Title: By Darkness Hid
Author: Jill Williamson
Publisher: Enclave Publishing
File Size/Book Length: 1393 kb/506 pages
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
About the Book:
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.
You all know by now how rare it is for me to praise a fantasy book up and down, sideways, backwards, etc. Well, this book gets all that praise that I reserve for fantasy. I'm old school fantasy, I love finding good, clean reads when it comes to fantasy. Jill Williamson's book is AMAZING! Yes, that is the word I'm using to describe this book. It's dark, it's funny, it's well planned out and the characters are so well developed, even the secondary characters. You learn things gradually, not in one lump of information overload.
Achan is the kitchen boy new to 'bloodvoicing'. He's not thrilled at all with the 'gift', nor is he particularly happy with his 'Prince'. He's a 'stray', marked for service and a lifetime of humiliation. Gren is the love of his life, but they can't be together. Achan gets a taste of what a life could be like if he weren't a stray and I get the impression he likes his invisibility. But of course, there is a lot going on under the current and Achan's life changes drastically.
Vrell is yet another awesome character. I. Love. Her! She doesn't seem like it right now, but she's going to be a strong woman. She's stronger than she thinks at the moment.
I'm looking forward to the rest of this series VERY much! And Jill Williamson currently has another series related to this one in the works. I believe the first book is out and the second is being worked on as we speak.
Now before anyone gets all up in arms about this being a cliche fantasy story, let me just say that YES, some parts were predictable. YES it's one of 'THOSE' stories and I'm trying not to do spoilers here. If you've read it, you know what I mean. But there are lots of twists and turns and quite a few surprises, despite all that. The only other thing I want to warn readers about is the e-book formatting got a little wonky in places, but once you know that, the flow of the story is smooth and quick. But if that is the only bad thing I can find about this book, well, then you know we have an awesome book!!!
5 out of 5 Skull and Crossbones. Duh. Lol!