Jessica Penot

It has been thousands of years since the fall of the great nations, and the tribes that remain in the ashes of the fallen must fight to survive in the shadows. In this desperate landscape, Ailive has spent her entire life fighting for the honor of her tribe and she has grown weary of war. When Ailive sees a chance to escape her fate, she flees into a chaotic landscape where death and darkness lurk behind every friendly face until she finds refuge in the peaceful city at the center of her world. In this city, Ailive finds everything she's ever dreamt of, but news of a strange prophet from the South brings whispers of war to Ailive's peaceful home. Now Ailive alone can stop the genocide of an entire tribe of people. Ailive alone holds the key to bringing peace to the world and destroying the monstrous man whom she once loved, if she can only gain the courage to pick up her sword again and make herself fulfill the destiny she's fought her entire life.

Author Bio

Jessica Penot is a counselor and a writer. She own Tree of Life Behavioral and has written seven books. She lives in Alabama with her husband, children, dogs, snakes and a plethora of other strange creatures. In her spare time she enjoys writing, reading, avoiding real life, and playing with her children. You can learn more about her at or

Connect with Jessica on Twitter, Facebook, Bookbub, and Amazon

  • Critic Score:77/100

    Our Review Ranking:

    A Good Read


Our Review


I felt the cover was appropriate for the book.  I appreciated that the author did not use an image to represent the bloody goddess depicted in the story.

Book Blurb:

The book blurb is fine except for the fact it does not cover the last half of the book, making a reader assume the book ends after the great war.  Thus, the remainder of the book seems like a long drawn out anticlimax. 

Formatting :

Formatting was fine.

Grammar & Spelling:

In the opening of the book, there were many grammar and spelling issues, everything from sentence structure mistakes to choice of words and printing errors.

However, by chapter three there was a great improvement that held true for the rest of the book.  

Some examples of the errors I spotted include: "right" for "rite".  And, "the airship was gilded with gold and silver."  Gilded means thinly covered or painted in gold.  There were many errors like this.  Since they were sometimes used correctly, I feel that maybe another round of editing or proofreading would help.

Nouns altered from singular to plural within a sentence, or a couple of sentences, so the verb became incorrect.  Many times, the use of "and" was overworked, or the author put two almost unrelated sentences together with "and".  

Character Development:

The character development of Ailive and Xander were well covered.  The reader could understand them.  Hotem, for his importance in the novel, was not as well described, especially after the great war.  In conversations with Ailive, he would shout or roar, with no real development as to why.  Sentences became short and therefore jerky.  Cahir was well developed, from lover to traitor.  Mia was understandable.  

Plot & Structure:

I enjoyed the plot line.  The author had good transitions for the most part.  A logical reason led to the next adventure. 

The author picked a good premise for the book... a woman achieving a post traditionally held by men.  And she is not just any warrior; she is one of the best.  The reason she left the service of her God was brilliantly illustrated.  Ailive sits on the head of the statue of her former god, and she realizes her god is dead.  The discovery of what the Rrwan really were was excellent, but it did need a little more development at the time of discovery.  Also, maybe a little more to the description.  It's almost like the author didn't want the reader to know what it looked like, but since it flew (although that was difficult to discover at first - I thought that maybe it was meant figuratively) it should have wings.  I suggest something like "not like any animal seen or imagined in mythology, except for something resembling a head, a tail, four legs and wings."

I did feel it sort of fell short after the big war.  It could almost have been the beginning of a new novel about these people.


Pacing, for the most part was good.  A little rushed in some places.  

Use of Language:

Language is another place where the author scores very high for good analogies and great descriptions. There are many beautiful paragraphs about the world.  Sections of conversation flow easily and add to the understanding of characters.  Unfortunately, there are faults are also lots of passages that led me to give a lower score in this section.  The author uses repetitive beginnings and short sentences, making it choppy.  In Chapter 2, there are six repetative sentences in a row: "He was...", "He was ... ", "He looked...", "His eyes ...", "He had...", "He had ....". Three sentences would repeat the same information in different words.   On page 217, a boy "awoke me".  In the next wentence, he "woke me up."    

While repeated beginnings of sentences can be used for emphasis, it is overused.  "I realized this" "I realized that."

An overuse of and in sentences.  For instance. "He got a glass and filled it with water and drank it slowly."  Should be:  He got a glass, filled it with water, and drank it.


Although there are many "woman in a man's world" novels nowadays, I felt this one had originality.  Aelive was an exceptional warrior.  She touched on being godlike or mythological without losing her humanity.  Her ability to understand languages was unique for its style.  The language rings with originality, "a cluster of phantoms".  As a slave, she is not thrown into a horrid dungeon, nor tortured and starved... she is sent to the kitchens.  From there, she can reasonably be moved up.

One error that stood out for me was one of anatomy.  Even if you are telling a tale in another land, unless you have described the people as totally unhuman, you have to follow the rules of anatomy.  In being named and facing the rite of passage to a master, Aielive (not being a man and therefore unable to receive a simple sterilization) has her womb "ripped out with a hook."  No.  The womb is attached to too many other organs in the body --- he would have wound up ripping the whole intestines, etc. out.  He could have shredded or scoured the uterus with a hook.  He cannot rip it out.  

Also, in my opinion, Xander, in the end, matches the story of Jesus too much, which I found distracting.  He is killed and put in a cave by his disciples.  He arises and performs two miracles.  

Overall Readability:

This was a good story.  I think it would hold the attention of a reader. It was greatly hampered by sentence development, and short, jerky sentences.

It improved in structure after Chapter 3, but still had some problems.  

A Note From the Critic:

I enjoyed the storyline and the characters, so I read the entire book.  The first 3 chapters had immature sentence structure, but this improved so that it did not hamper my enjoyment most of the time.  

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