October 17, 2013

Book Review—Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

978-1-4143-7555-7The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

The description of Born of Persuasion interested me immediately, and I’d never read any Victorian fiction before. I was surprised when I first started reading it to find that it is in first person. I think this is the first time I’ve read a historical fiction book that isn’t third person. I came to realize the story is being told from an older Julia as she recaps this period of her life. I can’t say I especially liked this method of story telling. You’d think, being first person, you’d really get into Julia’s head, but I felt sort of distanced, especially times where she’d “interrupt” and say how something would effect her in the future, instead it just staying in the present. Part of the problem may have been that I just never liked Julia. She starts out as a staunch atheist and pretty much makes all the wrong choices. This would be fine in most circumstances—after all, it would lead to some great character growth—but I’m not sure it’s the best in first person since you are always seeing everything from her point of view and don’t get a break by switching to a different character once in a while. With a character like Julia (I found this same problem with Katniss in The Hunger Games), you get so bogged down in their thoughts and emotions that it can become tedious, or even depressing.

Characters are a huge part of fiction to me, and there just weren’t many I had any feelings for, except for Edward. I really liked him and felt so sorry for the poor man. And the briefly mentioned Isaac Dalry has me intrigued.

Overall, this book just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a fan of Regency or Victorian fiction. However, someone else, especially anyone who enjoys those eras, would probably find this a good read, so don’t just go by my word. The storyline is quite fascinating and intriguing. I found it well written, despite my personal opinions of it. I definitely could see the surroundings and felt like I was in it with the characters. I plan to read the rest of the series when it is released to see what happens. It would be best for more mature readers because it is rather dark and has some mature themes. Sensitive readers would probably want to skim certain parts.

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

October 03, 2013

Announcing Jaye L. Knight Etsy Shop


  The time has finally come to announce the opening of my new Etsy shop! I have always been interested in making jewelry, but I never pursued it until I recently had the idea to make and sell jewelry inspired by my books. So, for the last couple of months, I've been gathering supplies and creating designs to capture the essence of different characters or books. You can see a few of these designs below. Or click here to visit my shop and see them all.
   I've only just begun in this new endeavor, and hope to add new designs regularly. Especially if I can get a few sales to cover the cost of more supplies. I also have plenty more ideas for jewelry and accessories inspired by Ilyon Chronicles that I look forward to making once Resistance is published. Right now, I've got pieces inspired by both my Pirates & Faith series and Makilien.
   Have fun exploring my shop! And if you know anyone who loves jewelry, I'd love it if you send them my way. I hope my designs will appeal to a wide variety of people, not only fans of my books.