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Uuuuuugh this was a very hard review to writeI REALLY REAAAAALLY love the world building in this book It was so interesting and kept me entranced but the fact that it felt like nothing but wives and concubines, it just wasn t the right direction for me I wanted to rate higher More detailed review to come Williamson s new epic does what it is supposed to fills you with a despair about the story s situation, but knowing there is a glimmer of hope coming that you just have to hold out for Captivating, interesting characters, I couldn t put this down. 3.5 starsThis is a hard review to write.First of all, I ll begin by saying it s a really cool idea to try breaking up a book into parts and releasing them separately It s a unique way to try to help the poor fangirls dying of impatience waiting a year between books But I sadly found that I don t particularly care for reading a whole book of just setup.Don t get me wrong, plenty of stuff happened in this part And I was forewarned that this story starts off dark But unfortunately, that seemed to mean that the whole first part, almost, is dark And then ending with itstill being dark was kind of depressing This is the main reason I think it would ve better been left with the other parts, because a sort of ending without hope is not so great I am quite interested, though, in how the story will continue I loved Trevn and Mielle s parts, and I like Wilek for the most part, but Charlon s parts justweirded me out a bit much for my liking However, I will note that her last scene chapter took an intriguing turn and I m really curious to see how it turns out Apparently this is set in the same world as the Blood of Kings trilogy, but to be honest, it didn t feel like that at all The whole vibe I got from it was, wellAfrican tribes in the 1800s Now, that is definitely something I haven t read fictionalized before, so it was interesting, but again, it was dark A lot of mysticism and spirits and such To sum things up, take my review with the grain of salt that this is indeed just the setup There s a lot to happen in this story, and therefore a lot chance for me to love it to pieces I just found that I don t care for having my dark setup ended asstill a dark setup Content warning no spoilers Dark refers mainly to the worship of many gods, which includes human sacrifices shown once or twice and mentioned throughout the story, as well as some mentions instances of magic and some sort of spirit worship in Charlon s POV Sexual content is alluded to rather frequently, mostly dealing with the king s and princes concubines Nothing than kissing and then only three separate instances, if I remember correctly is shown As far as violence, a woman is found dead understood that she was murdered , Wilek s first scene is a human sacrificed to a god, Wilek discovers one of his men kissing a maid against her will, and Charlon s first scene involves a hunt of humans by humans Some mentions of slave trade as well.I feel it s important to mention that none of this darkness is condoned by any of the POV characters except in the case of Charlon, who is a participant in the spiritism or whatever it is which is why I wasn t fond of her chapters.Disclaimer I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own. Oh my WOW.I am a HUGE Jill Williamson fan I devoured The Safe Lands series because I m also a dystopian junkie and enjoyed Replication The Jason Experiment I read By Darkness Hid this summer Still have a few of her books to go but I jumped at the chance to get an early copy to read and review So Disclaimer I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review And honestly I LOVED it.I read 95% of the book yesterday and finished it this morning Things you should know 1 This is an epic fantasy Scads of characters At least 5 cultures The author gives us a Key Players cheat sheet at the beginning of the book if you re one of those people that gets confused I did fine without it.2 Not counting the prologue, there are four point of view characters Wilek prince , Mielle honor maiden , Charlon priestess in training , Trevyn younger prince One thing that helps keep track of the characters are that Wilek, Mielle, and Trevyn all interact in the book The author does a great job introducing them one at a time so that you know and like each of them 3 The writing is stellar Williamson folds you into her storyworlds and makes you care about her characters You feel like you could walk out of the pages and into her books The plot here is every bit as complex as The Safe Lands series.4 It will certainly keep you captivated.Favorite character I d have to say Trevyn with Mielle being a close second.Thing that surprised me most The racial diversity of the cast Cool The only downside was that it ended Since this is part of a longer story, the book itself doesn t really have closure Don t get me wrong it s not one of those obnoxious cliff hanger endings that makes you mad It gets to a reasonable stopping place and stops, but this book doesn t have that stand a lone feel to it that some books within a series do. I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest 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 Trevyn, princes of the House of Hadar.The kingdom of Armania is experiencing disaster after disaster Earthquakes and sinkholes are destroying entire villages Sar Wilek s father, King Echad, believes that 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 keep him from sacrificing innocent victims, he plays the political games, but it is becoming and difficult to be diplomatic and follow his own conscience.Trevn 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 I loved this first installment of King s Folly, a story that will be released in three parts The story is written from several perspectives, including the handmaiden to Wilek s betrothed, who wants to help her mistress find happiness in her upcoming marriage The majority of the time we read through Wilek or Prince Trevyn s point of view I felt for Wilek in his powerlessness to protect his people from his own father Trevyn 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 be able to relate to him, and I look forward to seeing how his character will grow throughout the story Though Darkness Reigns is short, the reader has plenty of time to become fully invested in the characters I can t wait to see what will happen in book two of King s Folly Darkness Reigns will be available in e book form on December 1st I was really looking forward to this series, because I ve enjoyed previous books by this author, but unfortunately I didn t like this one Way too much of the story focused on gods and concubinesit just wasn t a story for me I also thought there were too many characters and it was difficult to keep track of everyone I really enjoyed this book My absolute favorite thing about it was the writing Jill is just such a talented writer You can tell by