Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Book Review: By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings, Book One)

By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings, Book One) by Jill Williamson


Recommended For: Ages 13 to Adult

Rating: PG-13 (violence, mature themes)

Half of the kingdom is shrouded in Darkness. On the side that still sees the sun, two young adults struggle to understand the magical abilities thrust upon them. 

It's called bloodvoicing. Some say it's a gift. One of the newly "gifted" wish it had never come. 

Jill Williamson’s award-winning epic fantasy series, Blood of Kings, tells the story of Achan, an orphan who’s been a stray all his life. When an enigmatic knight offers to train Achan for the Kingsguard, he readily accepts. But his new skills with the sword do not prepare him for the battle raging between the voices in his head. 
Vrell Sparrow is not who she seems. She masquerades as a boy to avoid marriage to a powerful prince who seeks to exploit her. But Vrell feels called to help a young squire who recently discovered his bloodvoicing gift, even if doing so puts her in the path of her enemy. 

While Achan learns to use his new ability, Vrell struggles to shut hers down. All the voices strive to learn Achan and Vrell's true identities—and a different kind of voice is calling them both to adventure, romance and a truth that just might push back Darkness for good.

So, I started this in a book slump because the cover was cool. For some reason, no Kindle books were good enough. All I wanted was a physical book. So I got through a little bit of the beginning, gave up on Kindle books, and read Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson instead. (Good book, by the way. Definitely worth a read.) Then I picked this book up again Thursday morning after getting out of the book slump and...I was finished with it by that evening. Man, it was a good book! I admit, during Vrell's POV, I was very impatient to get back to Achan, but still. Very good book. 

It's been long enough (AKA, I've read a book or two in between) that I don't think I can remember enough to review it analytically. But I know I loved the characters. Achan and Vrell, man, they were amazing! I did like Achan better than Vrell, but I still really liked Vrell. And yes, I have a ship between those two even though Vrell's engaged to someone else and Achan's attracted to her cousin and doesn't even know Vrell's a girl. But still. They'd be perfect for each other!

I also really liked the bloodvoicing and the way Christianity was portrayed. A little hard to explain, but it was fresh and new while staying true to the essentials. Certainly not the typical Christian fantasy allegory that sticks to dry facts while missing virtually everything that's most important. Quite a relief!

I absolutely loved how she took very overdone story idea and took such a new angle on it, I didn't see it coming until it was revealed. SPOILER I suspected he was somehow a big part of the royal family since bloodvoicing is a gift that is passed down through anyone descended from the Er'Rets royal family and Sir Gavin was dragging Achan to the prince's confirmation when it was way dangerous, but I did not expect him to be the prince! For all the times "unsuspecting hero turns out to be long-lost prince." I think the main reason Jill Williamson pulled it off so well was because she didn't flaunt in the readers' faces that the identity of the prince was questionable. She didn't really need more foreshadowing since the plot has been done so many times. Kudos to Jill Williamson for keeping readers blind! It was so refreshing to see a really good but clich├ęd plot done well. END SPOILER

I would definitely recommend this book, and since you can get it free for Kindle on Amazon, head over there now and buy it!

1 comment:

  1. Hey!(This is Karis from Goodreads.) I love this series it is so good! I just recently reread it and I fell in love with it again. There is a fan group of the series her on Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/160235

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