Blog Tour: Samara’s Peril Review and Interview

Two blog tour posts in one day? YES! This is the blog tour post for Samara’s Peril by Jaye L. Knight, and if you’re looking for the Espionage blog tour post…find the link at the end of this one. BUT BEFORE YOU DO THAT, READ THIS REVIEW!

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Book Thursdays: Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight Review + Author Interview!

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Yay!!!! The day I have been waiting for has finally arrived!!!!

*throws confetti in air*

Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight has been officially released to the big, wide, and wonderful world! I’m so excited for this release, because all of us Ilyon fans have been pleading for Jace’s backstory. (Think of it like a never-before-read prologue. A prologue that you REALLY appreciate once you’ve read such an amazing story.)

In this post, I’m reviewing Half-Blood and interviewing Jaye herself. But first, about the book!

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

IlyonChronicles

My Review:

All his life, Jace has been a slave. He has been forced to become a gladiator, and treated so harshly, lower than an animal. Little does anyone know, Jace – as half ryrik and half human – has a heart, a soul, and he is not truly defined by his ryrik blood. He is not an angry killer; he is only thought to be one. And he is treated for the first 17-20 (or so) years of his life as though he is less than worthless.

Oh my. I can’t really in good conscience say that I loved or enjoyed this book. I can say, however, that I’m glad that I read it. I’m glad that I know Jace’s backstory, even though it tore my soul to shreds.

Jace’s life broke me. For real. He had but two things that made him happy, and both those things were torn away from him. (Such injustice! Are you kidding me?!)

It shredded my heart into a million tiny fractals.

It tore my soul to unrepairable shreds.

It emptied my being of hope.

It made my heart scream, and cry, and panic out of desperation.

I was Jace.

I was treated lower than an animal.

I was abused for the love of money.

I was alone. Forsaken. Rejected. Forgotten. Betrayed. Sold. Broken. Hopeless.

And I never believed I could ever be loved, or even treated like I was even half-human. I never believed I could ever have a soul.

*cries* Oh yes, I cried. Out of anger, pain, and more injustice.

(And, um, yeah, I finished it in one day. The day it was sent to me.)

Throughout this book, we dig deep into Jace’s past. We see his loneliness, heartbreak, struggle, and his (yes) humanity. We see that he is not heartless, and isn’t completely overcome by his ryrik blood. Though he has many challenges, he does not give up.

The thing I admire most about Jace is that he refuses to kill in cold blood. He struggles with fiery anger, coming from his ryrik blood, but he doesn’t let it overcome him easily. He fights for justice, and I love that. He pays attention to his conscience even when he does not know Elôm. (More proof that you have a soul, Jace.) He’s such a respectable character, and my favorite (of course!). *happy sigh*

Seriously though, Half-Blood is really hard to read. I cried a few times over the intense cruelty of Jace’s treatment. It’s not a fluffy, snuggle-up-by-the-fire kind of book. It’s one of those books that makes you want to throw it out the window, but it’s still so good that you can’t bring yourself to do it. (Jaye’s writing is amazing. That’s not the problem at all. The problem is that she writes so well that you’re there, and you feel every little ounce of pain and agony. And so I felt it, and was actually depressed for a few days.)

My favorite part of the book was the second half, of course. It was so amazingly full of hope. The horrible hopelessness of Jace’s life of slavery made hope – when it came – so much brighter, in contrast. It was so beautiful. I won’t give too much away, but the end of the book overlaps with the beginning of Resistance, from Jace’s point of view. It’s like reading an awesome book for the first time – twice. Because even though I knew what would happen, it was totally new, with the same dialogue and scenery. That was amazing.

So yeah, I’m glad I read it. Was it hard to read? Oh, you’d better believe it. But seeing Jace’s past helped to give me a glimpse of who Jace is and who he is becoming.

Though this is a prequel novella, I don’t think I would recommend it as a starting point for the series. Although it is written extremely well, it’s tough to read and perhaps not as enjoyable until you’ve read Resistance. It is heartbreaking, and not as “lovely” as the other books, but it is definitely a worthwhile read when wanting to know even more about Jace’s past.

