by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of White Heart of Justice, and a link to purchase the book–with a portion going to support KRL.
In Jill Archer’s Noon Onyx series, Armageddon happened a long time ago. Heaven lost. Demons, Angels, and Hyrkes (non-magical humans) try to coexist. Maegesters are judges and peacekeepers armed with waning (destructive) magic…and possessing some demon blood.
Noon (Nuoiomo) is the only female Maegester-in-training. Other women with power have waxing (healing) magic, but there was an in-womb mix-up that made her fraternal twin brother (Nightshade) a “Mederi” strong enough to regrow bones and teeth, and gave Noon the power to destroy if she doesn’t learn to exercise control over it. Noon endures resentment and attempted murder, but what do you expect in a world where demons are the feudal lords, and much of the land is dead?
In the third outing of the series, White Heart of Justice, Onyx wins the right to compete for the Laurel Crown, a prize that would let her choose her training residency. Onyx and her Angel guardian Rafe, who has a knack for unusual spells, are sent in search of a legendary sword made by a mad Angel with dangerous magic. The quest could end in failure, death, or eternal torment in a fortress of zombies, as they travel to Hell and back, Noon and Rafe have to deal with their growing passion for each other, and all that stands in their way. Besides the zombies, beasties, and enemies they must face, Noon has memories of the former lover who betrayed her trust by his existence and Rafe is tormented by childhood guilt.
Mostly told by Noon in first-person, the journey approaches an epic, mythic level, pitting Noon against puzzles and monsters that can’t be defeated by flat-out attacks. The solutions are ingenious, and they help Noon build power in the magic she spent most of her life trying to hide and deny.
Archer builds on the classic journey formula where the prize must be won at a cost. Sometimes, a life is the price, or a body part (Frodo of the Nine Fingers). In White Heart of Justice, Truth is the price, secrets that must be revealed, ones that will change the way characters see the world around them.
This alternate-future fantasy series is a challenge, but Noon Onyx is up to that challenge.
To enter to win a copy of White Heart of Justice, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “White,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 12, 2014. U.S. residents only.
Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.