August 20, 2017

Exiles by Jaye L. Knight

I can hardly believe this day has come, my friends. (Okay, I can believe it. But wow it still feels great to have this book on my shelf after such an anticipated wait!) Exiles has been released and now I'm here to review it. :D :D :D :D
photo from the day I started reading it :)
I will warn you in advance that this review won't be up to par compared to my usual reviews. My family leaves for vacation next week and I have a bazillion and four things on my to do list. To say I'm a little overwhelmed is an understatement.

But, I'm determined to get this review done beforehand, while the story is still fresh in my mind and the book at my side, because I'm letting this girl borrow it tomorrow. ;)*

Which also leads me to add that, Anna, you can't read this review yet because I'm not going to bother with hiding spoilers. After all, anyone else interested in reading this series should start with book one.

*This post was written Saturday and published Sunday

(One more warning: lots of CAPS and fangirling abound.)

So, Sunday afternoon, I settled into our hammock with a smile, Exiles in hand. I probably took a full two minutes just to study the my hands over the cover....smell the the opening pages. You know, the things people usually do when they read a new book. (Oh. I'm the only one who does that? :P)

Right from the beginning, I was squealing and smiling. Not only is JACE (my precious cupcake muffin) in the opening sentence, but it's also Jace feeling EXACTLY the way I was feeling by starting the newest Ilyon book:
"Jace dragged in a deep breath to steady and compose himself, though his body fought to resist the effort."
#literally me at that moment

Everytime a new character walked onto the page, I smiled. It felt like meeting old friends. I can't tell you how great it was to visit the land of Ilyon again.

Things I liked:
~Lots of Jace POV. I will never ever complain about "too much Jace".

~Lenae and Warin got married and Jace and Kyrin danced at their wedding and he kissed her afterwards and just SO MANY HAPPY FEELS IN THE FIRST CHAPTER. (Thank you for giving us that momentary break from strife and angst, Jaye. :))

~DANIEL BEING A MAIN CHARACTER. And becoming a believer. And sneaking out of the castle. And being all around epic. Me loves Daniel. <3


Ahem. Let me back up a bit. For those of you who have read the book (I mean, you've all read it right? There's no one here reading spoilers because my readers are so well behaved.) (*glares at Miss March*) do you remember the part where Kyrin and Elanor were talking about love and marriage and such, and Kyrin asked if Elanor liked anyone in camp? Elanor replied, and I quote, "Truly, there's no one." (I find that rather surprising considering there's like, what, more than half a dozen unattached, handsome, really lovable guys at camp? Marcus, Liam, Kaden, Trev, Mick, Jeremy, Holden., Aaron....I'm sure I'm even forgetting someone. :P) Well, at that moment I went through the characters in my mind and tried to figure out who Elanor would end up with. (Because it was obvious she'd end up with someone.) And I knew who it should be. Daniel. He's a prince, she's of the nobility, and they'd just fit so well together. I knew they'd be adorable. AND THEN, PAGES FROM THE END OF THE BOOK, THIS HAPPENED:

"Daniel looked around the meeting hall, taking in all of their reactions, until his eyes caught on something that seemed to distract him. Jace looked to see what it was. Not something, someone. Elanor. She looked down shyly, and Daniel's attention slowly returned to Trask."


ship sails.gif

~Since we’re on the Daniel topic, he’s finally at the Landale camp!!! *confetti bursting into sparkly stars* Annnnnndd ARIC IS TOO. *happiness*

~Giants and Cretes, everyone. We finally got to see their sides of Ilyon. And it was fantastic. :D (Am I the only one who has a really hard time picturing the size difference between giants and humans, though? I end up staring at my wall, trying to picture how bent over a giant would be in my room. -_-)


~Timeetra. AKA Timothy and Leetra. They’re official. <3

~Goler is dead!

~Trask and Anne scenes. <333 This book had a lot of Anne’s POV, which was highly enjoyable because I love Anne and I certainly love Trask and their scenes were ADORABLE. Also, Anne and Elanor’s friendship is pretty precious.



