White Heart of Justice (Noon Onyx #3) by Jill Archer-Blog Tour, Review and Guest Post

White Heart of Justice (Noon Onyx #3) by Jill Archer-Blog Tour, Review and Guest Post

White Heart of Justice Banner

White Heart of Justice
Noon Onyx 33
by Jill Archer
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Genre: dystopian, UF,

White Heart of Justice

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE
(Noon Onyx #3)
by Jill Archer
Genre: dystopian, urban fantasy

ABOUT THE BOOK: May 27, 2014

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…

•••••••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE is the third instalment in Jill Archer’s dystopian Noon Onyx urban fantasy/post apocalyptic series focusing on Maegester In Training Nouimo (Noon) Onyx.

BACKGROUND: Archer’s series focuses on the simmering truce between Angels and Demons 2000 years after Armageddon, and the destructive nature of the Maegester and their dark ‘waning’ magic. But for 22 year old Nouiomo Onyx (aka Noon) a reversal of fortunes has occurred at her birth-she was imbued with the dark waning magic (once only accorded to men) and her twin Nocturo (Night) is gifted with the waxing magic (once only accorded to women). Women were the creators not the destroyers. Noon’s ability to wield waning magic will become both a curse and a blessing.

Told from first person POV (Noon) the premise follows Noon and her latest second year ‘assignment’ as a Maegester in Training (MIT). To make reparations for the destruction of school property Noon is entered into a ‘competition’ for the Laurel Crown-the winner is offered his or her choice of position-and the competition is difficult and nearly impossible to win. Noon is commissioned to find and retrieve the ‘White Heart of Justice’ –a magically imbued sword-that has been missing for hundreds of years. The sword’s special abilities are known only to a few and if it falls into the wrong hands Armageddon may see a second coming.

Jill Archer takes the reader through the snow swept plains of a dark and dangerous landscape where once teaming villages laid claim to the land. Now, the icy cold desolation is only the beginning for Noon and her chosen guardian angel Raphael. Our duo will encounter mystical demons, marauding creatures and the walking dead. Noon’s once beloved friend Peter is determined to stop Noon at every opportunity and in this the storyline takes a decidedly shadowed and treacherous turn.

The secondary characters set up the story revealing history, background and the circumstances of Noon’s upcoming quest for the White Heart of Justice; they challenge Noon about her ability to be successful and push our heroine forward in her task. The world building continues from the previous storylines as Noon encounters the people from her past and possibly her future. As with all dystopian storylines and series there is a foreboding of evil-one in which Noon must face head on in order to survive.

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE is a graphically detailed and intensely personal tale of one woman’s journey to prove she is worthy of acceptance into a world of which she does not belong. Jill Archer’s dystopian world of Angels and Demons is breathtaking in its’ vulnerability; disturbing in its’ discrimination; and passionate in its’ expectations and needs. White Heart of Justice and the Noon Onyx series is a must read for fans of urban fantasy and dystopian fairy tales where Armageddon is only the beginning-not the end.

Noon Onyx series

Reading Order
1. Dark Light of Day
2. Fiery Edge of Steel
3. White Heart of Justice (May 2014)

Copy supplied by the publisher.

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post-White and Aqua

Fantasy Covers: Jill Archer Discusses the Noon Onyx Covers

I am a cover lover.

Everyone has heard the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover” so many times, it almost gets an auto eye roll these days. We know we shouldn’t but we do.

Or do we?

The truth is probably a bit more complicated. Disregarding any sort of scientific method, I’m going to use myself as the quintessential “every reader” and let my experiences disprove the age-old adage. (I know, no two readers are alike, but bear with me).

In truth, I don’t judge a novel by its cover. I know that the words inside have only a passing relationship with what’s portrayed on the cover. The rational, clinical, cynical part of me knows that covers are designed for that other part of me – the part of me that wants to be viscerally and instantaneously moved by a single image. The part of me that has an instinctive knee-jerk reaction to touch what I like. To pick it up, to hold it in my hand, to flip it over so that I can see more of it.

Let’s face it. The cover of a book is our gateway drug to a whole other world. It’s neither the red pill nor the blue pill. It’s blissfully purple. Because covers are our first glimpse into a verisimilar escape from reality. They are our ticket to Fiction.

When my editor first contacted me about the cover design for my first novel, Dark Light of Day, I was thrilled. Contractually, my publisher was under no obligation to consult me. But I was asked for my thoughts. And I gave them! So many, in fact, that had I been in charge that first cover would have resembled a fantasy I Spy page. It would have had creepy, gothic academic buildings in the background, filigreed ornaments, tarnished bells, and bits of half-digested corn-dolls in the foreground, all interspersed with Seraphim court jesters, demon shape-shifters, diabolical illusions, and the book’s recurring motifs: fire, flowers, gardens, greenery…

Uh, what about Noon?

