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Stories will not be written easily. A story without a heart is dead, and the only place it will get a heart is from the author.

Samara’s Peril Blog Tour: Book Review and Author Interview

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When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen.

Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.

Samara's Peril

As a few of you blog readers may remember, over the last two years I’ve been following a series called The Ilyon Chronicles, reviewing here for you all of the books that have come out so far (Resistance, The King’s Scrolls, and the prequel novella Half-Blood). Now I have the pleasure of once again reviewing the newest book, Samara’s Peril, But first, the author herself has agreed to an interview! Folks, please welcome Jaye L. Knight!

 

  1. Do you do your writing with a story-inspired playlist? (If so, might we see a song from your Samara’s Peril playlist if we ask particularly nicely?)

Jaye L. Knight: Music is a huge inspiration for me. I do have a lot of character “theme songs” and a few songs for particular scenes. I don’t have a playlist dedicated to each book, but I do have an Ilyon Chronicles playlist here on YouTube. One song I do have specifically for Samara’s Peril is On My Own by Ashes Remain. It fits the book perfectly.

 

  1. What are three random facts about you that most people wouldn’t know?

Jaye L. Knight: Let’s see.

  1. I adore old trucks from the late 1960s to early 1970s. It’s my dream to someday own an aqua and white classic Chevy truck.
  2. Over the last few years, I’ve developed a lightning phobia. I’m not sure why. Sharp lightning strikes just freak me out.
  3. And, lastly, I’ve never broken a bone. Well, I don’t think. I did smash my finger really bad once and might have broken it, but I never went in for it, so I’m not sure.

 

  1. What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had while writing?

Jaye L. Knight: I’m not sure I can think of a specific time, but the most interesting experiences I always have while writing are when my characters completely act on their own and something happens in the story that I wasn’t planning. This happens a lot with characters falling in love. A lot of the time, I don’t see it coming. Most recently that happened while writing book five of Ilyon Chronicles. One of my guy characters started talking to this girl he sort of knew, and suddenly it was like, wait a minute. You like her, don’t you? That unexpected revelation led to a whole novella that takes place between books 5 and 6.

 

  1. If you could live anywhere in your storyworld, where would it be, and why?

Jaye L. Knight: I would live in Dorland, with the cretes. I love the crete culture. It’s really a mix of a lot of my favorite things. Native American culture, Elves, tree houses, dragons. Ever since I was little, I wanted to live in a tree house like on the old Swiss Family Robinson movie, so that was big inspiration for how the cretes live. Plus they wear a lot of leather, and I like leather. (This is coming from a historical reenactor.) And they have dragons!

 

  1. What is one question that you’ve always wished someone would ask you in an interview, and no one ever has? And what is your answer to it?

Jaye L. Knight: Good question. I’m not sure, but I’m surprised I haven’t been asked more what the L. stands for in my pen name. I know I mentioned it once on my blog, but I’m not sure how widely known it is. So, for anyone who doesn’t know, it stands for Lee. Jaye Lee Knight. Why? Well, the L sounded good in the name, so I stuck it in there. Then, after thinking about it for a while, I decided on Lee because I really like the name and it too sounded good. And hey, it’s like Jeremy Lee Renner. That’s cool. Bonus fact: I’m a Hawkeye fangirl. 😉

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, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

 

Book Review

Characters – A good portion of the characters in this book were recurring characters from the last two books of the series. Those characters stayed consistent, though I did feel like we got to see less of them in this one than in previous books.

This books seemed to be more Jace’s book than the previous ones in the series, so he was the focus through most of it. That left the other characterseven the other main charactersfurther in the background, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing (except that Trask should have had more screen time. Why has Trask had so little screen time, Jaye?). Anne played a larger role in this novel, and I enjoyed seeing her have an active part in the resistance; she was just as amazing at it as anyone would have expected her to be. Holden was so remarkable, and I also found myself liking Leetra throughout this book. As in the previous books, I found Kyrin to be very relateable; perhaps slightly less so in this book, since Jace had more of the spotlight.

The newer characters were all well developed, and I’m looking forward to seeing the character arc of one in particular. There was only one point I felt like one of the characters did something out of character, but since most of the other people who have read the book disagreed with me there, perhaps it was just me.

