Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Free the Darkness (King's Dark Tidings #1)” as Want to Read:
Free the Darkness (King's Dark Tidings #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Free the Darkness

(King's Dark Tidings #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  16,843 ratings  ·  1,029 reviews
Raised and trained in complete seclusion at a secret fortress on the edge of the northern wilds of the Kingdom of Ashai, a young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows. With no understanding of his life’s purpose and armed with masterful weapons mysteriously bequeathed to him by a dead king, the youn ...more
Kindle Edition, Second, 483 pages
Published December 28th 2015 by Kel Kade
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Free the Darkness, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Adam Hayes I just reached out to Kel Kade on Twitter, and she confirmed today (July 24th, 2020) that print releases will begin before the 5th book releases.

I just reached out to Kel Kade on Twitter, and she confirmed today (July 24th, 2020) that print releases will begin before the 5th book releases.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,843 ratings  ·  1,029 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Free the Darkness (King's Dark Tidings #1)
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This was the most enjoyable new-to-me fantasy book I've read all year. It was a super fun fantasy adventure story packed with likeable characters, plenty of action, humour, and even a few touching moments.

The story followed the exploits of 19 year old Rezkin. Rezkin was raised since birth in a secluded fortress to be the greatest weapon the Kingdom of Ashai has ever seen. He learned everything from weaponry to the healing arts and economics and is a master of them all. What he is not a master o
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
I read several reviews of this book before I bought it. The interesting thing is that most reviews were strongly positive, some all the way to 5 stars. On the other hand there were a goodly number" of very bad (read 1 star) ratings... There weren't many in the middle. Upon reflection I've decided to go 4 stars on it as I enjoyed the book. I plan to give a nod to what annoyed some readers (as there are some, false notes here). But as noted "on the whole" I enjoyed it.

You will have seen versions o
Feb 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
To find good fantasy seems to be getting ever harder. We've read all the plots, have seen all the figures so often that they turned into clichés. Even the parodies have become repetitive. This book however invites with a seemingly new premise; given its exuberant reviews, I could not but accept and buy a copy.

The Premise
We start the journey with Rezkin, a mysterious boy, who is raised within a remote fortress and trained into a killer. At the age of nineteen, he is released into the outside wor
Nov 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
4.3 stars? Why? How? This book is terrible.

Do you like Mary Sue characters? The main character is the mother of all Mary Sues. I must have rolled my eyes 100 times. He is the best in the world (by far) at everything. Knows how to assume any role in society flawlessly (despite zero prior experience in the real world). Master of EVERY weapon. Knows the exact blueprints by memory of every important building in the known world....the list goes on and on. He fights 15 elite master warriors simultaneo
edge of bubble
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, magic, audio-book
Long time ago, in a far away galaxy, ahem, -about a year ago, in the next room probably- I've read Gavin's review , and all I could remember from it was that the hero reminded me of Son Goku from Dragon Balls. I had listened to the audible and realised I was not that far away from the mark. This book is a lovely mix of Son Goku and Assassin's Creed. Ezio...

*dreamy sigh*

I've reread the written version this time, to remember what had happened, before continuing on with the series. And Rezkin is a
Hariharan Gopalakrishnan
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I thought laughably over-powered and flawless protagonists, who are phenomenally handsome to boot, and are fawned over by everyone they meet, were the sole-domain of mediocre-to-bad anime and fan-fiction. Seems I was mistaken.
Why the 2 stars then?
Because even though the book is filled with dialogue that sounds just a bit too silly (like 'you are a master businessman and swordsman at only 19?..' etc.) making the story-line look even more ridiculous, and has multiple absurd plot points ('the pro
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it

going to sit on this review for a while.. mixed feelings

Right so when i read the blurb of this book, i expected blood, gore more blood gore and you know just you know bad assery all through the book. i mean first sentence from the book 'Bone Snapped and flesh parted as hot blood spewed out from a jagged wound
What i got: blood gore and a bad ass hero (i'm thinking cross between James Bond and the Terminator)

What i did not expect: a bad ass hero that made all the women in the book want to drop t

Plot ~ Concept: ★★★☆☆
~ Execution: ★☆☆☆☆½
Pacing: ★★☆☆☆½
Writing style: ★★☆☆☆½
Characters: ★☆☆☆☆½
World: ★★★☆☆
Enjoyment: ★★☆☆☆

“Bone snapped and flesh parted as hot blood spewed out from a jagged wound.” THAT, friends, is the first sentence. And it successfully it got me excited.
○ It had an intriguing beginning.
○ The fact that it was meant to be epic fantasy (??) got me excited.
○ I’m struggling to think of the pros, here, honestly.
○ Uhhhh it has a high average rating so maybe
Caleb M.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit skeptical going into this book after reading a friends review saying that this book was not nearly as good as the premise sounded. But I am happy to say that after going in with tempered expectations and knowing that character comes across as overpowered, I found a very enjoyable read here.

