For three years, the Resistance has suffered under oppression—first from Emperor Daican and now from his daughter.
Author: Jaye L. Knight
Book: Dacian’s Heir (The Ilyon Chronicles, Book Six)
Genre: Christian Fantasy
Target Age: YA and up, although it is an NA book.
For three years, the Resistance has suffered under oppression—first from Emperor Daican and now from his daughter. In her quest for vengeance, Davira has ripped Arcacia apart, and more blood is spilled every day. Newly married, all Jace and Kyrin want is to be able to live their lives in peace. In order to do that, they must help restore the rightful heir to Arcacia’s throne.
Carrying the weight of everyone’s hopes for the future, Daniel works every day to be the leader and king they have all fought so hard to see him become. With the Resistance and their allies from all across Ilyon united behind him, he prepares for a final confrontation with Davira. But to do so will require facing the full might of Arcacia’s military and Davira’s wrath.
When Jace and Kyrin become the primary targets of her ravenous hatred, Daniel finds himself in a race against time to stop his sister and avoid the bloodbath she is determined to unleash. Can he find a way to protect his loved ones and bring peace to Ilyon or will Davira succeed in bringing them all to their knees and destroying everything they hold dear?
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It is always a bittersweet experience finishing a series so dearly loved, and that is a the case with Dacian’s Heir.
I remember the first day I started this series. I was late to my sibling’s soccer practice because I was sucked into the story. Not a good thing since I was the coach. I remember the thrill of reading Resistance those four or five years ago, and that thrill has not diminished with this final installment.
We’re thrown right into the action, and if you’re looking for a story to keep you on the edge of your seat, this is it. Danger and more danger, evil machinations, devious scoundrels, familial bonds, love, and some unexpected surprises raise the stakes to epic levels. I think my heart rate rose to epically unhealthy levels while reading this book, because the plot is just that intense. Excellent, but intense.
From the sea, to Samara’s capital, to Valcre’s gloomy and deadly atmosphere, we’re taken across a good portion of Ilyon. I always felt like I was immersed in the settings, including the battle scenes. Did I mention the whole heart rate spike? Yeah.
This is a humdinger of a section. Because the characters are awesome, no question about it. (Except the antagonists. They’re wretchedly evil and vile and blech.)
Kyrin is, as always, so sweet and kind and loving. Her character arc was more stable in this book, and I loved how she and Jace are just perfect for each other.
Jace was one of the characters who still had a lot of growing to do, and grow he did. From facing old nemeses to a fear so deeply rooted it almost crippled him, this dear, dear character had a lot of growth occur. And I still say he needs a hug. And some hot chocolate.
Kaden is still tied for the Favorite Character spot, but if he doesn’t lose that beard, then he’ll be booted. Seriously, Kaden, please get rid of it. His was the POV I wanted to read above all else, and Knight offered a healthy portion of this snarky, courageous (and sometimes a bit foolhardy) charter’s perspective. And how in the world was I supposed to survive when a certain scene occurred? Especially so early on?
Somehow, I endured, but I almost didn’t. It’s unfair to readers when their favorite character gets put through the wringer.
Speaking of favorite characters, Marcus is tied with his brother. He too had some growing to do, and he accomplished that wonderfully. I want his and Kaden’s stories to continue, please. I don’t ask for an epic. A long novella for each will suffice.
The myriad of other characters were delights as well. Daniel was so well-written, and his arc so satisfying. Holden needs more hugs than Jace (and I want his story too). Timothy and Leetra have some adventures in store for them, I believe, and I think James may as well.
The antagonists were well-wrought as well, and I loathed them all the more as the story went on. Knight does exceptionally well crafting wretched villains, and I must say I was quite appeased when certain events occurred. Good riddance.
As with the rest of Ilyon, Knight weaves in beautiful faith themes. The solid reminders of God being in control no matter how dark and desperate the situation is something every believer needs to recall.
There is a lot of bloodshed in this book. Nothing graphic, of course, but still there. Characters are, in no particular order, pummeled to smithereens, injured in various forms, attacked, poisoned, captured, forced into unsettling and gut-wrenching circumstances, forced to endure all sorts of wretched schemes contemplated by those who are Utterly Despicable, roughed up, beaten up, smacked around, encounter the pointy end of weapons, and more.
There is mention of folks potentially being eaten by the drakes, and there is an incineration that occurs. Again, all tastefully handled, but that may scare younger readers.
This usually goes in the Content Warnings, but there was enough of it to warrant its own category. There are married couples in this book, and they do kiss. A lot. That usually makes me uncomfortable, but it’s pleasingly handled. Nothing is descriptive.
I’m writing this review with that bittersweet feeling still lingering. How can you adequately convey your thoughts about a book wrapping up one of your favorite series? A series that helped solidify my love of Christian fantasy? I can’t. Not really.
There are books that impact you in ways you can’t explain. The faith message, the camaraderie between characters, and the unflinching reminder to stay courageous and true to your faith and convictions are all parts of what makes this book—this series—fall into that category. To Knight, I extend the largest amount of gratitude for giving us a series that is God-honoring, clean in the romance department, and uplifting.
To everyone who enjoys Christian fantasy, pick up this series. You won’t regret it.
*I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.