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!
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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. 🙂
- Anne and Trask! They are wonderful together.
- 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.
- Daniel! He hasn’t made the top of the list of what I’ve loved in any other book, but that changes here. 🙂
- JAMES?! I can’t wait to see more of him in a later book…
- Family life in Camp is the best! I love those little homey scenes!
- I love the scenes the book begins and ends with…that’s all I will say to avoid spoilers. 🙂
- Saul is amazing. You’ll have to read the book to find out why.
- 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
Jaye 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?