~So, because of how much the story focused on Tranne’s problems, there really wasn’t a ton of Jayrin angst. Like, they were happy and together and while I LOVE that, it didn’t provide a lot of drama, you know? So I was kind of preoccupied with the suspense and excitement surrounding Trask and Anne. BUT. On page 254 SOMETHING HAPPENED. And it reminded me full force of how much I adore Jace and Kyrin and how my survival depends on their survival. (Okay, that was a little exaggerated....) SO I STAYED UP PAST ELEVEN PM BECAUSE JACE HAD TO FIND KYRIN AND I COULDN’T SLEEP TILL HE DID.

I actually felt bad for how I kind of forgot how much I loved them. It’s only because I want Trask and Anne as happy as they are, okay? And I wasn’t worried about Jace and Kyin. Till the thing happened, that is. Even then I wasn’t even really worried because I was pretty sure they’d be fine. But still. I CAN’T PUT THE BOOK DOWN WHEN KYRIN IS CAPTURED BY RYRIKS AND JACE IS ABOUT TO GET EATEN BY WOLVES AND HE’S SEARCHING FOR HER AND AHHH

Their reunion was precious. :’)

~This is going to sound really sick, but I actually really liked the arena scene? NOT because of what happened there—it was horrid—but because it was really well written and I completely felt Daniel’s pain. I love how the author conveys the awfulness of such a place without going into gory detail.
~SO that other thing happened. Daican??? IS NO MORE. I did not see that coming. O_O But once I got over the shock....

Hahaha. Haha. Was I supposed to feel bad that Daican died? Because I didn’t really feel bad. I even struggled with feeling bad for Daniel...I was like, "yeah, your dad just died but you really never showed any affection for him anyways and he was killing people and….I don’t know, I just think the positive side far outweighs the negative??"

But yes. I get it. Poor Daniel. :(

~The ending. It was epic. Go read it. I just…..*happiness*
Between Trask’s short speech about the advantage of having two exiled kings in their camp and Jace’s hope for a better, brighter future, one he can share in safety and happiness with Kyrin....

Things I didn’t like:

~Liam was hardly in this book. I think he was mentioned once. Helping Jace move furniture. Um what. I want Liam back.

~It took Daniel till the end to get to camp. Or, maybe I should rephrase that: I want MORE scenes of Daniel at camp. :P

~On one hand, I loved that most of the characters stayed SAFE. But….there were a lot of scenes of them doing….next to nothing. Sitting around at tables. Eating. Talking. Planning. Just….chit chatting. I’m used to more action in the Ilyon books, so I admit I was a little bored by these parts. I didn’t care what food they were eating at the giant’s house. I cared about these characters and their internal struggles and their quest to save Ilyon.

~Jaye is officially one of my favorite writers, but sometimes I find her dialogue a little too....straightforward? Like, everyone says EXACTLY what they mean, with complete sentences. It’s just not super duper realistic in my 'umble opinion, especially when they’re talking about subjects that are near and dear to their hearts. For instance,

“Thank you. And I’m very thankful for the opportunity to have met you and your family. I think I can finally embrace who I am. I had learned to accept my ryrik blood, but I still tried to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t really a part of me. Not anymore.”

This sounds more like Jace emailing someone who interviewed him for a job, not Jace trying to express his heartfelt gratitude for the truth his friend showed him, minutes before leaving for a suicide mission. :P

~Speaking of good ryriks, I feel as if this huge announcement was a little understated? It didn’t get enough attention by all the characters, even Jace. I feel as if Jace’s feelings and internal angst have gotten a little lost behind the plot and all the new characters and their movements. :/

~Which leads me to this: I miss Jace’s angst. DON’T GET ME WRONG. I WANT HIM HAPPY. *HUGS JACE* But….I miss worrying about him and rooting for him?? I don't know....maybe it's just hard to get used to. But here's the thing: I think the impact of Resistance, The King's Scrolls, and Samara's Peril is due largely in part to Jace's internal struggles. After all, characters who learn to change and grow and defeat their "inner demons" are always more relatable and enjoyable than ones who never change internally, right? I'M NOT SAYING JACE ISN'T ENJOYABLE OR RELATABLE ANYMORE. I just kind of feel as if his "emotional journey" leveled out in this book and the end result was...just a tad bit more boring than the other books. *ducks tomatoes*

