Willow’s Review of White Heart of Justice by Jill Archer

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I’d like to thank Bewitching Book Tours for letting us participate in this tour event. I’d also like to thank Ace Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this title for review. Please click on the banner above if you’d like to see all the blogs participating in this event. =^.^=

White Heart of Justice CoverRating: paw4

Publisher: Ace

Date Published: May 27, 2014

Series: Noon Onyx #3

Goodreads Description:

Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting…

After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.

However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…

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Review:

The first thing I’d like to say prior to getting into my review is, please let there be another book in the making! And if there isn’t, talk about a great but frustrating way to end a series. This is one of those happier for now type endings that always leaves me wondering what will happen next. But just like with the previous books, I couldn’t put this one down once I started. I really do enjoy Archer’s writing and I’m looking forward to seeing what she has planned for the future.

Once again I’m impressed with how much Noon has grown in this novel. While she still is battling some doubts, she’s mostly reach a point where she has accepted her powers and is willing to do what is necessary for her position, and she can also kick some serious butt! I love how powerful she’s become. Talk about a change from how she was in Dark Light of Day. Rafe is still just as mischievous, but even he’s matured quite a bit since the events in Fiery Edge of Steel. Actually by the end of the book I was mourning the loss of his carefree mentality as much as Noon was. No, nothing happens to him, but it is safe to say that none of the characters in this series ever walk away from the tasks they are charged with without undergoing some sort of change. Sometimes they are good changes, and sometimes, as in Rafe’s case, sort of break your heart. It’s not often that I say I’m going to miss the characters whom I’ve come to know in books, but if this proves to be the last book of the series, then I’m really going to miss these two. Hopefully I’ll get to visit with them again! Please, Archer, let it be so! One character I won’t miss is Peter. Yes, he’s back in this book, and my feelings towards him are even less flattering now than they were after the first one. I seriously despise this guy and I hope he gets what he deserves at some point. Never before have I met a character that’s left such a foul taste in my mouth. Actually, that’s not quite true, Noon’s cousin Brunus, who was in the other books but never played a big role, also left a sour taste and caused my fur to ripple in disgust. I’m not going to be missing him either if I’m to be honest.

And that right there is one of the reasons I enjoy this series so much, Archer manages to make me feel with her writing. Love, happiness, disgust, anger, lust, I’ve felt them all in one form or another throughout all three of her books. And this one was no exception. Archer is a powerful writer, and she’s taken her world and given it life in a way that many of the books I’ve been reading of late have been missing. I have to give Archer serious purrs and a tail wave of approval for this one.

While I would have liked to have seen more demons in this story, I can’t complain about the inclusion of barghests, a yeti, ice basilisks, and zombie like beings whose Latin name currently escapes my mind. I also can’t complain about the fact that I finally got to learn a bit more about the Mederis! Finally, after two books where they are mentioned, Archer lets us visit with the Demeter tribe of Mederis and actually learn a bit about their history. Yeah, I would have liked to have spent more time with them, but thinking about it, nothing says that Archer can’t write a spin-off series which focuses on Noon’s brother, Night. It could happen. ~crosses paws~ And I loved the scene between Noon and her mom near the healing spring. The scene I did enjoy involves Peter, Brunus, and the barghests. I literally growled in anger when I read that scene. Yeah, there’s a reason why if I ever were to get my paws on Peter I’d skin him alive with my claws. Okay, do forgive my little foray into wanting to exact some justice of my own there. If you want to know what scene I’m talking about, get a copy of the book and find out for yourself.

Yes, this book has something for everyone in it. Action, adventure, romance, humor, suspense, danger, deception…do I really need to continue to try and convince you to check this book out? Or to pick up the entire series and give it a read? Seriously, you won’t regret giving it a try. Fans of fantasy and paranormal novels will definitely enjoy this one. =^.^=

Excerpt:

Prologue

I can’t be with you anymore. That’s what she’d said. Six words that had become sixty then six hundred then six thousand . . . sixty thousand . . . six million . . . reverberating in his head, bouncing around inside his brain, driving him absolutely mad. There were no other words. No other memories. Only that last one of her. Standing at the edge of the oozy stew of the destroyed keep’s moat, flanked by two Angels, one preternaturally beautiful, the other full of purpose. The same purpose he’d had until those six words stripped him of it.
Flying out, he’d barely cleared the wreckage of the keep. His heart beat against the walls of his massive chest, and his monstrous wings beat against the infinite, empty sky, but the beats were slow and grew slower still. Slower. Until finally . . .
Stop.
He made it across the river and then dropped like a ten-ton stone, crashing into the brush, breaking tree limbs and a wing. He lay there amongst the blackening scrub refusing to shift back into human form.
Man’s thoughts were unwelcome.
In time, the rogares came. Water wraiths. He killed them all. And then sickened by the smell of blood and meat he couldn’t—wouldn’t—consume, he left his nesting place. By then, the wing had healed, but unnaturally, so that flying straight was impossible. For days, he traveled in circles, never getting far. It wasn’t just the wing. The yearning to return to her was nearly unbearable. The emptiness inside of him an abyss.
Was she still in the Shallows? If he could just . . .
But then he remembered the Angels. And the look on her face when she’d said the six words. And the feelings in her signature. She’d need more than mere weeks for them to abate. She might need months. Hopefully, not years. Years meant nothing to him, but they did to her. And then the reminder that her time was more precious than his drove his yearning to a new level of ferocity. Ruthlessly, he tamped it down. He realized then that it might be best to return to man’s thoughts. After all, she was a woman.
And he wanted her back.