Rezkin is a very fun character to follow. He is a trained warrior in the highest degree. After the masters are slayed he goes into the "outworld" and has to find his place. He meets friends and ma
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
I hate seeing so much potential in a good story, reduced to something completely anti-premise.
This story is just one of those books. I loved the premise of a kid training to be very OP(Overpowered) assassin-warrior-fighter-ish kind of person, and the premise of Rezkin's conspiracy/purpose and all. This doesn't deliver it. The whole stage of the training is one chapter, which the skills are based on the time skips themselves and not really making them legit.

Other than that, the force of coinciden
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. So there I was, work about finished, end of the day browsing Amazon New Releases...waiting to get home to I can finish How to Make a Murderer and Mr. Robot as I'm on the last episodes of both. And then I come across this...I've always said, I love me a duel-wielding protagonist. So I see the cover, basic enough but the guys holding two weapons so I click, read the synopsis, not bad. Let's check it out....

I never got to watch the ending of either show, as this book basically took up my night
Anthony K
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Hmmmm... Still not sure. On to the next one
Stefano G.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Catching up on some reviews for books I read last year.

I really liked this book, I honestly thought it would be a pretty juvenile story. In many ways it is, due to the fact that the cast is made of young adults/teenagers mainly. Nevertheless, the tale is rather dark, mysterious and pretty fricking violent, which I would not say is exactly what a young-adult book should be like. Rezkin is a very interesting character and I don't mind that he is simply amazing at almost everything he does, at lea
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Rez is perfect and has no flaws and insanely gorgeous ... apparently. The female "leads" are all simple women with no depth/character and all they do is fawn over Rez. The females all annoyed me (catty, petty, whiny, fighting over man) ... stereotype much? Reaylin was decent bc she had a little attitude and could fight. But that's it.

It seemed very Tween oriented, but I don't think a tween would enjoy this. I was expecting way more, especially with the 4.5 star ratings. Not sure who was reviewi
Amanda Kern
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put it down

This review may contain spoilers.... imagine if you have a boy and you raise him. You teach him nothing but the basics of the world and how to survive. Then you throw him out into with no real purpose but the rules and skills he has been taught. Then you have this book..... I will be reading the next one.
Flying Monkey
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Entertaining book. Why only 3 stars?

1. Rezkin is a little too perfect.
2. Rezkin is too naive and too all knowing.
3. Every girl falls head over heels for him.

But still an enjoyable book even with these big negatives.
Ian Wickes
May 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
I tried, I really did. Initially the book was quite engaging, telling the tale of an unnamed child growing up learning the "rules" and "skills", a constant theme throughout. Unfortunately, it does not continue in that vein.

The protagonist Rezkin (terrible name) is in more danger in the opening paragraphs than at any other time in the book. The author has created a character that is a fantasy superman: all-knowing, utterly unbeatable in combat, indescribably handsome, possessed of a feline grace
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I picked this up because the narrator, Nick Podehl, is one of my favorite audiobook performers. I had heard about this book a long time ago, it’s a well-recognized title on r/fantasy so I decided to give it a go without looking at a blurb or any friend reviews.

I got a mixed bag. There were aspects I enjoyed and others that eventually turned me off. This was a DNF, unfortunately. I think the main reason would be the overpowered MC who intimidates everyone into submission and/or kills them with su
Jul 19, 2020 added it
Shelves: fantasy, set-aside
No rating for this one since I didn’t finish it. I set it aside after about 25%.

The book started off pretty decent. Mysterious delivery of an infant to a feared fortress. Some cool sounding training. Then it got……different. The whole thing started to feel very juvenile. Rezkin, our main character, seems more like a superhero than a real character. Killing multiple sword masters at once and barely taking a scratch? No problem. Killing most of a criminal guild and making it his own? Took about an
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, action, growingup
Pleasant find

Stumbled upon this book. Didn't really know what to expect but it hit me straight away and i couldn't put it down. Looking forward to the next one!
*RE-READ December 2019: Re-read this whole series and really enjoyed it once again.

