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!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00028]


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)!

goodreads

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.)

GiveawayBanner

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?

Lady Dragon, Tela Du: Interview with Granite

recently-updatedCheck out yesterday’s post with more information on the book, my review, a free book, and more!

Today I’m back with the Lady Dragon, Tela Du blog tour, and this time Granite is here with me.

Let me tell you, I love Granite. From his deep loyalty to his true love to his heartfelt pain, he’s patient, faithful, true, and steadfast. That’s not to say he hasn’t made his share of mistakes, but he’s a character to be loved.
img_0248

WR: So Granite, welcome to Written Rest. I’m honored to have you here all the way from Rizkaland. First, where did you get your deep loyalty to your wayward wife Amber, the Lady Dragon?

Granite: She used a love potion on me the day after her sixteenth birthday – it had been a present from her mother. And even though she say’s it worn off … I’m not entirely convinced.

I pledged my life to her, and I didn’t mean it just for the good times. If I had known where our path would lead, though … She was so good once. And I can’t help but wonder if, maybe, I could have done something, said something. If I’d been more forceful. Maybe she’d still be good.

img_0246

WR: Maybe…but maybe not; we can’t live life in the maybes.

Tell me about your relationship with Laura. What do you think of her?

Granite: Laura raised Amber and I, so she’s like a mother to us. Most of the time, at least. I’ve met her sometimes when she’s younger. Scared and innocent. Then she’s more like the kid sister we never had, and the older I’ve become, the more often I see her that way. She’s a fascinating person – a force of nature, really. It’s impossible to know her completely – some days I wonder if even she can make that claim – but she told me once that I know her better than most, and I consider that to be a rare honor.

img_0245

WR: That does sound like a rare honor. A “force of nature.” Interesting way to describe a person. On another note, Amber has lured many innocent people to her castle as servants. Do you have any kind of a relationship with those servants?

Granite: For the most part, I don’t interfere with the people around the castle, lest I direct Amber’s attention to them.

img_0247

WR: Probably a wise course of action. Tell me about a time when you interfered with Amber’s plots. What did you do and what was the result?

Granite: When we first came to Rizkaland, Amber kidnapped a number of the new kings and queens, froze some of them, and put two of them, Jane and Renee, into her dungeon. Laura and I helped their uncaptured friends sneak in and rescue them. Amber was furious, and a few weeks later we were on the Isle of Banishment. Such is my life.

WR: I’m sorry about that life. Life is hard…but there are bright spots even in the hardest life. What’s your favorite memory?

Granite: The first time Amber kissed me. It was after the love potion wore off. I don’t remember much of my actions under its effects, only that I very much acted the fool. And I was very embarrassed, so I hid. And Amber found me. Long story short, she kissed me. It was the first time she had ever shown me affection.

08ea3f8f-cb49-4ca7-9aad-6bff69498f1a

WR: That’s sweet. What did you feel (due to your shared heartbeat with your wife) at the moment when the Water Princess and Fire Prince fulfilled their prophecy?

Granite: The moment when were forced back onto the Isle of Banishment? From amber, nothing, actually, aside from her detransformation from her dragon state as soon as were back in our castle. She was very calm, turned away, and marched to her office and didn’t emerge until the next day. She was annoyed, but not really angry, you see. I was mostly relieved that we were back where she would make minimal people’s lives miserable.

img_0249

WR: That is a benefit. What do you appreciate most about your wife?

Granite: She has a brilliant mind. Amazing. I just wish she’d stop using it for evil.

WR: As do I, Granite. As do I.

img_0244

Water Princess, Fire Prince Interview: Kiona

It’s time to interview Kiona from Kendra E. Ardnek’s new book, Water Princess, Fire Prince!

I wander up and down the garden, waiting impatiently. At last a step is heard and a face peers around the rows of sunflowers. I step into the nearest arbor and beckon.

