The first three books in this series (Resistance, Half Blood, The King's Scrolls) were so good that I didn't think Samara's Peril could possibly be up to par, but it is! It's every bit the beautiful emotional roller-coaster that I have come to expect from Jaye. L. Knight (we bookwyrms are odd creatures, praising authors for destroying our emotions).
While books one and two divided fairly evenly between Jace and Kyrin's points-of-view (among a few others), this one focused a lot more on Jace. He's such a tragic character, and yet I love his story and his perspective.
I did miss Kyrin, though--she felt like a weaker character in this book, lacking some of the wonderful strength she showed previously. However, besides Jace, her brothers also received more attention, and I loved Kaden and Liam's growth throughout the story. Kaden really endeared himself to me in The King's Scrolls with his giddy excitement over the dragons, so I especially enjoyed seeing him develop more.
I also wish there would have been a bit more focus on Elon, a newly-introduced character who, though playing a significant role, received very little attention as far as word-count goes. Apologies for the vagueness, but I despise spoilers. If you've read Samara's Peril, feel free to contact me and I will happily chat with you about all of the fabulous (and not so fabulous) spoilery details...
Jaye L. Knight has a talent for writing relationships very well, including those between family, friends, and even characters who don't get along. It's so refreshing! Except for the brief instances of sexism that pop up now and again--it's cultural, but fantasy authors can take liberties! If you're creating your own world, you can certainly throw out this one's bad habits and replace them with better ones.
Finally, though I loved the first half of the book, the rest seemed disjointed. The whole thing is split into parts, which didn't always flow together well, and it's more plot-driven than the rest of the series (so far), making it feel a bit rushed in places. It almost could have been written as two separate novels.
I'd give Samara's Peril a 4.5/5, but I didn't create a graphic for that, so I'll just have to round up...
Samara's Peril (Ilyon Chronicles #3)
by Jaye L. Knight
When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen. (from the back cover)
Have you read Samara's Peril? What do you think--is it worthy of a 5-leaf rating?
And, tell me: how do you feel about sexism in fantasy novels?