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Darkness Reigns

(The Kinsman Chronicles #1a)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  509 ratings  ·  92 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Bethany House Publishers
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
4,25 stars - English Ebook - Epic fantasy - Author has taken notes from the old testament and put them in a different world. The world of the Kingsmen, wars, concubines, kings, Sons and a Godess. This was an easy read. The characters are well written and good storylines binds it all together. 😁🍀😁🦋
Hann Remraf
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 na
Nov 04, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This 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 seeme
Lisa Godfrees
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 more 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:

Bethany Baldwin
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle
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 just wasn't a story for me. I also thought there were too many characters and it was difficult to keep track of everyone... ...more
Jessica Dowell
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Jill Williamson's Blood of King's trilogy,
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 s
Lucy Buller
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 boo ...more
Gillian Bronte Adams
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 premi
Kayla Torres
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Uuuuuugh this was a very hard review to write...
I 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...
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Amazing! A captivating plot, different (well-organized) points of view, and detailed descriptions make this a must read!
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book! The big questions my fellow Christians will be asking are, so what's Christian about it and is it scripturally accurate. As to both, my understanding is that this series does reflect biblical Christianity. The problem is that this book is showing us what life could have been like in gentile lands during OT times, and how easy it was/is to be influenced by it. She also shows how superstitious people were. It seems like idolatry and superstition are linked even. I have not personally r ...more
Nov 26, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebie
💝 FREE on Amazon today (11/26/2017)! 💝
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
Could not get into this one,not for me I am afraid..
Carina Shephard
I really liked a lot of things about this book, especially the characters and the worldbuilding, but I did not feel comfortable reading Charlon's chapter and decided to DNF at about 41%. ...more
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In Darkness Reigns by Jill Williamson, we're introduced to the Kingdom of Armania as well as Rosar Echad and his family. Unlike other monarchies, the eldest is not entitled to the throne and the princes Janek and Wilek are waiting to see who their father will declare as Heir, while Trevn couldn't care less. While Armania experiences disaster after disaster that many believe are the result of the gods being displeased, we're introduced to the other four realms as well, who have their own proble ...more
Rachael Stevens
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This thrilling tale is filled with suspense, emotions, and adventure. Wilek is the prince of Armania, but not the chosen heir...yet. Trapped in the intense heir war, his last thought is that of his arranged bride-to-be. But it is the first priority in Mielle's mind. Desperate to make her new mistress happy, she is still new to the rules of court and society, and will risk it all for the happiness of her mistress. Lady Zeroah is pledged to Wilek, but worried that he will not love her. In a time w ...more
Jason Schneeberger
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was the first book from Jill Williamson that I have read and I must say, I was impressed! Nice world building, and entertaining story filled with peril and more than adequate writing made DARKNESS REIGNS a pleasure to read.

Kings, Queens, princes, princesses, Heirs, concubines, swords, magic, betrayal, sacrifices to the Gods and murder are the way of the land in the realm of Armania, where DARKNESS REIGNS primarily takes place. There are a lot of characters introduced in a short period of t
Zachary Totah
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: excellent
Jill Williamson has done it again. I loved her Blood of Kings Trilogy, so when I discovered she was working on a new epic fantasy series, I couldn’t wait to dive in.

That joyous day came when I entered the Five Realms via Darkness Reigns, the first part of King’s Folly. It didn’t take long for me to find myself entrenched in a magical world of court intrigue, mystery, conflict, romance. And diverse characters I couldn’t stop reading about. From Trevn and his wild escapades to Charlon and her hear
Tracy L. Snyder
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a departure from the Young Adult novels the author usually writes. It is set in the world made famous in her Blood of Kings trilogy, but pre-dates it by several centuries. This means that the culture depicted is similar to that of our ancient middle east, with all of the idolatry, cruelty and startling marriage practices of that time.