“Greetings, Queen Kiona. I must admit that when I heard you were coming, my first thought was, ‘Who’s Kiona?’ But once I refreshed my poor brain on the subject, I was intrigued. I do hope you were able to bring Stephan along, as you and he seem quite inseparable. Don’t worry, I won’t ask him any questions. I just wanted to meet him.”

“Well, I do tend to be a bit overlooked even by people who do know me. And yes, Stephan accompanied me, Cousin Tyrus wouldn’t dream of letting me to anywhere without him to keep me in line.”

Kiona steps into the arbor and I see that Stephen is shadowing her. I start to hold out my hand, but then catch myself, press my fist to my heart, and bow slightly.

After introductions, I glance back and forth between the two of them. I can’t help myself; the question slips out.

“What is the most annoying prank Stephan ever played on you?”

“Well, I’m not sure it was a prank, exactly, but there was a good week or so that he had me convinced that I was the nobody that came off the streets. I was very upset, but I had to believe him.” *to Stephan* “You were a terror! Don’t give me that look, you have a very powerful gift.”

I grin. “I’m glad you’re not a talkative one anymore, Stephan. That sounds scary. But on a more upbeat note, Kiona, what do you appreciate most about Stephan?”

She lights up. “Well, now that he doesn’t talk as much as he used to, he has many amiable qualities. However, I think what I appreciate most is that he’s a steadier person than me. I can get upset by the littlest thing, so it’s nice to have someone beside me who just rolls with it. He can be boring at times, though.

“That’s an excellent trait. I’m sure it’s been a steadying influence on you, too.”

My gaze drifts about the arbor and lands on a small object resting below her neck. Tell me about your necklace. How did you get it, and what is special about it?”

“My necklace? Oh, you mean my box, which is, granted, worn as a necklace. Every king and queen of Rizkaland has one. They’re how Alphego marks the chosen heir. When my father died, each of my siblings were presented with his box, but none of them could open it except for me, so I got it, and the queenship. They’re like the wooden boxes the elves wear, except that the elves make their own. But they contain gifts. Mine is perfect aim. Stephan’s is commanding speech.”

“Interesting. It would be neat to have a gift like that… but gifts in my world are given in a different, and often not so evident, way. Still, we have been given many gifts and are greatly blessed. We just have to learn to use them according to God’s will. So when did you begin archery?”

“Shortly after we realized that my gift was aim. Cousin Roland suggested it.”

“Cousin Roland… another king, I presume. The royalty system in Rizkaland seems a bit complicated. I understand that you are one of the queens. What is the scope of your power and reign?”

Kiona pulls a twining blossom from the side of the arbor and toys with it. “Rizkaland likes a balance of power, so we have four kings and four kings at any given time. It is monarchy, but shared between four families. As a unit, we wield more power than anyone else in Rizkaland, holding sway even over the islands. However, since I’m the youngest queen, I have very little power. They think I’m still a kid.”

“I get that.” I glance at the purple blossom she holds. I hear you’re of Violet’s line. Who was Violet? And is violet your favorite color?”

“The founder of my line, and with her husband, Michael, Queen over the Wind and Seasons. She was the younger sister of King Ralph of Fire and Electricity, and the youngest of the Eight, which is what we call the first eight kings and queens.

“But, no, it isn’t my favorite color. It is pretty, but I like a rich red-purple best.”

Nice.” I rise and pace back and forth in front of the arbor.

“What are your primary duties as Queen of Rizkaland? What does a normal day look like for you?”

“Well, my primary duty is to ‘learn and observe.’ My mornings are spent with the Bookholder in study of the Legends. Mid-morning is spent with either Cousin Maria, Cousin Tania, or my mother being taught etiquette and laws. Then after lunch, I get an hour to practice my bow after lunch, and then all eight of us spend the afternoon in the throneroom listening to requests and the like. Then we retire to the Council Room to discuss the welfare of the country and do negotiations and the like, and we’re free after supper.”

“That’s interesting, and quite different from life in my world. It sounds fascinating, though. If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?”

She seems perplexed by this question and hesitates before answering. “I … don’t know, really. I mean, I talk being able to do what I want – but what would I do if I were given the opportunity to do what I want. I really don’t know.”

