book review | bitter winter


There are a lot of things I want to say right now, but since I need to write this post I’m going to try to stay focused and not get side-tracked (God help me).

WOW DO I HAVE THOUGHTS. Let’s just dive right in, shall we?

WARNING: I’m lacking sleep, I quite literally have 99 problems, and I GOT THE FEELS. 

Boy, is this post gonna be huge loads of fun. Actual photograph of me right now:

~Prettymuch Imagines and Preferences2~ - ~Zion~ - Wattpad

Like don’t get me wrong, I loved this book. I missed these characters and this world and their struggles and I didn’t miss all the heartache BUT IT COMES WITH THE PACKAGE  because apparently, Jaye L. Knight loves to torture her readers, which is honestly so cruel (but like, in a really awesome REALLY good way). I just… I have T H O U G H T S. I mean, I love this series, but yeah. I’m gonna stop talking and do the review already (even though I’m gonna still be talking…) (Jazz, where your logic at *smh*)

About the Book

Bitter Winter Cover
Available now on Amazon | Add to Goodreads

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.


About the Author

JayeLKnight Author Photo

Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of


My Review 

Image result for image of four star rating

Okay so. My thoughts are… well, they’re kind of a mess right now.

Let me start by saying, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I HAVE MISSED THESE PEOPLE. HONESTLY. I mean, Jace, Kyrin, Rayad, Kaden… like, my core people. I have missed their faces. Not to mention like, everybody else. The entire party was there and it was like this lowkey huge reunion and my heart was smiling so much. Like, shoot, we all together once again as one big happy family… AND THEN THINGS HAPPEN. But I can’t tell you what tragedies Knight uses to break hearts in this book, you’re just gonna have to read it yourself to feel the pain, which of course you do because as bookworms we thrive on the sorrow and tears and laughter and otp’s authors feed us. We need to be honest with ourselves about this.

I really, really loved the message in this book. I love the messages in all of Jaye L. Knight’s books because they’re so so so relatable and applicable in our day-to-day lives. One theme that has been constant in the Ilyon Chronicles has been forgiveness. There is literally so much conflict and so much pain, and there is so much bitterness (hah). And each character has their own battle against their flesh and clinging to their faith in Elom. He gives us so much grace to overcome the hurt and the anger we harbor, so that is one of the highlighted themes that Knight includes in all her books that I absolutely adore.

ALSO. I loved how the focus went a little bit more on Jace in this book. I’ve missed his beautiful heart and soul, and MAN ALL THE GROWTH. I’m crying inside at how strong he has become, but at the same time, he is still so vulnerable. In Bitter Winter, we get to see his spiritual struggle during a tragedy, and it was so encouraging but at the same time heartbreaking because of how hard the whole situation was (trying so hard not to spoil anything right now, not gonna lie it’s really really hard). JACE HAS GONE THROUGH SO MUCH ALREADY AND THEN THIS IS THROWN IN HIS FACE AND IT’S LIKE

But y’all. Elom worked in Jace in so many ways, and it’s so wonderful to see that in his character development. I can still remember what a precious little broken, lost puppy he was in Resistance…….

I can go on and on talking about him and the rest of the characters because honestly, this is one of the most amazing casts I’ve ever come across. Kudos to you, Ms. Knight. You have created killer awesome people.

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BUT WAIT. There’s more.

I want to say that I’m head-over-heels in love with this book. You don’t know HOW MUCH I want to be able to say that because I’m completely and totally in love with the other books. But… I just can’t. Let me explain myself.

While it was amazing with amazing characters and an amazing message, I feel like this book… lacked. A lot. DON’T GET ME WRONG. It was really really fantastic and I still loved it. But the book just didn’t pack the same punch as the others. The characters are so numerous, I feel like they were a bit watered down. The plot was so fast, it felt kind of rushed. The feels just weren’t as intense as the last few books, and it makes me sad that I can’t fuss and whine at how vivid and heartwrenching the feels were like in the previous books in the series because while there were a lot of AGHHHHHH moments, I feel like they just weren’t captured as well. And then there were some moments with certain characters that I just didn’t feel was realistic (not gonna mention no names *couhgKyrincoughRayadcough*).

I enjoyed this book. But reading it took more shove than I would have preferred. Was it worth it? Guac. Of course! What I’m trying to get at, is this book just felt shorter, more rushed, and just lowkey watered down. But that’s me being a picky reader.

Oh and another thing. If y’all know me, y’all know I love me some ships. AND YOU GUYS. THE SHIPS. I have, like, so much love and yet so much indecision about these relationships. I adore #Jayrin. Their romance bloomed in a very lovely and almost unexpected but totally loveable and adorable way. Trask and Anne are just amazing, ’nuff said.

But the others… they just seem almost forced. There are. SO MANY. And I was like, exasperated in the midst of all this looove. Like, seriously, I’m the first to ship people fictional and non-fictional. BUT I JUST CANT. It’s no believable when there are so many going on at the same time. And it’s almost annoying. Idk if that’s just me. Like, I LOVE THEM. But I want to be able to focus and really savor them, and it’s just hard to do that when there is more than three.

And then there was the part at the end where THINGS HAPPENED and I literally couldn’t stop grinning like an idiot. Because things. And people. And things. Ehem.

OTHER THAN THAT. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS LONG-AWAITED RELEASE. And I am SO honored to be a part of this tour. I am also very sorry about how late I am publishing this review. Sorry about that, dears. I’m working through some things but I swear it’ll all be good in time. I HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING MY VERY MESSY REVIEW THOUGH. AH.

In Conclusion

This book, along with the rest in this tour are now available for all peoples to read so go get yourself a copy and y’know MEET THE FAM AND FEEL THE PAIN. It’ll be great. We can talk about how much horror we– I mean the characters have to go through.

ALSO! GIVEAWAYS! Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)


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Be sure to check out the rest of the tour. Check out all the posts because they’re pretty flipping awesome: tour schedule.

AAAAND pretty sure this is the end. Thank you so much, Jaye and Tricia for including me and letting me be a part of this amazing community. You both have created an endless fandom that will live long and strong forever and ever.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you decide to stick around because I might (just might) review the other books in this tour in the next couple of weeks. LOVE ALL OF YOU.



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