I loved it. The author doesn’t wallow in the gory details, but neither does she pull punches. It was great seeing her characters struggle to maintain t
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is currently free right now and releases December 1st. It is a Christian fantasy book set in the Five Realms with well developed characters and a plot that keeps you reading. Earthquakes are becoming more and more common even with frequent sacrifices to Barthos, the god of the soil. The King of Armania still needs to choose an heir to his throne from his three sons. Who will it be? His choice could determine the future of his realm. Magnonia, a realm ruled by women, is determined to ru ...more
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Fantasy, and Fans of Jill Williamson
First of all, I am a Huge fan of Jill Williamson's book, and I have the awesome opportunity to read this book before it's officially out in exchange for an honest review. I was so excited when I opened the book, and overall was not disappointed. I'm happy to see another Christian fantasy book out there.

The characters range from a mischievous prince to a six-foot tall honor maiden(Yay!)among others, and all have their own quirks.

Having five nations provides plenty of opportunity for conflict
linnea h.
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
So YA is where my heart lies, and I'll be the first to admit that I haven't read a high fantasy in a long time, much less a Christian Adult High Fantasy. But Jill Williamson is easily one of my favorite people in the writing world, and the opportunity to help her launch her book was one I leaped at.

I'm so glad I did. Darkness Reigns has characters that are absolutely gripping, and the gritty intrigue of royal court and each character's personal plight combines to make for a fantastically engagi
May 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I am a fan of Jill Williamson. I absolutely loved her Blood of Kings series. But this series has too many primary characters to keep track of. It lumbers forward under the ponderous weight of its multiple POV and its lack of interesting story lines causes it to stagger like a drunken giant. I had really looked forward to this new series and pre-ordered it in anticipation of more riveting storytelling. I was very disappointed when I had to push myself to finish this book. I am not sure if I will ...more
Sierra Faith
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved this book! Full review to come!
Denali Christianson
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Jill Williamson is back, bringing us back to the world of Er'rets - except this time it's not Er'rets. Considering that this is a bit of a history book, I wish someone would write history of our world the way Williamson writes history of her world! I was immediately drawn into the Five Kingdoms. I love all the characters, and I must say that Mielle is practically an exact copy of ME in fantasy form. Charlon's situation made me so sad reading it, but it's also super interesting reading about Mago ...more
Yakira Goldsberry
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
More Than I Expected

When I first started reading this, I was a bit sceptical. Multiple gods? Concubines? Multiple wives??? I didn't know what to think. But the more I read, the more I was sucked into the story world. Jill Williamson has definitely taken me on a wild ride that I don't regret. The world is so fleshed out, nearly jumps off the pages, and the characters do well developed they almost seem like close friends. This is a book that you won't want to ever put down and make you ask, what h
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Surprisingly good:)

I had never read this author before.I thought the character creation was great.This alone had my interest and the funny thing is with the title I thought there would be sex and violence.There was none of that,at one point a person is found in the castle dead.But they don't know why they were killed.

But I thought the world creation was good,this world was tormented by earthquakes and lava flow from eruptions.In the kings eyes this could only mean the gods are angry and need sa
Chantelle Larson
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fast moving, short but no less detailed novel.
Characters are quite varied in their personalities and traits making it very interesting but a lot of new information to take in contained in this first installment.
Interesting concepts and world development portrayed here.
Writing style was fluent and exact. Easy to follow and grasp yet challenging to keep up with.
Overall; creative and exciting with many different levels of natural chaos, politics and character growth coming in to play very qui
Apr 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Does not resolve

I really do not like series that are essentially soap operas. This book just stops without resolving any of the issues facing the characters. I assume if you read enough stories in this series, the author will solve some the hero’s problems. But I don’t want to read six or eight or ten books to find out.
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Jill Williamson is an award-winning fantasy and science fiction author of over twenty books including By Darkness Hid, which won several awards and was named a Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novel by VOYA magazine. She has also written several books on the craft of writing and teaches at, one of Writer’s Digest’s “101 Best Websites for Writers.”

Jill's author websit

Other books in the series

The Kinsman Chronicles (3 books)
  • King's Folly (The Kinsman Chronicles, #1)
  • King's Blood (The Kinsman Chronicles, #2)
  • King's War (The Kinsman Chronicles, #3)

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