I take pity on her confusion and decide to change the topic. Sitting back down, I ask a more personal question.

“Tell me a special story about you and Alphego.”

“A few weeks after my father died, and I’d become queen, I was just eight at the time, and feeling very lost and confused, and I was just wandering the halls, and I somehow found myself outside, before Alphego’s Hill, and so I climbed it and just sat down and started crying. I never really saw him, but I certainly felt the brush of Alphego’s wings, and I knew He was there, comforting me.”

“That’s very special. He is always there, whenever we need Him. And He will guide us throughout our lives.” 

In my pocket, my phone buzzes. “What? Lunch time already?” I ignore it and turn back to Kiona and Stephan. “Thank you very much for your time. I believe the Doorkeeper is here to let you back into Rizkaland, since my powers don’t extend that far. I’m glad they sent you here for this brief chat. I wish you well, and look forward to meeting you again soon.”

Kiona bows slightly. “The same to you. May Alphego guide you. Twa.”

Image credit: pinterest

The King’s Scrolls: Meeting Timothy!

BlogTour-TKS2

Timothy inspiration - via Pinterest

Timothy inspiration – via Pinterest

Appearance: Chin length, slightly wavy brown hair, warm brown eyes, youthful, 5’7” tall.

Age: 20

Race: Half human/half crete

History: Timothy is the youngest son of a crete miner and a human woman. He and his older brother have lived in the Graylin Valley north of Valcré their entire lives. His mother died shortly after giving birth to him while his father died in a mine collapse when Timothy was in his teens. Timothy works for a mining supply warehouse, one of the only businesses that will hire him due to his mixed blood. In his little free time, he enjoys teaching the children and citizens of his town who could never afford formal teaching. He has a deep faith in Elôm.

Author Notes: Timothy was not one of my long established characters. I did not know he existed until I actually started working on The King’s Scrolls, but he quickly become one of my favorites. As his name and love for God hints at, he was heavily inspired by Timothy in the Bible, who I’ve long held a deep interest for.

Timothy was actually the result of several ‘what if’ questions I asked myself during a brainstorming session for TKS. I’m afraid I can’t share those questions without spoilers, but it was really cool how it came together. It was all very complicated at first, but through a lot of note taking, I managed to untangle the web and come out with a story for his character.

What I’ve always loved most about Timothy is how difficult his life is, yet he remains incredibly dedicated to his faith. He’s had to face so much sorrow and backbreaking labor, but no matter how exhausted he gets, he always makes time to read Scripture. He thirsts and craves it more than food, rest, or anything else in his life. And he’s so humble. There is something very special about him, but he does not see it. It’s his quiet humility and underlying strength that really makes me admire him as a character. He’s exactly how I want to be in my life, and I hope he is a character who will both inspire and encourage readers. [Amen, Jaye! You summed up exactly how I as a reader view Timothy; I couldn’t have put it better. You have definitely succeeded.]

As with many of my favorite characters, I have a theme song that is dedicated to Timothy and helped develop his characters. It’s Enduring by Non-Stop Music, which I think is very appropriate for his character.

9874935_orig

This is who Timothy is! May it be so in my life, and in yours!

There’s Timothy! I can’t believe I get to meet him personally. I look up to him and admire him—and now I get to meet him. My hands grow slightly moist as I pull out a chair for him to sit on. He sits. We don’t say a word. And somehow, it’s not awkward.

I’m a little scared of Timothy. He seems so apart—quietly bold for truth—but I would like very much to get to know him better. It looks to me as though he’s not quite at ease, but he probably is despite appearances. I’m a little nervous as it’s always a challenge for me to make conversation with quiet people. But his dark eyes sparkle a little, and though his manner is quiet, it does reassure me. He isn’t exactly what I expected.

I glance down at my notes that I prepared in case my mind went blank. He waits. My mind jumps to his brother—a logical place to begin.

Tell me about your relationship with Aaron. You two seem close. What was it like growing up with him? Do you have a favorite childhood memory?