Really enjoyed this one! Full video review:
Brad Harris
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. One of my favorites of the genre
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is odd. The protagonist is an OP utterly badass master manipulator, who has all the combat skills, all the information, all the abilites. Also he is extremely noble, the complete gentleman, totally irreproachable in terms of character. Also, very conveniently he lacks knowledge of basic modes of social interaction, though far from hindering him, it makes him more attractive. The ladies swoon over him, the men admire him, entire institutions bow to him.... basically he is the ultimate O ...more
Zurlo Enrico
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars actually. Yeah....sometimes it was funny but all the misleading conversations and facts became too much after a while.
Also Rez is really too much...there must be a good reason for him being so good because from what we got in this book is not enough to explain his talents.
Jorid Sørli
Jan 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, fantasy
Well... I was entertained that's for sure. Is it great writing? No, but it is a lot of fun! ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
The blurb got my interest but once I started reading the book.....I dozed off.
The story sounded interesting and despite my heavy lids and constant drool I continued that was until
I can no longer tolerate the passive storytelling and repetitive use of words anymore. I found myself skim and scan the whole book til the end and .... ummm nothing? Nope, definitely nothing. First thing that irk me right after 50 pages was how it doesn't make any sense that he learn about things about/in the outworld o
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: top-priority
A refreshingly new story from a new author... expertly told.

I keep saying uniqueness is the greatest quality any new series can have, and this book has certainly fulfilled that requirement in my opinion.

The story is quite unusual, and there are some new language systems, an unusual magic system that doesn't distract from the plot, and a steady pacing that makes it a quick read. The characters, despite not exhibiting any notable depth are nonetheless interesting. The main character is seemingly
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A good first person story about Rezkin (view spoiler) and his way into world of ordinary men. Rezkin has been trained from birth in Rules and Skills, which includes basically every thing you can imaging necessary to be a Master warrior/assassin/thief/healer or any more ordinary skills and he excels at everything. Except the final part of the training goes terribly wrong so when Rezkin finally learns of Rule 1 and 2. The writing is decent, the paci ...more
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
This is a sublimely enjoyable read. The plot and humor has exceeded my expectations. The idea of having a exquisitely combat-trained young man let loose upon the world with barely any idea of social mores is well executed in this book. I enjoyed the protagonist's antics, but I relished the reactions of the people around him even more. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dawn of Wonder (The Wakening, #1)
  • Nightblade (Nightblade #1)
  • Rise of the Ranger (The Echoes Saga, #1)
  • Battle Mage
  • Ascension (The Trysmoon Saga, #1)
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Arcane Ascension, #1)
  • Unsouled (Cradle, #1)
  • Duty (The Trysmoon Saga, #2)
  • Soulsmith (Cradle, #2)
  • Skysworn (Cradle, #4)
  • Ghostwater (Cradle, #5)
  • Blackflame (Cradle, #3)
  • Hunted (The Trysmoon Saga, #3)
  • A Sellsword's Compassion (The Seven Virtues #1)
  • The Choice of Magic (Art of the Adept, #1)
  • The Wind and the Void (Nightblade #3)
  • Uncrowned (Cradle, #7)
  • Sacrifice (The Trysmoon Saga, #4)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Kel Kade lives in Texas and occasionally serves as an adjunct college faculty member, inspiring young minds and introducing them to the fascinating and very real world of geosciences. Thanks to Kade’s enthusiastic readers and the success of the King’s Dark Tidings series, Kade is now able to create universes spanning space and time, develop criminal empires, plot the downfall of tyrannous rulers, ...more

Other books in the series

King's Dark Tidings (5 books)
  • Reign of Madness (King's Dark Tidings, #2)
  • Legends of Ahn (King's Dark Tidings, #3)
  • Kingdoms and Chaos (King's Dark Tidings, #4)
  • Untitled (King‘s Dark Tidings, #5)

News & Interviews

Summer is perfect for plenty of things: mojitos, sleeping with the window fan on, and sprawling out with a hot romance novel (in a heavily...
42 likes · 3 comments
“Good men want only the power to make things right. Great men seek to make things right and gather the power to do so. Great leaders find those who are worthy of wielding power and set them to the task of making things right.” 13 likes
“You see, someone in this kingdom has a very dangerous enemy, and I need to know who it is.” “Who? This someone or the enemy?” asked the general. “Oh, I know who the enemy is,” Rezkin replied. “Then, who is the enemy?” Marcum asked. “Me,” Rezkin stated.” 8 likes
More quotes…