I am excited!
Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Bitter Winter, and companion novella Lacy have been released! Bitter Winter is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles.
Tricia Mingerink’s newest novel Decree is also releasing! Decree is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy/kingdom adventure series The Blades of Acktar.
I’m doing a review of Decree. I’ve not read Bitter Winter or Lacy yet, as I prefer to Read the Ilyon Chronicles as paper books, but I may have be able to reivew them fairly soon.
Read about thet books below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page.
If you really don’t want to read about the books, just scroll down past the the book covers until you reach the big purple heading. And if you live in the US, make sure you go right to the bottom to enter the giveaway.
The Ilyon Chronicles
About Bitter Winter
Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.
Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.
(Choose the third option. There must be a third option.)
Available now on Amazon!
The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection.
When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom.
An Ilyon Chronicles Novella
Available now on Amazon!
Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!
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, Twitter, and Etsy.
The Blades of Acktar
The Adventure Continues.
Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.
The Blades as They Should’ve Been
A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept the man who attempted to kill him as family?
The First Mission
When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?
To the Far Great Mountains
A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves?
From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.
Available now on Amazon!
Haven’t discovered the The Blades of Acktar yet? Find out more at on the official Blades of Acktar page.
About the Author
Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As this is a review for the fifth book in a series it does contain spoilers for the previous books. And a few minor spoilers for Decree. I do have to talk about the book.
Decree is just a nice book. A lovely cozy kind of book that makes me happy. Up until now, the Blades of Acktar have been intense. There’s always been high levels of tension and danger. There’s been moments of relaxation in amongst the danger, but the tension has never dropped entirely. I couldn’t be sure the characters I loved wouldn’t die. Thus, I call Decree nice.
It’s not a novel. It’s a collection of short stories and novellas. Most are heart warming, some are incredibly touching, the first is tragic. But it’s a tragic we already know the (mostly) happy resolution to. Decree is a book for those who love and have been inspired by the Blades of Acktar series. For those who want more. It is the beginning of more.
It’s the story of people living their lives, overcoming difficulties and fears, resolving their past. Stories of loves, faith and adventure. Stories of the re-building of a strong kingdom. Stories of family forming and healing.
The biggest development of Decree is the establishment of what’s basically law enforcement. Marshals to track down criminals, rescue people, and capture bandits. A new time of peace for Acktar. Of course this organization is going to include ex-blades, and it has to be approved by the nobles. Which leads to tension and careful political maneuvering. (But not boring politics.) These also matters of justice that hadn’t been tied off in the last book. Tricia is good at getting all those things tied up satisfactorily.
There’s various interpersonal problems to sort out. Keevan still is struggling to get over his problems with Leith. He’s trying his best, and his choices show that in his head he trusts Leith, but it’s not easy to feel comfortable around someone who nearly took your life. Honestly, I’m not sure I would feel perfectly at ease around a former assassin. Then we have Martyn and Owen just sorting out life. Figuring out how to make their lives work together. Martyn dealing with regrets, past abandonment, and spoiler: the fact that he has a gravestone. Owen just being Owen and generally great. And Martyn and Kayleigh making me smile. Kaaaaayleeeiiiiiigh!!!!
Kayleigh continues along her path of using swords, and follows her dream of becoming a guard. I’m not so fond of the idea of women in battle, but this isn’t battle, and there are good reasons for her to be a guard. And she is really good with it without neglecting needles and butchers knives. Kayleigh is a woman of many skills and I think Tricia handles that beautifully. Spoiler: I loved the twirly skirt and her wearing a sword to her wedding. And Martyn’s proposal and attempts to be mushy.
Along with the increased peace in Acktar, we also get international developments. Yes, despite how it seemed in the early books, Acktar is not the only country. There are others. Which means treaties and border agreements. It turns out that Blade Marshals are really terrible at geograpghy and navigating when the borders aren’t clearly marked. The far deep south of Acktar is a nice place to travel. Depending on your travelling companions. If you want to know what happens, you’ll have to read the book.
We also getting a story dealing with Ranson Harding, and, oh why not give away the spoiler, Michelle Allen, the sheriff’s daughter. Ranson is figuring out life outside of the Blades. Michelle is trying her best not the be the beautiful flirt she was two years before. yet people still keep noticing her. I like Ranson as a character. He’s socially awkward, and has some other issues, anxiety, sensitivity, things that I don’t know enough to put a label on. He never should have been made a Blade (Not that anyone should be). And he needs a hug, though he would also not cope so well with a hug. We learn interesting things about Ranson, time goes by and he has to deal with trouble and be awesome. And Michelle gets things sorted out, and happy endings. Funny and awkward happy endings.
We also get a prequel story, which I had read before when Tricia shared it online as a bonus, but it’s just as good now. All about Renna and Brandi’s parents. Princess Annita is amazing.
Finally there’s a ending story to wrap it it up, and a whole six years have passed. There’s children and they’re not all tiny. There’s plenty of peace. The Blade Marshals know exactly were the border is. All in all, Decree is a fairly relaxing read and perfectly sets the scene for more adventures in Acktar. I’m looking forward to them.
Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.) Click on this link to enter.
Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour!