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Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
Exiles is the fourth book in the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight and even though I hadn’t read any other books in the series, it wasn’t difficult to get into the story. And this is because of the author’s excellent use of backstory. This is an inspiring and historical tale with powerful religious undertones, conflicts between kingdoms, intrigue, and the game of power. The quest to restore King Balan continues after the defeat in Samara. Readers meet a cast of compelling characters from the resistance, poised to bring back the glories of old. The intrigue is developed, with betrayal coming from different corners. We are thrust into a world when kings were kings and when people paid real homage, but it was a turbulent period too, where brother betrayed brother for power.
Characters like Balan, Anne and Prince Daniel take the story to an electrifying level. The conflict between Daniel and his father, the king, got me rooting for this author and it is very interesting how Jaye L. Knight uses this conflict to build minor characters and propel the story forward. The characters are three-dimensional and they force the reader to pay them attention. Exiles is a gritty story of people who have known defeat and who are fighting to restore their kingdom, seeking allies, and standing up against their foes. The setting comes out clearly, and the cultural and social tenets prevalent at the time are seamlessly integrated into the narrative. The prose flows gracefully, an offering of a tale that is emotionally rich and deeply satisfying. One of those books not to start if you haven’t much time on your hands.