Darkness Reigns by Jill Williamson

Part 1 of Jill Williamson’s Epic Fantasy Series The Kinsman Chronicles 
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.
Darkness Reigns is collected together with parts 2 and 3 in King’s Folly.

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.

I’m fairly certain this book is for older teens and adults, so there is a bit more 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 more real, not like other stories where it’s put in as a filler or a ploy to keep someone reading. No cussing, mild violence.

P.S. This book is FREE in ebook form!

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