a different feel, different length, different purpose. Yet it has a very continuous feel to it; it flows with the other books very well.

I particularly liked reading a whole book from Jace’s point of view. I felt like I couldn’t connect with and understand Jace like I wanted to in Resistance, and I realized that part of the reason is that we don’t get to be “inside his mind” for most of the book like we do for the others. Half-Blood provided an excellent background in seeing from his perspective and truly understanding who he is, how he thinks, and what drives him. In Resistance, we don’t get to read from Jace’s perspective until a good way in. But in Half-Blood, we get Jace’s perspective from the first line straight through to the last line. We get inside of his head. We get to know what he’s been through and what motivates him—why he acts as he does. In Resistance we’re introduced to a quiet, hurting young man who’s wrapped up in his shell. We view him with Rayad’s eyes, with Kyrin’s eyes, with Holden’s eyes, with Rebekah’s eyes and Laytan’s eyes and Trask’s eyes and Lady Anne’s eyes. But in Half Blood, we view him through his heart and soul. Yes, he does have a soul. Every action and reaction of his proves it.

The book was shorter than the others, but not so short that it left me unsatisfied and wanting more too badly. Much of it was painful. But the threads of hope that begin to weave themselves into Jace’s life provide a satisfying story line and deeper insight into what Elom is doing in his life.

One of its strongest points is that it tied into Resistance most excellently. I was riveted from the moment I knew that the two books had begun to intersect, and that continued through to the end. Jaye structured this part of the book very well.

The book didn’t make me cry. The King’s Scrolls does a much better job as far as that goes…but that’s because it’s on such a different level. The pain and emotion and hurt in TKS is different, and in a sense, deeper. It touches something that could make me cry. Half-Blood, on the other hand, is full of physical pain and slavery and mistreatment in daily life. It’s awful. It’s a very uncomfortable story to read. But it’s not a crying kind of book for me. Still, during one particular scene especially, I was right there feeling the pain, hurt, and loss with Jace.

As an advisory, this is a tough story. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not for children. Although Jaye doesn’t linger on the rough details of the violence, pain, and loss that Jace suffers and handles this far better than any other portrayal I’ve read regarding such topics, it’s there. Also, I would not recommend reading this book before reading Resistance. With the perspective of Resistance, the story of Half-Blood is bearable and greatly enlightening. I would recommend it highly to fans of Resistance.

Character development was excellent and lays the foundation for the development in the other Ilyon books. Because Half-Blood focuses solely on Jace and his character, there is a lot of depth here that we wouldn’t be able to get in a larger, more complex story with more characters, plots, sub-plots, and dangers. I also greatly enjoyed the character portrayal of Rayad in this story. In Resistance, we see through his eyes. Now we see him from the other viewpoint and we appreciate him that much more.

The setting is very realistic. You can feel that you’re in Ilyon, and you know it. The emotion and dialogue were also well done. I could hear Jace in this book in a much more clear way than I could in Resistance—probably because I had no context in Resistance to guide the sound of his voice. I heard only a silent, moody, pained, hurting young man, which was hard to hear without context. Now I hear his heart, his fears, his struggles, and who he is.

Images source: Pinterest

Half-Blood Party!

Jaye L. Knight’s new novella, Half-Blood, has been released! Learn more about this prequel story to Ilyon Chronicles and make sure you also enter the tour giveaway at the bottom!

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About the Book
The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .

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Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

About the Author
JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Etsy, and on her new fiction forum where you can interact with other readers of the series.

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Half-Blood, a blue feather bookmark hand crafted by Jaye, a bronze sword pendant, and a $5 Amazon gift card! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Tour Schedule
Tuesday, July 14

Wednesday, July 15

Thursday, July 16

Friday, July 17

Saturday, July 18

Sunday, July 19

Monday, July 20

Tuesday, July 21

Wednesday, July 22