Friday, August 21, 2015

Sequel Review: "To Darkness Fled"

You can find my review of the first book of the Blood of Kings Trilogy here. I would highly recommend reading  the first book before continuing. 

Haven't read the first book? Come back next week for more posts and a fresh novel on Friday. In the meantime, check out some old book reviews or my Goodreads page.

The Short:

To Darkness Fled
(Blood of Kings Trilogy, Book 2)

By: Jill Williamson

5/5 Stars

What: Achan finds himself pushed to be king, even though he doesn’t want it. Vrell finds herself tangled in an ever-growing web of lies. Lord Nathak and Esek will stop at nothing to prevent Achan from coming to the throne.

Recommended to those who like: fantasy, internal conflict, sword fights, and have read book 1.

Not recommended for those who dislike: Significant romantic plot line.

The Long:

Warning: Spoilers may lurk for those who have not yet read book 1, which I reviewed here.

To Darkness Fled did not disappoint as a sequel. So many sequels fail to build on character development or feel like they lack a clear goal for the characters, but To Darkness Fled had even better character development and internal conflict than in the first book, in my opinion.

Achan wants nothing more than to escape the throne and the pressures that are put on him—he is pressured to find a suitable wife (even if he doesn’t love her), forge alliances, present himself as a capable prince (even though he hasn’t had experience), proclaim Arman, and otherwise just be perfect. His frustration and division in character grow throughout the book.

Meanwhile, Vrell finds herself wondering if she knows anything anymore. How can she be Achan’s squire when she’s a highborn lady? More disturbing, she’s starting to feel something for him—even though she’s already betrothed. How can she keep her secret when the evidence mounts against her?

Meanwhile, the party must escape to Ice Island to rescue former Kingsguard knights, avoid Esek, and scrape up enough support for the army if Achan is to take his rightful throne.

The plot was gripping and I was really intrigued by the internal conflicts that raged throughout the book. This book does have a stronger love element than the previous novel, but the action still plays the primary role. Also, it’s not sappy.

Ms. Williamson also builds upon the allegorical elements of her work in this novel. Arman comes into play in a more significant manner and the characters are faced with a choice of which god they will serve. This heightens the plot and fits in well. I look forward to reading the final book soon.

If you’ve read the book, feel free to share your thoughts 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!


    Alrighty, I just finished this and it was really good! I liked how Achan found out Vrell's secret in this book, not the last book like I was expecting, and the sword fights and world building were really good. Vrell kinda annoyed me at the end, though? And I can't figure out if I would have done the same thing in her situation or not. Granted, she was really upset because Bran and her father and she was unsure of Achan, but running off to battle???

    Also, Arman. How did you like where the author was going with him? I'm unsure :/ I'm not a huge fan of the way he talks to Achan because it feels like an easy way out to include him so Achan knows what to do and to get the Chrisitan element in, but I get the whole annointed-and-therefore-talked-to-by-God thing. But the messages were really good and complex and sticky? I don't know. Your thoughts?

    1. (Bear with me, as I have to think back a ways here). I'm always a little wary of God talking directly to characters. I agree that sometimes it's a bit of an easy way out. But, within the story world, I thought it was fairly logical. I read Christian fiction a lot (pardon the Captain Obvious moment) and God speaking directly to characters is a fairly common element in many of the stories. While I don't think it's necessarily the most realistic/"best" plot device, I guess I've grown so used to it that I didn't notice it in this instance.

      I also like the placement of Vrell's allowed for some great character development/ tension in the conclusion to the series.

      Sorry for the late reply! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Also, I've tagged you for the bookshelf tag, if you're interesting in doing it.


Feel free to share your thoughts below. I reserve the right to remove vulgar, hateful, or rude remarks from the comments. Thanks for sharing!