The god of the soil is furious. Volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, earthquakes--everything points to his unhappiness. At least this is what the people of Armania in the Five Realms believe. Amidst the unsettling state of the world around them, the princes of Armania live their lives focused more on who will claim the throne after their sickly father, King Echad, dies. That is until Prince Wilek's concubine turns up dead--beside her, a bloodied message that seems to have come from the mother realms.
This book is actually the first part of the book King's Folly that will be released in 2016. Darkness Reigns can only be found in ebook format and King's Folly will only be sold as a physical copy. No matter what way the story is sold, it is party of a larger series called The Kinsman Chronicles, which is a sort of prequel to Jill's fantastic Blood of Kings series.
I wasn't sure about my feelings after I finished this first installment. The writing was gripping, pulling me into the characters lives after I got over the initial confusion of who was who with the large cast. No, it wasn't the writing I had a problem with. Something else nagged at me even as I devoured every word.
It was the darkness. Maybe what they call "thematic elements" on movie warnings. And yeah, this story gets pretty dark. The death, human sacrifice, destructions, and concubines are dark enough, but the really weird thing that bothered me? Some of the characters basically communicate with demons.
This bothered me. It was never explicitly said that they were what we think of as demons, but the fact that it wasn't presented as so bothered me a litte.
But here's the thing. This story may be dark, but it is real. It was partly inspired by the kings of the Old Testament. People used to commit human sacrifice, have multiple wives and concubines, and yes... communicate with spirits. These things aren't being presented as right in this story, but they are presented as a darkness. This darkness is so strong that it affects all of the characters.
Why is the darkness necessary? Because soon a great light will appear and I'm sure evil will be vanquished. This series actually has so much symbolism to it and is a fantastic read.
I really liked the characters, some more than others, but all of them I enjoyed reading about.
Once again Jill Williamson has riveted me with the first installment in her first adult fantasy series.
I hope you will take this incredible opportunity to get the book free on kindle or itunes. Here is the link to the kindle version.
Tonight at 6 PM Pacific Time there is going to be a facebook party here. You're going to love it and there will be giveaways, so come learn more about it!
About the author: Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms and the award-winning author of several speculative fiction novels including By Darkness Hid, Replication, The New Recruit, and Captives. She got into writing one day when someone was complaining about teen books and she thought, “I could do that! How hard could it be?” Very, she soon learned. But she worked hard, and four years later, her first book, By Darkness Hid, was published and won several awards. Jill is a Whovian, a Photoshop addict, and a recovering fashion design assistant, who was raised in Alaska. She loves teaching about writing, which she does weekly at www.GoTeenWriters.com. She lives in Oregon with her husband, two children, and a whole lot of deer.
~ a rambling author