Fiery Edge of Steel
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…
Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, which includes DARK LIGHT OF DAY and the recently released FIERY EDGE OF STEEL. Archer describes the books as genre- bending fantasy with adventure, romance, mystery, magic, and demons. We invited her here today to discuss her titular character and one of today’s hottest new genres, New Adult fiction.
If you had to describe your heroine, Noon Onyx, in a few words, what would they be?
Book-smart, but a little bit naïve about some things, tough, feisty, has a good heart
How has Noon’s relationship to her own powers changed since we first met her in DARK LIGHT OF DAY?
Noon’s relationship to her magic is a key part of who she is in each story and how she grows and changes over the series. At the beginning of Dark Light of Day, she was hiding. She hated her waning magic because it is dark and destructive, associated with death, and because usually only men are born with it. By the end of Dark Light of Day, Noon had decided to accept her magic, imperfect as she may feel its fit is for her, and live the life she’d been born to, rather than try to find a way to reverse her magic or change herself.
Fiery Edge of Steel opens not long after Dark Light of Day’s end so Noon still has some residual reluctance toward working with her magic. I don’t want to say too much more, but I will share that I love huge growth arcs and, for me, half the fun of the series is pushing Noon’s internal development.
The Noon Onyx series has been described as New Adult fantasy. Do you like that label? Was it your intention to write into that genre?
I like that label if it helps readers who might like the series, find the series. And, no, I didn’t intend to write a New Adult book.
I started writing the manuscript that would become Dark Light of Day in 2009. Back then New Adult was not at all “a thing.” (St. Martin’s Press coined the term New Adult in 2009, but it didn’t catch on immediately).
My thought, when I first created Noon, was that I wanted to create a bookish lawyer character who lived in some sort of otherworld. I envisioned a dark, the- demons-won post-apocalyptic premise, but I really wanted the books to be entertaining. I wanted them to have a lighter tone to counter-balance the dark world of the story. And I also knew I wanted that first story – Dark Light of Day – to include a lot of elements that readers have now come to associate with New Adult fiction. So I set most of the story on the campus of St. Luck’s – St. Lucifer’s Law School.
Noon is a 21 year-old post grad magic user who faces not just demons but a crushing course schedule, overbearing professors, her first real romantic relationship, and a self-identity crisis. She’s trying to survive the day-to-day – and set a course for the rest of her life. Who does Noon want to be? is the question that drives the main narrative in the first book.
In Fiery Edge of Steel, Noon faces a different question. And, admittedly, it is not a question that 21 year-olds typically face.
I’m honestly not sure if Fiery Edge of Steel can be considered New Adult. It has the same youthful tone as Dark Light of Day. And I put as much thought into Noon’s internal journey as her external one. But Fiery Edge of Steel has less in common with other NA books than Dark Light of Day did. Fiery Edge of Steel is an adventure story that will appeal to lovers of fantasy, romance, magic, and mystery.
What can we expect next for Noon?
I loosely describe all future books as having “new assignments, new adventures, and new adversaries!” The third book in the series will be called WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE. It involves a race, but that’s all I’m willing to say for now.
Finish this sentence “Happiness is _____.”
A box of new books – my own or other authors’!
Jill Archer can be found online at her website (www.jillarcher.com) and Twitter (@archer_jill).
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