Well, I had thoughts about her too.

But my editor patiently reminded me of what I should have known already. Eight seconds gives bull riders an eternity to make an impression. What reader spends eight seconds looking at a cover?! Try one second. Two seconds, tops.
So we went with Noon, front and center.

After that, the process became more streamlined. I was asked for input on possible settings, poses, clothing, and how to illustrate her magic. Starting with Fiery Edge of Steel, I also opted (in lieu of the ridiculous everything-but-the-kitchen-sink list I’d given them for Dark Light of Day) to include a brief story summary, similar to back cover copy.

So how did my covers turn out? Here are the stats:

••••••••••••••

Dark Light of DayDARK LIGHT OF DAY
Cover artist: David Palumbo
Setting: St. Lucifer’s Law School (“St. Luck’s”)

Pose/expression: In brilliant ambiguous Mona Lisa fashion, Noon either looks defiant or unsure of herself. Perfect for the character in this book.

Clothing: A bustier and cloak. Frankly, Noon would never wear a bustier in book #1. But the cloak cleverly hides her demon mark.
Magic: A fireball. Loved it. I now give out Atomic fireball candies at book signings.
Other details: Terrific! In her other hand, Noon is holding a stack of books. Great signal to readers that she’s a student. And – it was subtle – but I appreciated the blackened vine motif on St. Luck’s gates. It was a nod to the fact that Noon’s touch is deadly to plants.

••••••••••••••••

Fiery-Edge-of-SteelFIERY EDGE OF STEEL
Cover artist: Jason Chan
Setting: New Babylon docks

Pose/expression: Noon advances toward the reader holding a flaming filleting knife. She looks feisty.

Clothing: A bustier and cloak again. Even though Noon still wouldn’t wear this in book #2, I was glad they chose this clothing because, with the cover artist change, it gave the covers some continuity.

Magic: The fiery blade, of course. Noon’s waning magic allows her to shape weapons out of fire. What makes this cover so amazing is that I had to choose the title before seeing the cover. And yet, how lucky did I get that the cover and title synched so perfectly?

Other details: I gotta admit, I love Jason Chan’s style. The clothes are awesomely detailed and Noon looks arresting, which is great because she has some tough choices to make in book #2.

••••••••••••••••••

White Heart of JusticeWHITE HEART OF JUSTICE
Cover artist: Jason Chan
Setting: Wintery

Pose/expression: Grasping a sword with both hands, Noon looks contemplative. There are grave consequences for missteps in book #3.
Clothing: The fur-lined hooded cloak was a nice change and I liked the way the double-disc cloak clasp echoed Fiery Edge of Steel’s single-disc cloak clasp. I adored the gloves.

Magic: The fiery war bird MADE this cover for me. I didn’t know if they’d be able to work it in – but they did! I don’t want to say too much about it other than it’s a signal to readers that Noon uses her magic in new and different ways in this book.

Other details: Do we need any with this cover?! It’s fantastic! But to finish off the stats, I’ll say that I like the sword’s hilt. It’s apropos of nothing in the story, but it works. And it’s clear, at least with my covers, that Jason Chan loves a sweeping left visual arc. Lastly… the cover quote! I love how The Reading Café’s quote references the dark world of my stories while the cover itself is so light, bright, and white. It’s an ingenious juxtaposition of cover elements that deftly represents the entire series.

So those are my thoughts on my covers. What about you? What do you think of the Noon Onyx covers? What other covers have you loved? What visual elements make you want to pick up a book (or click on it for more info if you’re a digital reader)?

Thank you to Sandy for inviting me to guest blog today. Best wishes to everyone here at The Reading Café!

