Review for By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson

I think I may have found another author to add to my list of favorites. I’ll be honest, it took me a while to get into this book, but once I did MAN was I hooked! This book is currently free on Kindle till the end of July I think. Check it out!

The author also has podcasts of herself reading this book, and the second in the series on her website at Look under Podcasts or Freebies. She has a lot of other really cool resources as well if you are an aspiring author.

If you love epic fantasy, you will love The Blood of Kings trilogy.

By Darkness Hid: My Review
A boy, unaware of his powerful gift, jumps at the chance to become a knight, hoping to win the hand of his childhood friend and escape his life of slavery. A girl goes into hiding, disguising herself as a boy to escape marriage to a loathful prince. Both of them, drawn together by circumstances neither of them chose, have an important role to play in the redemption of a kingdom taken over by darkness!
Achan Cham wants nothing more than to marry his childhood sweetheart and live in his own cottage somewhere, free from servitude to a cruel master. When a knight takes notice of him and offers to train him as his squire, he readily accepts. One day, he begins to hear strange voices. Voices who want to know who he is! Is he going mad? What is Sir Gavin not telling him?
Vrell Sparrow wants nothing to do with Prince Gidon, who seeks to marry her by whatever means necessary to gain control of her land. To save herself from being married against her will, she goes into hiding, disguises herself as a boy, and becomes apprenticed to a healer. When a powerful man senses her gift of blood voicing and summons her to be his new apprentice, she has no choice but to comply.  As she develops her gift, her disguise becomes more difficult to maintain. Then she hears the voice of a blood-voicer, who does not understand the strength of his gift, or how to control it. Who is this man and why does her master seek him?
This story snuck up on me. It started out slow, as Williams craftily established the setting and the characters. It was interesting enough to keep my attention, mainly because I could tell she was setting the reader up for something big. She did a very good job of keeping that “something big” a secret until the final moment! However, it did not really grip me until about halfway through the story. After that, my problem was going to bed on time. Achan is a very believable teenage boy and one of the best male characters written by a woman I have ever read. He is awkward, uncertain, and somewhat self-centered at times. Deep down he has a beautiful heart that only wants to take care of someone. Vrell’s story was equally compelling, and I was on edge with her the entire time as she worked to maintain her disguise.  I loved the role she plays in the story, and how hard she works to help Achan. I also loved the idea of “blood voicing”, which is basically the ability to communicate with others telepathically, and how it played into the story.
Finally, I loved how Williamson dealt with very real issues faced by teens today. Her stories address issues such as Godly relationships, temptation, honesty, sacrifice, and other moral and ethical dilemmas that modern day teens might face. She does not sugarcoat the consequences of bad decisions, but neither does she glorify them. What I appreciate most in her stories is the message of hope.
If you love stories with “Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, true love, miracles…..” this is the series for you. If you are intrigued by the idea of communicating telepathically with others, this is the series for you. If you love stories that address difficult issues and deal with them in an authentic way, this is the series for you. I hope you enjoy Darkness Hid and it’s sequels, To Darkness Fled and From Darkness Won.

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