Sunday, May 17, 2015

Book Review: By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson

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Title: By Darkness Hid

Author: Jill Williamson

Series: Blood of Kings #1

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Young Adult


Given the chance to train as a squire, kitchen servant Achan Cham hopes to pull himself out of his pitiful life and become a Kingsguard Knight. When Achan's owner learns of his training, he forces Achan to spar with the Crown Prince - more of a death sentence than an honor. Meanwhile, strange voices in Achan's head cause him to fear he's going mad. While escorting the prince to a council presentation, their convoy is attacked. Achan is wounded and arrested, but escapes from prison - only to discover a secret about himself he never believed possible.

**5 stars**

By Darkness Hid ... a brilliant novel by Jill Williamson ... Why didn’t I dive into this epic fantasy world sooner?? *grins*

When I first started By Darkness Hid, it was interesting and all, but I was pretty deep in a reading slump and nothing much was really catching my interest. But, I forged on. And I’m so, so glad I did! This story soon mesmerized me, and now I sit here wishing I had the sequel! *winks*

Achan and Vrell are our main characters. I quite adore Achan and his interesting personality; though guy characters aren’t always my favorite to follow. It was a delight to be introduced to Vrell (Vrella, I believe, is her actual name), and know that we had a female protagonist as well!! *winks* She was a bit frustrating at first actually, but soon enough grew to be another character that I, yes, adored. Both of them are great!! Loved journeying and having intriguing and terrifying adventures with them!

Ooh, I really like Jax! ^_^ And there’s some others here and there that I quite liked as well.

The fantasy world of this story is really just ... wonderful. I love fantasy!! <3 We have a medieval sort of setting, but giants, a place called Darkness, and big, scary creatures lurk around. There’s also this ability that some people have called bloodvoicing. (It’s called bloodvoicing because it’s a trait passed down through blood—passed from one generation to the next. Just thought I’d clarify, *winks*). This ability is a gift from Arman (represents God) to ***SPOILER ALERT*** an ancient king, and yep, it’s been passed down to this king’s children, and children’s children, and so on. ***SPOILER ALERT ENDS*** So yes, they kind of talk to each other without talking. Talk inside each other’s heads almost, read people’s thoughts, and things like that. (I’ve read of an ability like this in other books too, such as Serena Chase’s). I never thought too much about it before; but it did occur to me recently that this is sort of a telepathic way of communicating ... I don’t really know much about telepathy in the real world, but reading about it, even in fantasy worlds, does kind of weird me out sometimes. I will say that, as the story went on, it was clearly shown that this was a gift from God—you know, no dark magic being learned or used or anything. But still, I thought I’d mention it in case anyone doesn’t feel comfortable reading about a telepathic sort of communication. Not sure what the Bible says about telepathy ... but I shall keep looking into it! *smiles*

So, besides that niggling uncertainty, By Darkness Hid was an incredible fantasy story!! And I just am so extremely excited to see what happens next!! I can see a wonderful Christian allegory unfolding, and not to mention, a romance? *winks* And it’s just too fantastic! *grins* After reading kind of slowly through the first 30% or so of By Darkness Hid, I suddenly was captivated and eagerly going back into Achan’s and Vrell’s world time and again.

Epic, epic, epic! Just writing this review has me wondering longingly what’s going to happen next ... How many times have I said that already? You guys know it’s a superb tale now! Lol!

Real quickly mention here that though the romances of this book were sweet and all, it does have a little more of a mature feel. I would say about sixteen and up. No graphic violence that I noticed. And yeah, little warning about the bloodvoicing, as I mentioned above.

Otherwise ... Epic adventure, shrouded identities, blossoming could-be romances, dangerous battles, darkness creeping in ... I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this story continues! Amazing!!


  1. I love this book! ^_^ But believe it or not, the sequels only get BETTER! :D Also I love telepathy in fantasy, and don't see any reason why it would be "bad" or even considered "magical" if that's what you're worried about.

    1. Yes, it was sooo good!! ^__^ And the ending plus the title of Book 2, To Darkness Fled... EEP! I'm so excited!! I think I do believe you, ;D

      Though I do always think it's strange at first, it is an intriguing concept in fantasy! Yeah, I would agree with you that it's not really "magical". I guess I like to mention things that kind of are weird to me at first, in my reviews . . . but as of now, I don't really have a problem with their communication ability! :p

      So cool! :D Can't wait to read the next books!! <3

  2. The whole Trilogy is awesome, To Darkness Fled was my favorite. Vrell Sparrow is great.
    I wish I could give you the second book because you need to read it. :)

    1. Ooh!! I'm just getting more and more excited!! :D Vrell is a marvelous character!

      Haha, I wish you could too! I do need it! XD

  3. I think this book is on my Goodreads to-read list -- glad to hear it's a good one!

    1. Yay! :D It was a thrilling adventure!