Timothy crosses his hands. He seems quite at ease now. He doesn’t hesitate. Aaron and I are very close, which I am deeply thankful for. He could hate me since it was my birth that led to our mother’s death, but that’s not Aaron.

I nod. Praise Elom for that. 

Timothy motions agreement. In a way, being so much older than me, he’s almost been like both a brother and a father. Since our father died when I was twelve, he, along with our friend Josan, took on the responsibility of raising me. I think some of my favorite childhood memories were when he would teach me things like wrestling and climbing. He worked so often that we really didn’t have much time to do those sorts of things, but when we did, I cherished every moment of it.

I nod again. I’m sure you did—especially since you don’t have much time for that anymore either. And you’d rather use your free time for other things now. 

A gentle smile breaks over his face. Yes. There are great needs to be met…and great blessing to be derived from walking with Elom.

So you love the words of Elom. What is your favorite Scripture and why?

It is difficult to choose only one of so many, but I like, The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.* He pauses in quiet meditation. Life has been difficult, not just for my own family, but for most of those around us. The mining valley I come from is full of oppression and trouble. I often turn to this verse to remind myself that I can find strength and shelter in Elôm no matter what trouble is around me and that, even when trying times come, He won’t leave me to face it alone.

That’s a beautiful Scripture. I love that one as well. He IS a stronghold, and He has a strong hold upon us. We rest in his hand, no matter what, just as you were saying. And that ties right in to the next question: what Scripture passage do you believe Ilyon needs most right now? What would bring them the most hope, comfort, and strength?

This answer comes almost instantly. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.*

I smile. Maybe Timothy and I have more in common than I thought. Now that has been one of my favorite Scripture passages for many years. It’s so freeing to rest in the Lord no matter what.

Timothy smiles and then grows serious. Everywhere you look, evil seems to be prospering—from the emperor to the unscrupulous mine owners were I live. It’s easy to get discouraged and wonder why Elôm would allow that, especially when His children are suffering so. He leans forward in his chair. But we must learn and remember to rest in and wait on Him. He is not blind or uncaring. His timing may not align with our own, but it is always perfect. Trouble comes, but waiting and resting in Him always brings the best outcome.

Amen. It’s evident that this is what He has been teaching you—and I know He will continue to teach you this throughout your life. His rest speaks through you to others. In fact, along those lines, I understand that you enjoy teaching others—especially of Elom and the words of the Scrolls, but also in practical life skills. What drew you to teaching? Did you have any teachers or mentors growing up other than Josan and Aaron and what from their examples has made its way into your teaching?

Now he seems slightly lost in thought. The fingers of his right hand clench around his left thumb–fingers that have seen hard manual labor, but are still slender and agile. A writer’s fingers. I jerk my attention to his words as he speaks at last. My father was my primary teacher. There isn’t much in the way of formal teaching in the Graylin Valley, at least not for the average person. My father always had a desire to teach and help people better themselves through it. That’s not a typical crete trait, but my father had a real heart for people. I always admired him for that, and I guess, after he died, I felt compelled to continue his work and have developed the same love for it.

Your father sounds like a wonderful man.

He was. Timothy’s eyes are thoughtful. I wonder if he is missing his father. Of course he must be. I drop my eyes for a moment, then catch sight of the notes in my hand. When— I pause and clear my throat just slightly. His eyes shift quickly and alertly to mine—When and how did you first feel Elom’s call upon your life?

My father started teaching me from the King’s Scrolls before I was even old enough to truly understand any of it, and continued this every day as I was growing up. His passion and faith, I believe, is what initially inspired my own love for it. But, as strange as it might sound to some, I think his death is what changed me from loving to learn about Elôm and my faith to truly living my faith. It was one of the hardest times in my life and taught me how to cling to Elôm and put into practice what I believe. It was easy to follow my father’s example and feel sheltered under his faith, but once he was gone, even though I still had Josan and Aaron, I felt as if Elôm were calling me to trust Him fully with my own faith and not rely so heavily on others.  