~Jace didn't propose to Kyriinnnnnnn. Okay. Actually I like that their romance is drawn out. But I was starting to hope it would happen in this book. ;)

~A lot of suspense was built for the defense of the ford. It was said by practically everyone “one of us will die” or something like “this is the most hopeless thing we’ve ever done”. It felt as if the author was trying to prepare us for Something Awful to happen and then…..nothing did. Don’t get me wrong: THAT’S GOOD. I don’t want anyone to die!!! But........if you’re not going to kill someone, don’t make it seem like you’re going to kill someone! It just makes their ultimate survival seem too convenient. If something is truly that dangerous, then make it dangerous. If it’s not.....well then, please don’t amp up the suspense so much. Save the worry for when WE ACTUALLY NEED TO WORRY.

~So much I expected to happen in this book didn't actually happen. Like, Jace was not in the arena. DON'T FREAK OUT. I DON’T WANT HIM IN THE ARENA. (Okay, maybe a little itty bitty part of me does?? I don't understand myself....I'm a horrid person.) But I thought for sure he’d be in it so….I guess it was almost a disappointment just because I thought it was going to happen. (And we know it's gotta happen at some point, right?)
Basically, I expected a lot of horrible things to happen and a lot of happy things happened instead. Wait a minute......why am I complaining then???

~Jace got beat up within an inch of his life and was on death’s door again. Can we stop beating Jace up please? This is like the 7th time he’s “nearly died”. #STOPHURTINGJACE #GIVEJACEABREAK

(This totally goes against my complaint about the arena, doesn't it? Don't try to understand me. I don't understand myself.)

All in all, this book was wonderful. *hugs all the characters* Job well done, once again, to Jaye L. Knight. I love her books so much and they're definitely and officially one of my favorite fantasy series.
Come what may, I'm here to stay in this fandom till the end. :)

Tell me! What did you think of Exiles?



    Their relationship is precious. I love how they protect each other--I mean, it's not a one-sided thing where he protects her and that's it. She protects HIM, too, just as much, and it's beautiful. *nods happily*

    Although, oddly enough, I don't want them to get married yet--I don't want them to get married till the end of Book 6.

    I know what you mean about the straightforward dialogue; but I actually really like that, I think. Same with the very straightforward and "sparse" style of description--it makes me a lot more comfortable, because it reminds me (somehow, DON'T ask how) of the way I used to think and talk and write as a young child. You know I'm not much into fantasy as a rule, right? Well, the reason Ilyon is an exception is because it taps into something nostalgic inside me, by being very deep, but very simple at the same time. Otherwise, I think, I wouldn't be able to "get into" the story as much; because I'd be reading it with my "adult brain," and my adult brain doesn't necessarily like fantasy very much. But I don't read it with my adult brain; I read it with my kid brain and I have a marvelous time.

    (Come to think of it, that's probably why I want them to wait till the end to get married; because as a kid playing imaginary adventures, I would NEVER make the characters get married in the middle. That's something that has to wait until the end.)

    Am I making sense??? I feel like I'm rambling . . .


    And I adored the bit about the ryriks' heritage. That was the part where I actually got a bit teary (which I don't do very often, so that makes it special ;-) )

    Also--can I just say--THE CRETES LIVE IN TREE HOUSES AND THIS MAKES ME RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY. I always wanted a tree house.

    1. I KNOOOOOW. <3

      Totally agree with everything you just said there.

      Yeah, I think that would be best, too. I wouldn't mind if they were engaged, though. Because reasons. :)

      Wow, that's really cool how you can recognize what you enjoy with your "kid brain" versus your "adult brain". And while I still wish some of the dialogue wasn't so straightforward for MY sake, but I'm glad it's not for YOURS. ;)

      (That's probably how I would always have it too, as a kid. I remember when I DID make some characters get married in the middle of a "series", I promptly got bored with them and transferred the story to their children. Haha! But now that I'm older I love stories about married couples. I get frustrated with certain book series or tv shows that draw out the romance SO much that it's obvious they think the "will they end up together?" question the only thing driving the story. Ugh. NOT TRUE. There's just as much story material in a married couple's life as in single peoples' lives.)