reading her books She has that sort of writing that makes you warm and fuzzy and feel at home My next favorite thing was her worldbuilding This world she writes is such a complex and wonderful world, full of complex and wonderful characters Which, of course, brings us to my next favorite thing I loved Jill s characters In the mere one fifty pages of this book, I grew so attached to every one of her characters And the best part This book has a ton of POVs But I didn t get confused This was probably the first book I ve read with tons of POVs that DIDN T confuse me And as a reader, that was a HUGE thing for me All of the characters were well developed and easy to get attached to and I get the feeling that one of them will break my heart Also, my ship I won t tell you who I ship, as they get affectionate late in the book, but OH MY GOODNESS It is perfection I lovedlovedloved the romance in this book I m going to use the end of Jill s From Darkness Won as an example here At the end of that, I know we all felt the romance It was very heavy on the story But in this book NONE of that heaviness The romance was perfectly crafted and the two characters absolutely suited for each other.FOR THE PARENTS I m fairly certain this book is for older teens and adults, so there is a bit content One of the POV characters has a concubine, as do almost all of the male characters in this story Jill did it quite well, though, showing the reality of the world but also not going into a ton of detail about it They are some mild innuendos and someone tries to claim a POV character as his mistress Over all, though, I think the content made the world feel real, not like other stories where it s put in as a filler or a ploy to keep someone reading No cussing, mild violence. Get this one right now Seriously, don t wait buy it now devour it in a day and then die a thousand impatient deaths over the next few months while you re waiting for part two I think I can honestly say that Jill Williamson has outdone herself with this series and I ve only read part one so far Darkness Reigns may be only part one, but it is rife with shadows and hints of what promises to be a truly epic book with a complex storyworld, unique and engaging characters, and a premise that whispers peril and adventure around every turn.Wilek, Trevn, Mielle, and Charlon these are the types of characters who possess the power to drag you so deep into their stories that you become completely immersed and lose sight of the real world until the final page forces you to awaken again In a way, they reminded me of Robin Hobb s characters, and I say that as a true compliment Not that any of the characters seemed like a knockoff or imitation nothing could be farther from the truth but simply that Jill Williamson has the same knack for infusing her characters with life and breath and flesh and bone They are all so real and human and complex that it s easy to forget that they are simple creations of ink and imagination.Most of the time, I choose a book for the plot but I ll stick with it for the characters And Darkness Reigns has the sort of characters that not only made my stick with it but will keep me coming back for Parts Two and Three and the next book in the series too. Well.I would have very much liked to give this 4 stars But, being that a great majority of the plot revolves around concubines and many wives, I m afraid I had to lower the rating a star.The Likes The world building Like what It s so complicated that I had to refer to the lists at the beginning of the book so many times Yes, there s a bunch of immorality, but all the customs of the realms and the gods and the many positions in the castle often I was left staring at the book like O.O The names Okay, wow SO MANY NAMES Some personal favourites were Novan, Trevn, Zeroah, and Mielle The complexity Wellll I kind of already touched on this point, but it deserves a category of its own But seriously, the world building was so complex The writing style was okay, but THE WORLD was great I commend Jill The characters distinct POV s I quite like how different each of the characters were Trevn 3 , and I m always grateful when an author has multiple POV s, AND THEY RE ALL DISTINCTIVE.No cursing, yay I am not a fan of cuss words Reading or writing them They are immoral and wrong and make me feel unclean when I read them So I congratulate Jill for not using a single one.The Dislikes sad to say this list is longer than the likes list I was mildly uncomfortable every time a concubine or harem was mentioned Now, just know that it takes A LOT to make me uncomfortable And, being that having multiple wives and adultery is wrong, I was justifiably semi uncomfortable I hope, should you choose to read this book, you realize that concubines and harems and laying with women and all that stuff is mentioned on basically every other, if not every, page The worship of many gods now, i realize this is essential to the plot and i was warned beforehand, but i am still allowed to dislike it Yeah The title of this dislike basically sums it up But, I was told, this book is supposed to resemble Old Testament times, when worshipping many gods and goddesses was commonly accepted as a mainstream thing The main struggle of the first half of the book for Wilek was how to balance his concubine who did not get along with his betrothed It was actually kind of annoying how the plotline revolved around that Like dude He loved his concubine and he had a betrothed AND his dad told him to start a harem rolls eyes During chapters from Charlon s POV, the sentences are basically all fragments I am not a fan of fragments, and it grated on my nerves I am glad I only read two or three chapters from her point of view shudders I feel like nothing was portrayed as wrong, as a Christian book should I dunno if maybe it s because none of them know God Arman yet, or what, but nothing is really frowned upon I m eager to see how well Jill does with that in the next addition to this series.The Warnings DOZENS of mentions of sex, and one use of the word Also an indication that it happened between two characters Many mentions of breasts One of the pov s is a woman who seems to have been either a prostitute or taken advantage of There is magic The women in the realm of Magon are magic users The woman i mentioned above is a magic user, and devoted herself to the goddess of magic The women who use magic, mantics, bond with a dark spirit, which one can only see when they drink a sort of poison There is a scene where the woman uses magic from the goddess There are a couple of kisses, but none of them go into detail Human sacrifices and worship of gods.So yeah I enjoyed the book and it kept my interest somewhat I do believe I will read the next 1.2 , but only partly because I own the second book XD `FREE E-PUB ☔ Darkness Reigns (The Kinsman Chronicles, #1a) ☠ 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 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