That is an incredible call. So Elom used your loss to reveal more of Himself to you.

Timothy nods and leans back in his chair. I’m still young, but the longer I live, the more proofs I see of how Elom does indeed work all things together for good for those He has called.

And that change you mentioned from the love of learning to real life is so essential. Without the life, the head knowledge is useless.

Without His love flowing inside of me, I am nothing.

Both of us fall silent for a few moments. I am contemplating the vastness of what our Lord is doing in our lives. Then I look up. Timothy’s gaze is serious, yet there is a questioning, almost playful quirking of an eyebrow and lifting of a lip. I raise an eyebrow slightly in response, then, having totally derailed from my notes, glance back at the paper in my hand. On seeing the next question, a grin breaks out, but I quickly replace it with a partly serious face.

How do you feel about archery? 

Timothy laughs, and I can’t help but join in. Archery and I have been battling each other since I was a boy. Both my father and Aaron tried to teach me, but I just could never get the hang of it. Aaron likes to tease me about it sometimes.

I’m sure. But do you ever wish you could learn?

I do wish I could get better at it. Having two capable hunters would certainly help when food is scarce, but Aaron more than makes up for my lack of skill.

Elom has a purpose in that too. But moving along…You have a wonderful heritage—the loyalty and quickness of the cretes on one side and the friendliness and patience of the humans on the other. Do you feel more closely connected to your crete heritage or your human/Arcacian heritage? 

Was that a slight sigh? I can’t quite tell. He answers without hesitation, though.

My father and Josan taught me much about the crete culture growing up, but since they are the only two cretes I’ve ever known, I’d say I feel more connected with my human heritage. I wouldn’t say it’s a very close connection, though.

Would you like this to be different?

Growing up being half crete in Arcacia is not a very easy thing to do. Most Arcacians don’t have a very high opinion of cretes since the cretes turned away and left Arcacia. So, in many ways, Aaron and I have grown up feeling more like outsiders—not completely a part of either of our heritages. It would be nice to be equally accepted by both.

I hope one day you can experience that. I glance back at my notes, ready to move on, but Timothy’s quiet voice interrupts me.

So do I. But regardless, I am accepted by Elom, and He is what matters.

I look up and catch his encouraging gaze. Yes. I pause. Your Arcacian heritage does show through in your eyes… they’re the same color as mine. Growing up around humans, that’s probably normal for you, but Ilyon eye colors vary much more than they do in my world. Since I don’t have the chance to see the bright colors that you do, what’s your favorite?

Probably blue, like my father’s eyes. They were like sapphires. That’s where Aaron gets his blue eyes. I remember wishing I had blue eyes too, but now I like knowing that my brown ones are a piece of my mother. I never got to meet her, but it’s nice knowing I share some things in common with her.

That’s very special. I can’t help but think that it’s amazing how he has come to accept even the small aspects of who Elom created him to be, despite the difficulties he has faced throughout his life. His time with Elom accomplished that, of course. You seem to have a lot of Scripture committed to memory. Tell me about how you memorized the writings of the Scrolls—from what age, and did you have any particular method of doing so?

My father started me on memorization quite young. One of his methods was to have me copy verses down. It was also a good way to work on my writing skills, which is something not many people have where I live. Beyond that, it is the daily repeated readings that help keep the words in my mind. I’ve read through the Scrolls several times since I was a child, and some passages far more than that. 

That is a treasure that will bless you and others around you all your life. You are a blessing, Timothy, and it’s been a privilege and honor to meet you. Keep living for Elom, no matter what. Can you leave me with another passage from the Scrolls?

Timothy smiles and stands. Shaking my hand and gazing intently at me, he quotes:

This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.* The blessing of the Lord be upon you.

As he departs, I reach for my Bible. Thank you, Timothy.

Click for source

*Psalms 9:9-10

*Psalms 37:7-9

*Joshua 1:8

For more information on The King’s Scrolls, see my Blog Tour and Introduction post.