(Blood of Kings Trilogy, Book 1)
What: An elderly knight takes on an outcast boy as a squire despite protests from the boy’s unjust master; A young woman disguises herself as a man to avoid being pressed into a royal marriage. The story focuses on the concept of “bloodvoicing” (a type of telepathy) and a darkness that has swallowed half the land.
Recommended to those who like: fantasy, Christian allegory, personal adventure, coming of age stories, interesting world building
I’ve been following Ms. Williamston’s blog for some time now, but just got around to reading some of her works. I have to say that By Darkness Hid is a keeper. I can’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy!
The book tells the tale of Achan, a “stray” boy who is little better than a slave in a manor ruled by the cruel Prince Gidon. Everything he has is taken from him—including the girl he loves. One day, a knight rides into the manor. He unexpectedly makes Achan his squire. But things only turn for the worse.
We also follow Vrell throughout the story—a young woman who has disguised herself as a boy to escape marriage to the same Prince Gidon. She is taken across the kingdom for her “bloodvoicing” ability.
The story is remarkable for its interesting world building. I was especially intrigued by the concept of bloodvoicing—a form of telepathy with which only some characters are gifted. Ms. Williamson does a very good job of explaining the process, which deepens the realism of the story.
The other intriguing concept of the story is that of the Darkness. Darkness has covered half the kingdom of Er’rets, due to a betrayal long ago. People who live within it tend to turn on one another.
While the story is allegorical in nature, it does not dominate the story. It has an overall fast pace, good action, and a few plot twists. I had a hard time predicting much of the story. Bear with it if it seems slow in the beginning—the end is definitely worth it!
If you’ve read the book, feel free to share your thoughts/opinions below. Please remember to be respectful of Ms. Williamson and her work, as well as other commentators. I also welcome comments on what you would like to see included in the reviews. I reserve the right to remove vulgar, hateful, or rude remarks from the comments. Thanks for sharing!