~~Jill~~

excerpt

Prologue

I can’t be with you anymore. That’s what she’d said. Six words that had become sixty then six hundred then six thousand . . . sixty thousand . . . six million . . . reverberating in his head, bouncing around inside his brain, driving him absolutely mad. There were no other words. No other memories. Only that last one of her. Standing at the edge of the oozy stew of the destroyed keep’s moat, flanked by two Angels, one preternaturally beautiful, the other full of purpose. The same purpose he’d had until those six words stripped him of it.
Flying out, he’d barely cleared the wreckage of the keep. His heart beat against the walls of his massive chest, and his monstrous wings beat against the infinite, empty sky, but the beats were slow and grew slower still. Slower. Until finally . . .
Stop.
He made it across the river and then dropped like a ten-ton stone, crashing into the brush, breaking tree limbs and a wing. He lay there amongst the blackening scrub refusing to shift back into human form.
Man’s thoughts were unwelcome.
In time, the rogares came. Water wraiths. He killed them all. And then sickened by the smell of blood and meat he couldn’t—wouldn’t—consume, he left his nesting place. By then, the wing had healed, but unnaturally, so that flying straight was impossible. For days, he traveled in circles, never getting far. It wasn’t just the wing. The yearning to return to her was nearly unbearable. The emptiness inside of him an abyss.
Was she still in the Shallows? If he could just . . .
But then he remembered the Angels. And the look on her face when she’d said the six words. And the feelings in her signature. She’d need more than mere weeks for them to abate. She might need months. Hopefully, not years. Years meant nothing to him, but they did to her. And then the reminder that her time was more precious than his drove his yearning to a new level of ferocity. Ruthlessly, he tamped it down. He realized then that it might be best to return to man’s thoughts. After all, she was a woman.
And he wanted her back.

Chapter 1

“Glashia calls Noon the ballista.” Waldron Seknecus’ low voice rumbled through the Gridiron, a deep, cavernous underground space used by the upper years at St. Lucifer’s for sparring. “Because of how she fights now. Watch.”

He was speaking to three other spectators: my father, Karanos Onyx, executive of the Demon Council and the man who would ultimately employ all of the magic users who trained here at St. Luck’s; Friedrich Vanderlin, an Archangel who was the dean of Guardians over at the Joshua School, the Angel academy we shared a campus with; and a woman who looked unsettlingly familiar to me, though I couldn’t remember when we’d met or who she was. I cleared my mind and concentrated on my opponent, Ludovicus Mischmetal, who preferred the moniker “Vicious” for short. He was a second year Maegester-in-Training at Euryale University. We were competing against one another in the New Babylon MIT rank matches, which St. Luck’s was hosting this year.

All second-year MITs were required to compete. The top-ranked MITs from each school would then be eligible to compete in the Laurel Crown Race. The object of the race was to bring back an assigned target. Targets were either rogare demons or priceless artifacts that needed to be recovered. Participation in the Laurel Crown Race was voluntary, but the MIT who returned to New Babylon with his (or in my case, her) target before any of the others, won the coveted Laurel Crown. Winning the Laurel Crown often set a future Maegester up for life because winners could choose where they wanted to spend their fourth-semester residency. And ofttimes, those residencies turned into permanent positions. Everyone else would receive offers, but it would be the Council that decided which of those residency positions they accepted.

Last semester, we’d been given our first field assignment. It was an assignment that had been full of rogare demon attacks and other lethal situations. That assignment had lasted a mere three months and I’d barely survived it. My residency would last for twice as long, so I was well aware of how important the residency venue would be. Winning the right to choose where I spent next semester, not to mention who I would be working for, would go far in preserving not just my happiness, but also my life. The Maegester who was judging the match, a middle-aged man with thinning, ginger-colored hair and a near permanent frown, called out for us to begin.

I’d watched Vicious spar with other MITs. He was smart. His infliction of pain would be very calculated, very precise. There was nothing personal about his desire to beat me. He just wanted to win the match so that he could retain his current Primoris ranking at Euryale and compete for the Laurel Crown. Of course, I was similarly motivated.

Vicious gave me a curt bow, his long, black, razor-cut bangs briefly falling forward before he shook them back and used his waning magic to fire up a weapon, a flaming broadsword. It hissed and spit with fury in the damp air of the Gridiron as Vicious raised it toward me in an opening invitation to spar.

As a sparring partner, Vicious looked fairly intimidating. His front teeth were shiny, silver, and sharply pointed (likely, his real ones had been knocked out in fights) and he was much larger than me. He wore the usual black leather training pants and vest, but he’d elected to go shirtless underneath the vest. I guessed it was an intentional show of muscle, literally. He flexed his forearms and grinned at me, his message clear: I might be a woman playing a man’s game, but he wasn’t going to spare me any blows.

That suited me fine. Sparing me blows wouldn’t win me the match.

 

 

About The Author

Jill Archer

 

FOLLOW: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels about a post-grad magic user and her off-campus adventures. DARK LIGHT OF DAY and FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, the first two books in the series are available now from Penguin/Ace. The third book, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, will be released May 27, 2014. Jill lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.

 

Giveaway

The Reading Cafe is NOT responsible for the giveaway. If you have any questions, please contact the author.

Click HERE for giveaway details and information.

4/24/14 – 6/3/14

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE

SNEAK PEEK TWEETS

Below are some fun, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, sneak peek tweets about White Heart of Justice (say that five times fast!)

