Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Half-Blood Review & Author Interview

Review first!

How Jaye knew we needed this book before we even asked for it still amazes me. I absolutely loved Resistance and I've been dying to get my hands on a copy of The King's Scrolls. Jace has proven himself an epic character again and again in my mind, so to get a chance to take a peek into his life before Rayad was truly amazing. If you call yourself any kind of fan of Jaye Knight's work, then you simply must read this book.

First off, it was a lot shorter than Resistance. I really wasn't sure what to expect reading this prequel, but even from my confused thoughts, Jaye blew me quickly away. I had been afraid at first to dive into it, lest by some terrible design the character of Jace that I had grown to respect in Resistance be damaged. Nope. No way. Instead, this novella opened up an entire new world of understanding who he really was. It added so much depth to him. I was dumbstruck. Pretty much.

I love that Jaye starts out with Jace as a younger boy. She takes us through his childhood, how he grows, what he learns from those he comes in contact with. The foreshadowing... the suspense... the desires... the pain. Wow. Instead of just throwing us directly into his gladiator fights with Jasper, Jaye gave us to see Jace before the fights. 

But the fights themselves! *whistles* I was concerned with how Jaye might handle the progress of the fights, as there were many of them over the course of... quite a long time. But she did marvelously. There were times I felt I was at the arena with Jace - fighting with him, or yelling from the sidelines. He lived up to every one of my expectations and hopes... and then of course, Jasper walked on the scene, and my heart just broke for Jace. 

Really, what more can I say than this book is a must for all Ilyon fans, fantasy lovers, and adventure nerds alike? I give five stars whole-heartedly.    

Advisory: Quite a bit of violence as Jace fights different opponents/enemies, so please expect some descriptions of that. Several characters are wounded and, as a result of his fighting, more than one death follows Jace, haunting him. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*Please note that I was given an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.* 


For those of you who were interested, this book review will show up later this month on my book review blog, KiriBeth. I am so honored to have been able to review this novella for Jaye. 

Okay, ready for that interview now? *grins*

Half-Blood is a prequel to the Ilyon Chronicles, focusing on everybody's favorite - Jace. What inspired you to write his backstory?

I had Jace’s backstory in my mind for a very long time. I mean, as a writer, you have to know all such details about your characters. I always wanted to write it, but the ideas sat for a while, until this last winter. I thought I would write a short story that started just before he met Rayad and tell that meeting from Jace’s point of view. Once I started it, however, it grew and grew until it spanned several years and was novella length instead of a short story. As tragic as his story is, I’m happy readers will be able to read it because it shows so clearly why he is the way he is and exactly what he has to overcome.

Did you find that exploring his background in this novella changed your perspective of Jace?

I wouldn’t say it has that much, though I didn’t realize just how compassionate he was all through his life until I wrote it. I certainly did discover some things he went through that I never knew before though. And having it all written down is sure to help as I build on his character over the next few books, especially in book three in which a lot of things from his past are brought up.

Let's look forward into the Ilyon Chronicles. Might you share a bit of an adventure coming for Jace and his friends?

Well, how about a little scene from Samara’s Peril? :)
The sun was only just lighting the way when Jace and the others rode up to Marlton Hall the next morning. Most of the countryside was still asleep, and they hoped to be off before too many noticed their departure. Trask dismounted first and knocked on the back door. Sir John answered it, spilling light into the yard, and invited everyone inside. Anne and Lady Catherine greeted them as they entered.

Sir John closed the door behind them and gestured to the dining room table. “I have the uniforms for each of you.”

While Anne took Kyrin upstairs to change, the men stepped to the table and donned their uniforms—a deep blue and black tabard with a white dove in the center of the chest. Jace pulled his on over his shirt and buckled on his belt. Looking over the others, he found they made a diverse group, but in matching uniforms, no one would ever guess their true identities or intentions.

His eyes shifted to Trask and Sir John. They may have agreed to this, but neither one looked fully on board. If he thought it would make them feel any better, he would have told them that anyone intending harm to either Kyrin or Anne would have to kill him first, and the same went for every man in the group. He tested his sword in its sheath, making sure it didn’t stick. He’d just put a razor edge on it and his dagger the night before.

A few minutes later, Anne returned with Kyrin who wore a nondescript gray traveling dress and white cap. She looked the part of a servant, though it didn’t make her any less attractive. But Jace only let this thought form for a moment and nothing more. He’d determined not to let his feelings overshadow his reason and common sense as they nearly had yesterday.

Thank you so much, Jaye! I'm really looking forward to reading more of the Ilyon Chronicles!

Also, wonderful world of blogger, be sure to check out my post earlier today and enter the Ilyon-themed giveaway!


  1. Thanks for having my on your blog and sharing your review of Half-Blood!! I'm so glad you liked it! :D

  2. That. That snippet. Jace. Ahhhh! AHHHHH!!!

    I need SP NOW.