Amidst war plans and gathering the numbers to come against the emperor's powerful army, Jace struggles to find footing in the battle of his heart. The weight of the past, and the fear of making mistakes overwhelms his confidence in Elom's redeeming power. But when he encounters a missing piece to his past and begins to understand more deeply the strength of Elom's love, he faces the coming hardships and sacrifices with new boldness.
After a year of waiting for this book, I was finally able to read it and I enjoyed pretty much every minute of it. There were some areas that I skimmed over that weren't as well written, but the characters made up for that. For me, the characters are what brighten a story. If a plot is bland or the writing cheesy, but the characters are dynamic and colorful, I will most likely enjoy the book. Jaye L. Knight does such a fantastic job writing her characters and she amazes me with how many people she can fit into a book and make me feel like I know all of them. Her main characters are so amazing and real that I want to cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh.
Also, world building? While most of it is classic medieval fantasy with castles and dragons, she explores the more cultural side of the land and people. All the different races have different traditions, attire, history, legends, weaknesses, strengths, etc. I found this side of development very interesting.
The action is well paced and kept me clued to the pages.
The dragons fights. EPIC.
Am I just getting more emotional as I get older, or are books all of the sudden more emotionally engaging these days? Goodness, so much turmoil in the heart, mind, soul. Prepare to be torn apart over the character's struggles.
I loved the theme of the power of Jesus' blood. We do not need to clean our lives up to come to Him. There is never a time when we are too dirty with sin to be accepted. With repentance and faith, God will wipe away every stain. He will wash us. He will make us clean in the eyes of the Father. And He will welcome us with open arms.
Things to be aware of:
Violence: battle scenes, some torture, blood from injuries and wounds. It's not described in detail, so it's not overly gruesome. I thought it was well-painted.
Intimacy: There is a mild kiss or two. There is an unsavory character where it is implied that he does not have good intentions toward a female character. Threats are discussed, but it is handled very tastefully and justly.
I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up, but perhaps younger, it all depends on the maturity of the reader! :)
Now for some fan art! Some of these I never finished, but I'll go ahead and put them up.
This one is Jace and Kyrin on a hunting expedition of some kind.
This is an unfinished sketch of Kyrin. I was super inspired to start, but as the book went on there were so many better scenes that I wanted to draw and I couldn't keep up with that many projects. I have more fan art, but I wanted to save them for the fan art contest coming up: Ilyon Chronicles Fan Art Contest
Hope you enjoyed!