It’s a Five-Star book.

I received an eARC for my honest and unbiased review. Thank you, Jaye! 
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.

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As I promised, I got to interview the author, Jaye L. Knight, and share her answers with all of you.

 

 Jaye, did you find Half-Blood to be hard to write? I know that for me, it was difficult to read at a lot of points. The entire first half, actually. 

Surprisingly, this story was one of the easiest I’ve written, not because of subject matter, but it just flowed really well. I’m glad of that. I wouldn’t have wanted to labor over it for a long period of time. I was able to write the whole thing in just a couple of weeks.

Ah, I see. Only a couple of weeks, wow! That’s great. 🙂

Do you enjoy writing about just Jace, or would you rather work with multiple storylines (as you do in the rest of the Ilyon books)?

I love writing about Jace. While I do enjoy working with multiple storylines, Jace is my favorite to work with. Though, there are a few others I particularly love writing as well, like Trask and Prince Daniel.

And I love reading about Jace. He’s such a relatable character, especially to me. Trask and Prince Daniel are such fun to read about too, with their great witty and strong personalities.

 

Where did your ideas for Jace’s story come from, especially the details of his life as a gladiator and slave?

Originally, Jace was inspired by a half-blooded character in Donita K. Paul’s DragonKeeper Chronicles books. I didn’t discover that Jace was a gladiator, though, until I was quite far into writing Resistance. I always knew he was a slave and struggled with his ryrik blood, but the gladiator idea came from a History Channel documentary on gladiators that I randomly watched with my brother. I found it so fascinating that my imagination took over, and next thing I knew, Jace’s entire backstory changed.

That is so interesting! Thank you for sharing with us, Jaye.
Giveaway
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

*aj

Book Thursdays: Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight COVER REVEAL!

Guys. *squeals*

I AM SO EXCITED! I am extremely ecstatic for this SPECTACULAR occasion. Today is the **OFFICIAL** cover reveal day for a brand-new book coming out really soon!

*fireworks explode overhead*

Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight is coming out this summer!!!! That’s right, the prequel to the Ilyon Chronicles I’ve been so excited about! And check out this BEAUTIFUL cover. Seriously. Wow. It’s not just artistically beautiful. No, there is so much emotion and heartbreaking adrenaline packed into one image, and you’d better believe I’ll be buying it as soon as it comes out. I can tell it’s gonna be another book that makes me cry… at random moments… when I may or may not be out in public. Just saying. 🙂

Jace is probably my favorite character in Ilyon, and this book…oh goodness. I don’t want my heart to break all over again… but the feels are worth it. Poor Jace. *quietly cries in corner*

Now, I will stop fangirling so you can actually learn about this prequel story to Ilyon Chronicles. Make sure you also enter the giveaway at the bottom! Eek!

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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 . . .

Coming This Summer

goodreads

About the Author

JayeAuthorPhotoJaye 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+, and Twitter.

Giveaway

As part of a month long celebration for the one year publication anniversary of Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles – Book 1), Jaye is giving away several fun prizes! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.

Participating Bloggers
A Writer’s Faith
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
A Writer’s Heart
Thoughts and Rants
Written Rest
To Be A Person
Tialla’s Tellings
The American Anglophile
Knitted By God’s Plan
Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings
Pencils Can Change The World
Crafty Booksheeps
Zerina Blossom’s Books
Ryebrynn’s Random Ramblings
Through the Realm of Dreams
Red Lettering
Leah’s Bookshelf
The Official Website of Brent King
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
Shattered Fractals
Flights from the Aerie
E. Rawls
The Pen of a Ready Writer
Scattered Journal Pages
Sutori no Hana
The Art of Storytelling
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Coming Up: Book Thursdays Cover Reveal!