      Yes, that made sense!! And don't worry, you weren't rambling as much as me. :)


      Awwwwww. I know. I did love how they have an Elom-given PURPOSE for their fighting skills. SEE JACE, NOTHING ABOUT YOU IS MONSTROUS.

      I don't think I could live in a treehouse (because #heights) but I sure wouldn't mind visiting the Cretes' village. :D

    2. I don't think I could write a good story that centered around a married couple, simply because I'm not married myself and don't know what it's like. I'm not saying there ARE no stories . . . just that I wouldn't know how to write one :-)

    3. I haven't written any stories about married couples myself, either, but I do enjoy reading them. :)

    4. Well, excepting that one series I mentioned in my previous comment, but it was more of a picture book than a real story so it doesn't exactly count. ;)

  2. You seriously make me want to read this book. Very very very well done!!!
    Can you find it at a library?

    1. I'm glad, Hannah Jo!!! That's exactly the response I would hope for!
      Since it's self-published, I don't think it would be at the library, but you can try. :)

  3. Ooh, I want people to die!! :D ;) *Grins morbidly*

    Don't worry! I finished the book! And I think I agree with you on pretty much everything. YES more Liam, where was Liam??? Also, Trask and Anne...awwwwww...don't hate me, but I almost like them together better than Jace/Kyrin. :)

    Also, where are the Talcrins? Sam was AWESOME in the first book, and I want him back!!! Although I think this one is just building more suspense for the 5th book (I thought this was going to be the last one, so I got to the last page and had to stop for a minute, like WHAT? this isn't the last book?), when I assume all or most of the races will be united against Davira's evil forces. Well, anyway, that's my 2 cents.

    Yes, well done Jaye! Very enjoyable read!

    1. ANNA. I simply don't understand you. :P

      Yay!!! I'm glad you think so, too. one in the series can replace Jace and Kyrin for me, but I admit that Trask and Anne definitely took center stage in this one. :)

      Ohhh, that's right! I hope they're in the next book. That is weird that Sam was hardly even mentioned, if at all. I think there are supposed to be 6 books, so don't expect the next one to be the last either. :)

      PS. :D

  4. p.s. Also the Toothless gif is so adorable!

  5. I started reading the first book. It was so cringe and boring, I just stopped.

    1. Maybe it's because you're cringe and boring. :P

  6. "(*glares at Miss March*)" WHAT?! Why? What did I do? *glances around the room in innocent confusion*

    Come on, Natalie. Seriously. You're not accusing me of reading the spoilers, are you? Why the idea! I would NEVER do that! (coughcough) (yes, I read this whole post and I'm not sorry either so there ;P)

    "MY SHIP HAS SAILED." Haha. This made me smile. And yay for you for calling it! You're so smart! :D

    Ach! I know what you mean. That's one of my pet-peeves about some books. Too much chit-chatting and too many descriptions of what the characters are WHY DO WE CARE ANYWAY??? LET'S GET BACK TO THE STORY!! ;D

    Wow. You are a horrid person! Why the crazy girl complains about the story being to HAPPY! *sends that Cary Grant gif right back at you* Hahahaha. ;)

    Goodness. You ARE confusing today. First you practically say you want Jace to have more angst and hardship and whatever else...and then you go and say "give him a break"! WHAT IS YOU WANT, GIRL??! Make up your mind. :P

    How do you always manage to write such entertaining book reviews? This post was great, Natalie! (I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. :))

    ~Miss March

    P.S. *glares at you because you glared at me* ;P

    1. Innocent. :P Hahaha. OF COURSE I'm accusing you of reading the spoilers! (And look, my accusation was not unfounded. So there yourself. Hmp.)

      Haha, why thank you. ;)

      There's only a few books where food descriptions are actually enjoyable to read....the Little House on the Prairie books would be one of them. (THAT REMINDS ME. You need to read those!!!)

      I knoooooooooow. *cringe* I really don't understand myself sometimes.


      Awwwww. I'm so glad you think I do!! Thank you! (No problem. I'm glad you read it though, so you could receive my *glare*. ;))

      PS. ;P


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