Chapter 1

“Glashia calls Noon the ballista.” Waldron Seknecus’ low voice rumbled through the Gridiron, a deep, cavernous underground space used by the upper years at St. Lucifer’s for sparring. “Because of how she fights now. Watch.”
He was speaking to three other spectators: my father, Karanos Onyx, executive of the Demon Council and the man who would ultimately employ all of the magic users who trained here at St. Luck’s; Friedrich Vanderlin, an Archangel who was the dean of Guardians over at the Joshua School, the Angel academy we shared a campus with; and a woman who looked unsettlingly familiar to me, though I couldn’t remember when we’d met or who she was. I cleared my mind and concentrated on my opponent, Ludovicus Mischmetal, who preferred the moniker “Vicious” for short. He was a second year Maegester-in-Training at Euryale University. We were competing against one another in the New Babylon MIT rank matches, which St. Luck’s was hosting this year.
All second-year MITs were required to compete. The top-ranked MITs from each school would then be eligible to compete in the Laurel Crown Race. The object of the race was to bring back an assigned target. Targets were either rogare demons or priceless artifacts that needed to be recovered. Participation in the Laurel Crown Race was voluntary, but the MIT who returned to New Babylon with his (or in my case, her) target before any of the others, won the coveted Laurel Crown. Winning the Laurel Crown often set a future Maegester up for life because winners could choose where they wanted to spend their fourth-semester residency. And ofttimes, those residencies turned into permanent positions. Everyone else would receive offers, but it would be the Council that decided which of those residency positions they accepted.
Last semester, we’d been given our first field assignment. It was an assignment that had been full of rogare demon attacks and other lethal situations. That assignment had lasted a mere three months and I’d barely survived it. My residency would last for twice as long, so I was well aware of how important the residency venue would be. Winning the right to choose where I spent next semester, not to mention who I would be working for, would go far in preserving not just my happiness, but also my life. The Maegester who was judging the match, a middle-aged man with thinning, ginger-colored hair and a near permanent frown, called out for us to begin.
I’d watched Vicious spar with other MITs. He was smart. His infliction of pain would be very calculated, very precise. There was nothing personal about his desire to beat me. He just wanted to win the match so that he could retain his current Primoris ranking at Euryale and compete for the Laurel Crown. Of course, I was similarly motivated.
Vicious gave me a curt bow, his long, black, razor-cut bangs briefly falling forward before he shook them back and used his waning magic to fire up a weapon, a flaming broadsword. It hissed and spit with fury in the damp air of the Gridiron as Vicious raised it toward me in an opening invitation to spar.
As a sparring partner, Vicious looked fairly intimidating. His front teeth were shiny, silver, and sharply pointed (likely, his real ones had been knocked out in fights) and he was much larger than me. He wore the usual black leather training pants and vest, but he’d elected to go shirtless underneath the vest. I guessed it was an intentional show of muscle, literally. He flexed his forearms and grinned at me, his message clear: I might be a woman playing a man’s game, but he wasn’t going to spare me any blows.
That suited me fine. Sparing me blows wouldn’t win me the match.

About the Author:

Jill Archer 1Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, and White Heart of Justice. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

Enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter link HERE for your chance to win one of the following prizes:

  • $50 Amazon eGift Certificate (or bookseller of winner’s choice) (international)
  • 5 copies of White Heart of Justice (or an earlier book in the series, winner’s choice) (international so long as Book Depository ships to your address)
  • Dark Light of Day themed SWAG pack (incudes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies) (US only)

Dark Light of Day Prize PackDARK LIGHT OF DAY PRIZE PACK

Signed print copy of Dark Light of Day

Handmade bookmark with charm

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Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

  • Fiery Edge of Steel themed SWAG pack (incudes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies) (US only)

Fiery Edge of Steel Prize PackFIERY EDGE OF STEEL PRIZE PACK

Signed print copy of Fiery Edge of Steel

Handmade bookmark with charm

“The Queen of Flowers” T-shirt Tank Top

Set of three Silver Glass Mercury Votive Holders

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Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

  • White Heart of Justice themed SWAG pack (incudes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies) (US only)

White Heart of Justice Prize PackWHITE HEART OF JUSTICE PRIZE PACK

Signed print copy of White Heart of Justice

Handmade bookmark with charm

White Crystal Headband

Vintage Star Pin

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Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack

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Posted on May 30, 2014, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.