By Darkness Hid

Last summer I participated in a book club and I’m finally making myself review the books we read. They were all fantastic and I’ve been looking forward to sharing them! Book #1 was… *drumroll*

Blurb: Darkness divides the land.

Half of Er’Rets is locked beneath an impenetrable shroud. On the side that still sees the sun, two young people struggle to understand the mind-communication abilities thrust upon them.

It’s called bloodvoicing. Some say it’s a gift. One of the newly “gifted” wish it had never come.

Achan had 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 capture by the powerful forces that seek to exploit her. But Vrell feels called to help a young squire who recently discovered his bloodvoicing gift, even if doing so requires her to work with those who could destroy her.

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. 

Toward a destination that is by darkness hid. 

The Blood of Kings series by Jill Williamson has a reputation in the Christian fantasy community and I see why. By Darkness Hid (Book #1) has meat enough for YA/Adult readers but gentle enough for MG levels. And it’s got everything loved about a good, classic fantasy adventure plus subtle Christian undertones woven throughout. I really liked it and I finished the book wanting to launch right into the next one.

The book has two alternating points of view and I liked them both equally. I also liked that both main characters are truly good people. While they both have some growing to do, it was nice to read about decent people right from the start. And I really loved the way the backstory and unique world elements were slowly revealed in bits & pieces.

 The opening scene with a fight in a barn was a bit drawn-out for my taste (there were a handful of scenes that I felt that way) but I’m betting those scenes are especially popular with the younger readers – wanting to imagine themselves training with a sword, etc. They were the kind of scenes I would have reveled in as a teen but hurried through as an adult reader.

The book ends with the first story-arc complete but the story itself definitely not done (think like the books in the Lord of the Rings series – ending with closure but the adventure still ongoing). I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series asap. All in all, a highly recommended read – and this first volume is free on Amazon, too!

Do you like epic fantasy?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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