Fiery Edge of Steel
by Jill Archer
Series: Noon Onyx, Book Two
Genre: Fantasy with elements of mystery and romance
Published: May 28th 2013
Cover Artist: Jason Chan
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, along with a lack of control and a reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider among 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 that 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.…
Fyrhto, I thought. My mouth went dry and my throat seized up so that swallowing was impossible. If that wasn’t this creature’s name, it should be. Waves of fear and fury pulsed from it. Whatever human shape the thing had possessed fled, leaving a massively horned, thickly tailed and scaled greenish black demon facing the crowd. But this thing’s horns weren’t only on its head. A good half dozen long ridged spirals splayed out from the top of its shoulder blades, each one ending in a tip as sharp as a lance. The thing crouched and suddenly the horn tips that had been harmlessly pointing skyward leveled at the crowd. They were lances, I thought breathlessly, wondering what it would be like to have bones that were built for battle. Behind it, the creature’s wings unfurled like leathery sails rigged with bones and sinew.
Enraged, Jezebeth clawed deep gashes into the wooden floor of the platform, snapping his jaws and snuffling, the wet sounds in his throat at war with the dry clacking of his teeth. He tossed his head back and roared, some awful combination of hyena laugh and wild boar grunt that caused the crowd to step back even farther from the platform. A few Hyrkes turned and ran. I wanted to do the same.
“Jezebeth”—my father’s voice boomed through the square—“you have been found guilty of murdering four human Hyrkes. Those sins are punishable by death. The Council has determined, due to the heinous nature of your sins, that your death must not only serve as punishment, but also deterrence. Your death will be needfully painful and prolonged and you will be subjected to all of the moribund degradations and dying humiliations that the traditional Carne Vale method of execution entails.”
And then, with no more emotion than if he were signaling someone to dim the lights before a theatrical performance, Karanos gave the signal for the stoning to begin—“Exsignare.” Extinguish his signature. He looked right at me when he did it, his face unreadable. Did he regret that I had to participate? Or was he worried I’d make a poor showing and embarrass him?
The thumping renewed with the stoning. Jezebeth’s woman was trying to reach him again. Her screams and shrieks made it clear she’d stop at nothing—even her own death, which is what approaching him while he was being stoned with waning magic would mean for a human Hyrke—to be by his side. It made me wonder what her real husband was like. It said volumes about the man who’d left her that she’d rather die by the side of this hideous creature than go back to a life with him.
Jezebeth’s awful porcine roar turned into hoarse braying. To me, it sounded more desperate than determined. Had he even been able to control whether he changed or not?
Maybe he was just trying to tell the woman good-bye . . .
Jezebeth fell to his knees and I knew I couldn’t do it. Wouldn’t do it.
Fiery Edge of Steel is about a girl named Noon Onyx (which is a badass name btw) who gets to be the very first host to wield the destructive waning magic. Does she think this is awesome? Hell no, she hates every part of it. She hates killing, she hates the way everyone looks at her and so forth. But does she suck it up and do the best she can. Hell no again. Honestly, throughout the whole book she is whiney and runs away from almost everything that she has to do for her job I guess you could call it.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate this book but it's not my favorite either. Noon is not the type of heroines that I like in my books and her whininess and lack of personality didn't help either. I would have rather have saw this character at least suck it up and do what she needed to do in the circumstances.
Anyway, there are some pluses through this book considering it is the second one in a series. I have not read the first one but that doesn't mean I didn't understand the backstory because it is given to you in the beginning of the book and even throughout. I am sure I would be complaining about this big time if I had read the first one but since I haven't I don't have that to complain about.
There is romance in this book but seriously why anyone would want to be with Noon is beyond me but Ari seems to love and care about her while she constantly treats him like crap and he covers up her hating her magic for her. But soon we find out that he isn't exactly who he says he is but then again Noon isn't who she thinks she is either. Yeah, that made the book much more interesting. Also when Noon's Guardian Angel, Rafe was introduced made the book much more interesting also.
However, I still wish this book had been better because I was really looking forward to reading it. It has so much promise and such an awesome and original concept that I've not read before. While it did start off very painfully slow I did like where things were going towards the end so I do want to read the next book to see what happens and hopefully it will be much better than this one.
I give this book
Disclosure Notice: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my personal and honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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The First Book
Dark Light of Day
by Jill Archer
Genre: Urban Fantasy
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.
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About the Author
Jill Archer is the author of Dark Light of Day, the first book in the Noon Onyx series. Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jill now lives in rural Maryland with her two children and her husband, who is a recreational pilot. She blogs about books, movies, interesting people, and various weekend adventures.