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Review: White Heart of Justice by Jill Archer


White Heart of Justice
Author:  Jill Archer
Series:  Noon Onyx 3
Publisher:  Ace, May 27, 2014
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780425257173 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: White Heart of Justice by Jill Archer
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…


Trinitytwo’s point of view

Noon Onyx is a unique personage in Halja, the post apocalyptic country in which Lucifer and his army rose victorious against the Savior and his angels almost two thousand years ago. In this world of demons and angels who live among humans it is up to the Host, humans whose bloodlines are mixed with demon-kind, to prevent total chaos by upholding and enforcing the strict laws of the land. A talented third year student of St. Lucifer’s Law School, Noon is the only known female to possess the destructive waning magic. White Heart of Justice opens amid the Maegester-in-Training competition in which the highest ranking students from each school vie for the right to compete in an elite race for the Laurel Crown. If selected to participate in this prestigious and often deadly race, each entrant is assigned an individual object or target that they must bring back before any of their fellow racers. The prize for winning is not only the valuable Laurel Crown, but to the victor goes the privilege to choose where to spend their fourth year residency. The rest of the students must endure placement at the whim of the capricious Demon Council. Noon Onyx is determined that she will win the freedom of being allowed to choose her future. To do so she must accept an impossible target: The White Heart of Justice. This practically mythical sword was hidden long ago in Tartarus, an impenetrable fortress from which no one has ever returned. Noon’s first inclination is to decline. This quest spells certain death, however, if she accepts, the leader of the Divinity of Angels has offered her the chance to redeem herself from last year’s destruction of an irreplaceable Angel statue. By accepting the challenge, Noon will be allowed the one thing she desperately wants and needs; a Guardian Angel of her own selection. Noon picks Raphael, (Rafe) Sinclair, her companion from the Dark Light of Day, to accompany her on this perilous expedition to discover the secret resting place of the magical sword and win the race that will decide her destiny.

I really enjoyed this book! The chronicles of Noon’s journey to accept her place in her world culminates in a thrilling adventure that brings Noon and her Guardian Angel Rafe, literally to the gates of Hell. The duo’s quest is further complicated by a rival pair of students with no scruples, who are assigned the same task after Noon suffers a life threatening attack. Author Jill Archer ties together all the loose ends of her series in an unpredictable and thoroughly satisfying manner. The quest itself is inspired and exhilarating. This book explores Noon’s interactions with her family and friends, and her emotional journey is well-written and believable. As Noon tries to figure out her conflicting feelings for Rafe and her ex-lover Ari, the reader can’t help but feel for her. I loved the introduction of new creatures, and how Archer introduces original mythology and history that enhances the world of Halja. As a reader, I dislike being able to predict endings early on and I love when an author surprises me. Archer raised my level of appreciation by catching me unawares. She does this with a totally unexpected but pleasing twist that leaves me hoping for a fourth book. I recommend readers do themselves a favor and invest in this series. It’s a safe bet you’ll add Noon Onyx to your list of unforgettable heroines.





Prior Books in the Noon Onyx Series

Fiery Edge of Steel
Noon Onyx 2
Ace, May 28, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Review: White Heart of Justice by Jill Archer
Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.

Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, paired with a lack of control and reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider from her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task which will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined…


Dark Light of Day
A Noon Onyx Novel 1
Ace, September 25, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Review: White Heart of Justice by Jill Archer
Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.

Review: Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon Onyx 2) by Jill Archer


Fiery Edge of Steel
Author:  Jill Archer
Series:  Noon Onyx 2
Publisher:  Ace, May 28, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780425257166 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon Onyx 2) by Jill Archer
Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.

Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, paired with a lack of control and reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider from her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task which will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined…





Nouiomo Onyx and her brother Nocturo are unique personages among the denizens of Halja, the post apocalyptic country in which Lucifer and his army rose victorious against the Savior and his angels almost two thousand years ago. In this world of demons and angels who live among humans it is up to the Host, humans whose bloodlines are mixed with demon-kind, to prevent total chaos by upholding and enforcing the strict laws of the land. The Host possess magical abilities. The females are born with waxing magic, or powers to create and heal. The males are born with waning magic; the power to destroy and to control Demons. Noon and her twin brother, Night, were born an anomaly. She is the only known female to possess the destructive waning magic and her brother the only male to possess waxing. Introduced in Dark Light of Day, the first book in this series, Noon, enrolls in St. Lucifer's Law School while she struggles with her identity as a wielder of waning magic and her feelings for the mysterious Ari Carmine.



*Spoiler alert: If you haven't read book one, but would like to, stop now, before ruining any of the excellent story. 