Anyone who tweets one of these will be entered to win ANY fantasy book of their choice from Book Depository (https://www.bookdepository.com/) up to $10.00, so long as Book Depository ships to your address. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. International participants age 18 and older. Ends at midnight EDT on 6/3/14. See my Giveaways page (http://jillarcherauthor.wordpress.com/newsandevents/giveaways/) for official rules. One tweet/entry per person.

Lucem in tenebras ferimus. Into the darkness, we bring light.” @archer_jill #DARKLIGHTOFDAY

“When traveling into the unknown, sometimes the biggest danger is the one you bring with you…” @archer_jill #FIERYEDGEOFSTEEL

“One out of every two hunters who follow the Old Trail will not return.” @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Finally! I’m looking forward to seeing Noon embrace her fiery magic. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Ari Carmine is smokin’ hot. I wanna see if Noon can forgive him for that nasty surprise at the end of B2. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I heard a rumor that Rafe Sinclair makes a wish and I wanna know if it’s granted. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Nocturo. Tall dark handsome. Heard his scalpel’s put to good use. Is he gonna threaten Brunus w it again? @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I love the characters, but I’m really just in it for the monsters and magic. Bring on the ice demons! @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Armageddon is over. The demons won. But it’s not as dark as all that. Parts of it are romantic and sweet. @archer_jill #NOONONYXSERIES

Share

23 thoughts on “White Heart of Justice (Noon Onyx #3) by Jill Archer-Blog Tour, Review and Guest Post

  1. Great review, Sandy. This series sounds like something I would enjoy.

    Wonderful Guest Post, Jill. Personally, I would be attracted by a cover, but for a bout two seconds. Then I would read the back cover description and that would be the deciding factor in buying a book. Never the cover.

  2. Hi Sandy–thanks so much for the great review! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on White Heart of Justice. Appreciate you inviting me here to guest blog too.

    Thanks, Barb! Glad you liked the post. I’m the same. I’ve never bought a book based on the cover, but covers often grab my attention and make me want to pick up the book and read more about it.

    Amy and Sassy, thanks for your comments too!

    I’ll stop by later today to answer any questions or respond to any comments. In the meantime, best wishes and happy reading, all. Enjoy your Wednesday!

    • Thank you Jill for stopping by. Noon Onxy is an amazing series and so vividly descriptive in its’ imagination.

      It is always out pleasure to host the author and WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE is an amazing ‘conclusion’ to the series-but you know my feelings on this particular aspect of the story 😉

  3. Fantastic review Sandy. thanks.

    Congratulations to Jill on the release of White Heart of Justice. This is a new series for me. Sounds very dark and dangerous.

  4. Pingback: One to Grow On: Noon’s Mom + Cover Lovers Chat | Jill Archer

  5. Great review Sandy. I loved your post Jill. A cover draws me to a book and it doesn’t have to be sexy just beautiful or unusual in some way but it causes me to pick it up to look for info on the story.

  6. Thanks, everyone, for the kind words and congratulations.

    Alexiis– parts of the series are dark and deadly. But there’s also love, friendship, beauty, and humor.

    Sandy– thanks for your comment too. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on a possible B4. One thing’s for sure: it’s been fun sharing WHOJ with everyone!

  7. Wonderful review and guest post. I have always wondered who chooses the covers and why. My biggest pet peeve occurs when the cover doesn’t match the storyline-doesn’t match the image e.g. long hair character but short haired image 😉

  8. Great review Sandy. Love all the covers in this series and each story sounds great. Wonderful guest post Jill, thanks for stopping by and congrats on another wonderful realease

  9. Alicia– interestingly enough, when they first sent me the cover for Fiery Edge of Steel, Noon’s eyes were this fierce looking shade of grayish-greenish-blue. They looked dramatic and intense, especially against the rest of the colors of the cover. But I had to tell them to change the color because Noon’s eyes are a dark bronze.

    That’s great to hear, Bran. Enjoy!

    Thanks, GAB!

    Have a great night, all. Best wishes to everyone here at The Reading Café!

  10. Great review and guest post. Love the covers and always wondered how authors or publishers chose the covers.

    I have read other interviews and posts where the author does not have any say as to the cover image.

  11. Georgie–I’ve often wished for a stop watch that really does stop time. Glad to hear the books sound intriguing.

    Angrybird– I was very grateful to be consulted. I think the process by which author input is gathered varies from house to house (and may even vary from editor to editor).

    Hope you like the books, Paula!

    I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. Have a great weekend, all!

  12. Pingback: Last Day! My White Heart of Justice blog tour is coming to a close… | JILL ARCHER

  13. Pingback: Gracie Madison, author of SING FOR ME, on Magic, Music, Song, and Emotion (#angel #fiction) | JILL ARCHER

Leave a Reply

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.