Review for Darkness Reigns by Jill Williamson

A few months ago I reviewed By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson. I fell in love with the world and the characters Williamson created in the Blood of Kings series. You can read my review for the first book, By Darkness Hid, here. This winter I am excited and blessed to help promote part one of her new series The Kinsman Chronicles. This series takes place thousands of years before Blood of Kings and is about Achan and Vrell’s ancestors. The first book, King’s Folly, will be released in three parts. Part one, Darkness Reigns, is available TODAY on Amazon and it’s free! I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review:

My Review
If you have ever felt fed up with your own culture and powerless to help people who were suffering, then you will be able to relate to Wilek and Trevn, princes of the House of Hadar.
The kingdom of Armania experiences disaster after disaster. Earthquakes and sinkholes destroy entire villages. Sar Wilek’s father, King Echad, believes the gods are angry and require human sacrifices. But the offerings do not seem to appease the deities. Wilek hopes to be named Heir to the throne soon so he can protect his people from the evil that is tearing his country apart, including the ruthless executions. To appease his father, and to keep him from sacrificing more innocent victims, he plays the political games, but it is becoming more and more difficult to be diplomatic and follow his own conscience.
Trevn, the youngest son of King Echad, is an explorer and a scholar by nature and hates the political games of court. Like his brother, he cares nothing for the gods or his father’s superstitions. He seeks to distance himself from his father and brother Janek’s corrupt lifestyle, calling himself a renegade and freely speaking his opinions to whoever will listen. He spends his time charting the changing landscape of the kingdom and wondering what lies beyond the sea.
When a messenger comes to court claiming that the kingdom of Farway has completely disappeared to the underworld, the king demands more sacrifices and sends Wilek to investigate. The disaster he finds is worse than he imagined. How will he be able to protect his people from his father and the cataclysmic destruction of the five realms?
I loved this first installment of King’s Folly. The story is written from several perspectives, but the majority of the time we read through Wilek or Prince Trevn’s point of view. I felt for Wilek as he felt powerless to protect his people from his own father. I related to him on the “oldest child” level, understanding what it was like Trevn’s energetic defiance of the courtly lifestyle reminded me of my own teenage years and my dissatisfaction with what was considered “normal’. I think a lot of teens will relate to him. I look forward to seeing how his character will grow throughout the rest of the story! 
This story has multiple narrators which makes for captivating reading. It was frustrating at times, only because I never wanted to leave one character’s viewpoint. This also served to keep me engaged in the story so I could find out what happened to the character. So I kept reading, and it wouldn’t be long until I was sucked into the next character’s storyline. There was never a dull moment. It takes extreme talent to tell a story from so many different perspectives and not lose your readers.
Though Darkness Reigns is short, the reader has plenty of time to become fully invested in the characters. Warning: This is only part one of a larger book, meant to establish the setting and introduce the characters, which it does beautifully, but it does end on a bit of a cliffhanger. Still, though nothing is resolved in the end, there is a definite shift in the story that left me excited to read Heir War which will come out in February. You will not want to miss this new series!

The author will be hosting a release party on her Facebook page today at 6 pm PST (8:00 CST for those of you on my side of the country). You can also check out Jill Williamson’s blog in which she writes countdown posts which give more information about the characters and the world of the Kinsman Chronicles. You can read each of her individual posts by clicking on the links below. Enjoy!


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