Hello, fellow bookworms! 
Tomorrow, we have a cover reveal for a very awesome upcoming book. You won’t want to miss it! I can’t wait to show it to you all. So, meet me back here tomorrow, which is (not technically Thursday) Friday, May 22nd. I’m really excited to show this brand-new, never before seen cover to you!
*aj

Book Thursdays: How I Discovered Ilyon

Resistance Anniversary Banner

Happy Thursday and Resistance Anniversary Celebration, everyone!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry. I’ll start from the very beginning. Which happens to be a very good place to start.

Two weeks ago, I posted my first Book Thursdays blog post here as a review of The King’s Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight. Y’all know how much I loved Resistance and The King’s Scrolls, which are the first two books of the Ilyon Chronicles. But you may be wondering, how exactly did Amanda discover Ilyon? Okay, maybe you’re not wondering, but as a part of the Resistance 1-year anniversary celebration (*squeals*), I signed up to tell you all how I discovered Ilyon, and my story all started last November.

In the midst of an insanely stress-filled and painful school year, I sat in my kitchen doing homework when my iPod buzzed. It was an email, alerting me that a new Christian Dystopian Young Adult book had come out. That book was Counted Worthy by Leah E. Good. (ALL NEW review of this book to come soon!) I read the first two chapters on Amazon, and boy, was I hooked! Needless to say, I bought it. I’ve loved to read since I was two and three years old and (though I was over my head in schoolwork) I finished it in four days. Let’s just say that I let school slide a bit that week and that was a great decision.

My love for reading was reawakened. I was greatly inspired to read and write (WAY more than I was doing, and this blog came about partially because of that). My faith was ignited even more and I was inspired to live out my faith. So what did I do when a fantastic novel so immensely changed me? I started reading the author’s blog and I emailed her, of course!

Leah was very gracious toward me, Amanda the extremely enthusiastic fangirl. (That’s a pretty conservative way to describe me, you should know.) And we started getting to know each other (me still being a floating-on-clouds squealy fangirl).

One day, on her blog, I saw an interview with Jaye L. Knight, the author of the Ilyon Chronicles. The interview was amusing and splendid, and The King’s Scrolls piqued my interest. (Not a lot of new books do, so this was special.) But I put it at the back of my mind, noting the fact that it was aimed at readers 18-25+ and I thought I’d probably find it cliché, boring, or “not my kind of book.” Haha yeah right. I was naïve. That was a mistake.

A little while later, Leah sent me a recommendation of The King’s Scrolls because it was very similar to Counted Worthy and she thought I’d enjoy it. I hesitated a little bit; I figured I’d never get a chance to read it, and frankly, I didn’t want to put down money for a book that I wasn’t sure about loving. And that was mistake #2.

However, she let me borrow Resistance (Ilyon #1) and I finished that book in four days. 524 pages in four days, my friend. That’s how you know that a book is good. Like, really good. I’m glad to say that I didn’t have too much schoolwork that week.

A mini-screenplay from that week:

 

Mom: Amanda, what are you doing?

Amanda: I’m reading.

Mom: What book?

Amanda: *glowing* I’m reading Resistance. *sighs*

Mom: Okay. Have fun. *smiles*

This question of “what are you doing” was asked many times over the next few days.

Mom: Amanda, aren’t you supposed to be doing anatomy?

Amanda: It’s okay, I’ll do it on the weekend. Maybe I’ll study for a little while later on (aka for 15 minutes, so I can get back to my real book).

Mom: Do you want to hold your one-day-old cousin?

Amanda: Yeah!

Mom: Okay, put down the book.

That week was a very fun week.

Yeah, the little schoolwork I did have to do suffered. But like the week that I read Counted Worthy, it was so worth it.

I repeat.

It was so worth it.

Now I’ve read The King’s Scrolls and I’m awaiting Half-Blood (Ilyon #0.5) (A PREQUEL NOVELLA! YAY!) and Samara’s Peril (Ilyon #3). And the last three books. Yes darling, they are that good.

Please read them. #NoRegrets here. At all, whatsoever.

If you’d like to see a list of the Resistance Anniversary Celebration events and blog posts coming up, they are here.

