Wednesday, July 02, 2014

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

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

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

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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