Bitter Winter & Lacy // Blog Tour Spotlight & Review

It's HERE!!!!! *does happy dance* It seems like it's been at least two years since Exiles came out, but it hasn't been as long as it seemed. At long last, the wait is over!!! Jaye L. Knight has released the fifth book in her Ilyon Chronicles series and she's teamed up with a fellow author, who also has a book releasing right now, to host a super fun blog tour! I have not read any of Tricia Mingerink's books (although I've heard from friends that they are really good), so I am focusing my post on Ilyon. However, the reason I have not read any Blades of Acktar is simply because I can't get my hands on them yet! So I will be posting a little spotlight of the book and if it sounds interesting you can go find other bloggers who are talking about it more!

This blog tour has been a BLAST so far! I've really enjoyed reading all the reviews and nodding along at how much I agree with them. Definitely my favorite part though has been the character chats! They are so entertaining!

How do I even begin to talk about Ilyon Chronicles? A couple of years ago, I participated in a Black Friday indie book sale. I got Resistance as a free ebook and the series sounded so intriguing that I asked for the next two and Jace's novella for Christmas. I almost NEVER get books that I've not already read, but this series totally lived up to and surpassed my wildest expectations.

Ilyon Chronicles is one of my all-time favorite book series. (You know it's a big deal when I have a label for it :) Jaye L. Knight has done an absolutely fantastic job building a world and characters that are relatable. Each book has heart-pounding action and suspense, but she ends each book in a place of peace. No cliff-hangers. THANK YOU!!!


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 an audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of 
they imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—
betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Available now on Amazon!

My Review
I'll be honest, I was really worried about this book. Jaye made it sound super foreboding and I was dreading what might happen. I guess I have an over-active imagination because it was nowhere near as devastating as I feared!

It's super hard to write a review without spoiling everything, but I was physically reacting to this book. I saw where something was going and I was freaking out! It did happen, but didn't turn out how I thought, thank goodness. There is definitely hardship and loss, like the other books, but there is also joy and hope, like the other books. And we have an ending of peace. I don't think that spoils anything since every book is like that.

A huge element is Jace's trust in Elom. It takes a real beating with all the hardships the camp is facing and, just like us, Jace tries to take things into his own hands. I love how I could feel his desperation and struggle. How far was he willing to go to save those he loves? How could he go on if more people died? These are some of the same struggles we face, although in a much different way. The fear and struggle of just leaving things in Elom's (God's) hands is something I can totally relate to. I was thinking a lot, "she wouldn't do that, would she?", but Jaye has shown before that she is willing to do hard things to her characters, so I wasn't really sure. That's what made things so suspenseful.

Compared to the other books in the series, this one was a little slower, in that people weren't about to die every other page!* But it was still amazing and intense in its own way. There also wasn't a lot of world-building. I think we've been introduced to just about all the places and people we are going to get. This book was very focused on character building, mainly Jace, which make sense because he is the MAIN main character.

The ending was wonderful. I'm very happy. What we've been waiting for since the the battle at the end of Samara's Peril has finally happened. That's all I can and will say about it.

About LACY

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!
My Review
With the introduction of Lacy as a character, Jaye makes her books for an older audience. The reason? Lacy has been forced into prostitution. Jaye handles the subject very well, but it is a delicate topic. Before Lacy came into the story, I would have felt fine recommending this series to even 11 or 12 year olds, even though there are battles. Now, I'd definitely talk to their parents first. 

With that, I have to say that Lacy was an absolutely beautiful book. The unconditional love and the sacrifice are truely touching. I don't want to say too much and spoil the book, but Aaron's pursuit of Lacy and his desire to do everything in his power to help her and her family was amazing. 

 In Bitter Winter, Jace had his moment where he is confronted with his lack of trust in Elom and the collapse of his world as a result. Aaron has his own moment where his plans are failing and he has to surrender everything into Elom's hands. I like how these characters, even ones as faithful as Aaron, still take things into their own hands and then have to turn back to the One who can ultimately help them.  

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.

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

DECREE, by Tricia Mingerink, is a collection of novellas and short stories about her Blades of Acktar series. It answers plauging questions and expands the world of Acktar. 

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.

(Fellow Michigander!!!)

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.)

Be sure to stop by each of the character chats for additional giveaways throughout the tour!

How cool is this?!?!?! I'm super excited about it. If I win, I'll be able to read the Blades of Acktar :)
There's been a lot of fun things going on during this tour! You can find the whole list of blogs by going here.

*I may be slightly exaggerating



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