Fiery Edge of Steel picks up with Noon’s second year at St. Lucifer’s. She has accepted what she is, a wielder of waning magic, and she has embraced her feelings for Ari, allowing them to bloom into a satisfying love affair. Noon's next adventure begins as the magistrates at St. Lucifer’s assign her a new case. This time, she may pick an angel from the neighboring Joshua School to accompany her on a journey to the "Shallows" in order to discover the cause of missing villagers. But she is not going alone; Ari is also assigned to travel with her. It is a dangerous mission as the most likely culprit is the "Shallows" patron demon. Upon their arrival, however, the residents insist that their patron demon is not to blame, but something more ancient and evil. A foe that may prove impossible to defeat and may even cost her her relationship and her life.



Trinitytwo's point of view:

Fiery Edge of Steel is the second urban fantasy book in the Noon Onyx Series. The book stands on its own, but I would highly recommend reading Dark Light of Day first to get the most out of the story. Halja's sole female waning magic wielder returns to St. Lucifer’s School of Law (St. Luck's for short) as a Maegestrar in training. She is assigned a new case that takes her and her band of assistants to "The Shallows", an outlying community that is being ravaged by an unknown demon where 17 of its citizens are missing and feared dead. Noon has embraced her unusual magic and has accepted her feelings for Ari, her powerful Host lover and classmate. She is in a good place in her life. I really enjoyed the early banter between Noon and her school friends. Because she has accepted who she is, Noon is able to exhibit her sense of humor and it is so wickedly delicious; I actually laughed out loud. The great quality about Noon is she never feels sorry for herself. In the first book she was dealing with a major life choice, but now that she has accepted who and what she is, she is free to let her heart and soul guide her life decisions. Although continually faced with adversity, she perseveres and meets most challenges head on. The second part of the book was pure adventure. The addition of two new angels with their unique personalities added another layer of interest to this fascinating world. Jill Archer has created a unique civilization, populated with angels, demons, humans, and Host and complicated laws in which they all must obey in order to coexist. Noon is a character that I really like and admire. In fact, in some ways, I wish I were more like her. Fiery Edge of Steel is a fantastic blend of danger, adventure, magic, love, and the quest for truth. I am invested in Noon Onyx; I have come to care for her and worry about her as if she were one of my own. I am looking forward to the release of the third book in the series, White Heart of Justice which will be released spring of 2014.

Cover Revealed - Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon Onyx 2) by Jill Archer

Jill Archer has revealed the cover for the second novel in her Noon Onyx series - Fiery Edge of Steel.  The cover artist is Jason Chan. The Art Director is Lesley Worrell.  What do you think?




Fiery Edge of Steel
Noon Onyx 2
Ace, May 28, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Cover Revealed - Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon Onyx 2) by Jill Archer
Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.

Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, paired with a lack of control and reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider from her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task which will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined…
Preorder




Dark Light of Day
A Noon Onyx Novel 1
Ace, September 25, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Cover Revealed - Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon Onyx 2) by Jill Archer
Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.




Read an interview with Jill here and a Guest Blog by Jill - A Post-Apocalyptic Novel without Zombies, Robots, Aliens, Dystopia, the Plague or Even a Recent War - here.




Interview with Jill Archer, author of Dark Light of Day, and Giveaway - September 28, 2012

Please welcome Jill Archer to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Dark Light of Day (Noon Onyx 1) was published on September 25, 2012. You may read Jill's Guest Blog - A Post-Apocalyptic Novel without Zombies, Robots, Aliens, Dystopia, the Plague or Even a Recent War - here.


Interview with Jill Archer, author of Dark Light of Day, and Giveaway - September 28, 2012


TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Jill:  Thank you! I'm happy to be here.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Jill:  My editor pointed out that I was overly fond of using dog metaphors in my writing. Until she mentioned it, I hadn't realized! Sure enough, I ran a search. Clearly, I love comparing people to pooches and demons to dogs. (I've since reduced the number of dog metaphors in DLOD).


TQ:   Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Jill:  Past and current favorites include Lois McMaster Bujold, S.M. Stirling, Ken Follett, Naomi Novik, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Colleen McCullough, Elizabeth George, Elizabeth Peters, Nora Roberts, and Lisa Kleypas. To some degree they've all influenced my writing (as have many others whose work I admire). Despite the disparate genres represented by this list, collectively they represent the best that storytellers have to offer: memorable characters, richly detailed worlds, and/or stories with emotional resonance.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Jill:  I'm a plotter, although I always give myself permission to create new characters or explore different plot directions. Neither the ending of Dark Light of Day nor the second book in the series is the ending I originally planned. So far, my books have been too detailed for me to be a pantser, but I can't deny myself the thrill of discovery that comes with being open to story possibilities I didn't see at the start of a project.


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Jill:  All of it. That's not to say I don't enjoy it, but I wonder if I'll ever be able to say that attempting to produce a 100,000 word novel with characters readers can be passionate about, settings that are imaginative yet believable, and plots that are as surprising as they are satisfying isn't challenging every step of the way! :-D


TQ:   How did practicing law prepare you for writing novels? Or not!