Thank you all for visiting my blog, and please come back! You can also subscribe. That’s awesome too.

*aj

NEW! Book Thursdays: The King’s Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight

TKS Cover

Welcome to a new feature on Scattered Journal Pages, Book Thursdays. Maybe you know that I love to read, maybe you don’t. But nevertheless I do, and because I don’t have the time to start a whole new blog, I’m adding a new feature to my existing blog. Here, on random Thursdays, you’ll find book reviews, recommendations, possibly author interviews, and other events that all have something to do with books. This won’t effect regular Tuesday and Saturday posts, it’s just extra. I hope you enjoy, and Happy Thursday!

When I started this book, I was a little worried. I mean, what if I didn’t like it? What if it was cheesy? What if it was boring? Well, it sure wasn’t. This book is the FANTASTIC sequel to Resistance (actually, book two of six in the Ilyon Chronicles) by Christian New Adult Fantasy author, Jaye L. Knight. I can’t even tell you how much I loved Resistance. I thought it was super. And it was. Absolutely FANTABULOUS. But The King’s Scrolls was even better. So, maybe you’re not a fantasy fan. Maybe it’s boring to you. Perhaps you find it pointless, or a waste of time. That’s what I thought when I started reading Resistance. I’ve never enjoyed fantasy before, because I could tell it was fake. But wow, this was different. Really different. Sure, there are dragons. (Really awesome dragons, let me point out.) And there are characters of different races (ryriks, cretes, dorlanders, talcrins, humans, etc.), but it’s not weird. They’re all people, just different kinds of people. They’re all realistic and 100% believable. So before you make a judgment call on whether you think you’ll enjoy this book or not, give it a chance. Please do. There were so many moments that I just stopped reading for a moment and closed my eyes, or crossed my fingers, or bit my lip, or just let my heart flutter for a minute. You know, those moments when I was screaming and fangirling on the inside with pure joy on my face because it was so good. Just. So. Good. I’d close my eyes and grasp the book so tightly and hold it to my heart, attempting to soak up the beautiful literature via book osmosis. Please tell me that I’m not the only one. Now for the plot. Four dragon-riding cretes arrive in Landale Forest. They are seeking to retrieve the only complete collection of The King’s Scrolls. However…belief in Elôm (the one true God) is illegal, and reclaiming the Scrolls is, well, dangerous to say the least, and if anything goes wrong, it’ll end surely in execution. At the same time, some crete followers of Elôm are being dangerously sought out for the accusation of being Elôm’s followers and having the last complete collection of the King’s Scrolls in their possession. What will happen when they are discovered? Now, there were a few parts in the book that utterly manipulated my emotions. One of the days that I read for a few hours, I cried five times. (Seriously! It’s pretty pitiful, seeing that I’ve never cried that much over something real, let alone a fantasy book.) Honestly though, as much as it tore me in two, it was so believable and perfect although immensely heartbreaking. Now, for the REAL part of the story, there’s one thing I wonder and marvel at. What would happen if we placed this kind of value on the Word of God? I mean, we have such freedom in this world. We have the freedom to keep the ENTIRE COLLECTION of “The King’s Scrolls”, so to speak. It’s legal to believe in the One True God. By a lot of people, it’s even encouraged. We don’t face potential imprisonment, torture, or execution. And yet, though these characters are fictional, they’ve taken a stand. They’ve faced every hardship imaginable. And stayed strong, refusing to deny what they believe because they know that it’s the truth. They know (and we should too) that the Bible is life-changing. Without it, we are hopeless. Lost. Wandering aimlessly in this crazy world. But we do have The Scrolls. Isn’t that encouraging? A heartfelt thank you to Jaye who graciously gave me a free copy of this book to read and review honestly. All opinions are my own, and I wouldn’t change them if someone paid me. 🙂 *aj P.S. If this book sounds interesting to you, support Jaye by purchasing a copy! You can get one on Amazon and on her website.   You can see my full review on Goodreads.