Plot – The plot throughout this book felt slightly unconventional to me, especially the ending, but somehow it worked. I don’t know whether it was the story structure she used, but it felt somehow unfamiliar to me; in this case, it was a good thing. The author surprised me in how she ended it, but the ending also seemed to work particularly well.

I have only one complaint about the plot; one of the plot lines seemed slightly disconnected from the rest of the book to me, as though it didn’t quite belong there or didn’t affect any of the rest of the story, though it should have been a world-changer.

Setting – The setting remained consistent with the other books in the series, though we get to go somewhere we’ve never gone before: Samara.

I thought that Samara fit in very well with the world; it was very similar to the country we’ve spent the other books in (as it ought to be, since it’s very near to it), and struck me as being as Arcacia should be now, and once was.

Content  There’s war–people are injured; characters kiss; in one character’s backstory, there’s assault that leads to pregnancy, and a young man of less than noble character is a jerk toward two women. But, Jaye respects her readers. Her writing is to tell a story, and she does that; it’s not to make people vomit or cringe. Her descriptions tell the story, and are tactfully handled, so even if you have a weak stomach, you shouldn’t mind this. (A note of advice to aspiring authors: part of being a writer is about respect. For your readers, your characters, your editors. Don’t bow to the every whim of your readers, but do respect them as people and treat them with honor in the way you tell your stories.)

Summary I enjoyed Samara’s Peril and read it in a few hours (for most of that time, seated awkwardly in the kitchen on a five-gallon bucket of flour because my tablet battery was dramatically flashing the symbol of impending death and I needed to stay plugged in at that outlet). Was it my favorite of the series? No, probably not. Would I still recommend it? Most definitely.

Samara’s Peril is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

Add to Goodreads

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

And, to add just a little bit of extra excitement, I present to you

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– A Samara’s Peril Themed Giveaway!

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Samara’s Peril, a John 3:16 necklace by FaithWearDesigns, and a green wire dragon bookmark by Wirelings! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

Just click here and you’ll be taken to the giveaway page straightaway!

If you’d like to take the afternoon to visit all these lovely other blogs participating in the blog tour, I also happen to have a handy tour schedule here for you.

Friday, May 13

Saturday, May 14

Sunday, May 15

Monday, May 16

Tuesday, May 17

Wednesday, May 18

Thursday, May 19

Friday, May 20

Saturday, May 21

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11 thoughts on “Samara’s Peril Blog Tour: Book Review and Author Interview

  1. Emily Drown on said:

    My family had been waiting excitedly — SO excitedly — for this amazing book to come out. I just love the Ilyon Chronicles. ^_^

    When we found out that there were paperback-printing difficulties… we just couldn’t wait. 😛 So we bought it on kindle. Ack, I love it so much. ❤ Haven't finished it yet… but I can't wait! 😀

    • Aren’t they great? 😀

      Well – on the upside, you can read it now without having to wait for shipping, and then when the paperback comes out, you can know quite well what you’re about to receive and be able to wait for the arrival of the book with greater enthusiasm. :p

  2. I agree with you about the plot structure being a little odd. Things just didn’t quite fall in the expected places. Perhaps it’s one of the things that happening in the middle of a series.

    I used to have the distinction of being to only one in my family who hadn’t had to into emergency. Then I broke my arm. Not having broken bones is a really good thing. I still get soreness in my elbow occasionally.

    • That might be why. I’m not sure what it was about the plot structure that was unusual, though I think she may have been following a different arc than the Three Act Structure. Somehow, though, it worked for the story.

      Ouch. You must have broken it pretty badly.
      None of the people in my family have broken a bone; I’m the more accident-prone one, though, and I’ve had to get stitches twice (during a tornado once, which was pretty exciting).

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your review and being part of the tour! The plotline definitely didn’t follow a conventional course, but then I prefer to be a more non-conventional author. 😉

    • It was my pleasure! I don’t think I actually realized that the plot was non-conventional until nearing the end (though I knew something about the book was different), when I realized, “Wait–I’m almost at the end of the book. She’s leaving us here, isn’t she?” :p

  4. That was a very thorough review! I enjoyed it! And such great interview questions! I was so happy to see more Jace and, I have to say, Holden surprised me.

I love hearing your comments. Please add to the discussion! (It'd be awesome if you could keep the comments G Rated. Thanks. :p)

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