Jill:  Most of my ten years in practice was spent doing transactional work, not litigation. That means when I wasn't in meetings or on the phone, I was drafting documents -- inch-thick, single-spaced documents. The kind that take forever to finish. The kind that take a team of people to get just right. The kind that go back and forth between the involved parties multiple times. The kind with looming deadlines, lots of stress, but immeasurable satisfaction once they are complete. So, in a way, those ten years were prepping me for novel writing! (But now I get to double space).


TQ:  Describe Dark Light of Day (Noon Onyx 1) in 140 characters or less.

Jill:  A 21 year old post-grad magic user must choose between death or training to become a demon peacekeeper.


TQ:  What inspired you to write Dark Light of Day?

Jill:  Noon Onyx is very loosely inspired by the librarian Evelyn "Evie" Carnahan from the movie, The Mummy. Some years ago, while I was still practicing law, I sat next to a librarian during a writer's event. We each commiserated with the other about how dull we felt our day jobs were, a feeling each of us couldn't believe the other had. It led to a discussion about Evie's character and I got the idea to see if I could somehow create a similarly bookish lawyer character who lived in some sort of "otherworld."


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Dark Light of Day?

Jill:  All kinds. There was the legal research, of course. Although I didn't obsessively concern myself with legal accuracy (demons and due process don't always mix), I wanted to use enough legal terminology to establish the "school of demon law" milieu I was trying to create. That said, no one needs a law degree to read the book! Necessary meaning can be derived from context. (The real story is Noon's emotional journey). I researched antique apple varieties to create the ensorcelled Empyr wines. That was fun! And I researched all sorts of demons and deities from around the world, as well as various religious myths and holidays. I played fast and loose with most of it. I tend to use research as an inspirational springboard.


TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Jill:  Noon Onyx was the easiest character to write. Since the book's written in first person, I'd be worried if she wasn't my answer to this question! I think if your character's perspective is hard to write from, or you don't identify with them for whatever reason, writing in first person would be doubly hard. That said, writing in first person is challenging because your main character's not going to be present for every single story event. And you have to work extra hard at showing what the other characters might be thinking or feeling (something I enjoy knowing as a reader).

Noon's parents were difficult to write at first. I get them more now that I've spent more time with the story, but when I was first fleshing things out it was difficult for me to relate to parents that acted the way they did.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Dark Light of Day?

Jill:  Hmm... that's a tough one. I think there's something different to love in each. But I will say I loved how the Barrister's Ball sequence turned out. There's also a small twist to the climax of the book that made me hoot out loud when I first thought of it. (I thought, "I can't write that--!" and then I knew I *had* to!) And the emotional note of the very last scene of the book, to me, is pitch perfect.


TQ:  What's next?

Jill:  Book #2 is currently scheduled for a spring release -- May 2013. My plan for each book is new assignments, new adventures, and new adversaries. In book #2, some characters will return, some new ones will be introduced, and Noon will get her first field assignment.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jill:  Thanks for having me, Sally! I appreciated having a chance to share more about Noon Onyx and Dark Light of Day with your readers.



About Dark Light of Day

Dark Light of Day
A Noon Onyx Novel 1
Ace, September 25, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Jill Archer, author of Dark Light of Day, and Giveaway - September 28, 2012
Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.




About Jill

Interview with Jill Archer, author of Dark Light of Day, and Giveaway - September 28, 2012
Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jill earned a bachelor of science from Penn State University and later moved to Baltimore to attend the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. She went on to practice law as a “dirt lawyer” for ten years, specializing in real estate law, municipal development, commercial leasing, and anything involving exceedingly lengthy legalese-like contractual monstrosities.

Jill now lives in rural Maryland with her two children and husband, who is a recreational pilot. Weekends are often spent flying around in the family’s small Cessna, visiting tiny un-towered airfields and other local points of interest.


Website: www.jillarcher.com
Blog: http://jillarcherauthor.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @archer_jill
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jillarcherauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13556956-dark-light-of-day




The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Dark Light of Day (Noon Onyx 1) from The Qwillery.

How:   Answer the following question: 

What is one of your favorite stories featuring demons? 
 
Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, October 5, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2012 Winner

The results are in and the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars winner for September is Jill Archer's Dark Light of Day (Noon Onyx 1) with 40% of the votes cast. The cover art is by David Palumbo.


2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2012 Winner



 The final results:

2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2012 Winner





The September Debut Covers
2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2012 Winner






Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue in October with voting on the October debut covers.
Review and Giveaway - Pocket Full of Tinder by Jill ArcherReview: White Heart of Justice by Jill ArcherReview: Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon Onyx 2) by Jill ArcherCover Revealed - White Heart of Justice (Noon Onyx 3) by Jill ArcherCover Revealed - Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon Onyx 2) by Jill ArcherInterview with Jill Archer, author of Dark Light of Day, and Giveaway - September 28, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2012 Winner

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