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By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings, #1)
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By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings #1)

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,258 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
Given the chance to train as a squire, kitchen servant Achan Cham hopes to pull himself out of his pitiful life and become a Kingsguard Knight. When Achan's owner learns of his training, he forces Achan to spar with the Crown Prince--more of a death sentence than an honor. Meanwhile, strange voices in Achan's head cause him to fear he's going mad. While escorting the princ ...more
Paperback, 490 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Marcher Lord Pess
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Michelle Griep
Mar 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What I enjoyed most about Williamson’s style is her dialogue. Witty. Snappy. Humorous. The interaction between characters is entertaining and sometimes surprising. Williamson truly has a knack for clever conversation.
My favorite character is hero Achan Cham. Besides the fact that he’s handsome, this is one humble protagonist. He’s got his flaws all right, but he owns up to his shortcomings with a modest and sincere finesse. This is the kind of leading man every girl dreams of.
Williamson also
...more
Gabriela Paige
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Did I just really find a new Christian Fiction series that is amazing? Yes, yes I did. I actually read this book a few months ago but just now decided to do the review.

The kingdom of Er’rets is half covered in Darkness and the other half sees the sun. In a land full of ebens, poroo, and unique and terrifying creatures, there is the power of bloodvoicing. Some consider it a gift, one man thinks he’s gone crazy. Achan Cham is worse off than an orphan, he’s a stray. As a slave, he works in the kitc
...more
Elisabeth Wheatley
This. THIS is how you write Christian Epic Fantasy. I’ll be honest, I usually hate these sorts of books. Christian fantasy (and Christian literature in general) tend to be…what is the word? Preachy. Overbearing. It pains me to say and I wish it weren’t so, yet it’s true. But none of that here.

I think I added this to my “Dear Santa” list over a year ago because it looked like my kind of trouble. Over vacation, I was browsing through my Amazon wish list and saw that it was free for Kindle. Fearing
...more
Rachael Steele
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The second half is really exciting, but I almost DNF.
Shantelle
By Darkness Hid . . . a brilliant novel by Jill Williamson . . . Why didn’t I dive into this epic fantasy world sooner?? :D

When I first started By Darkness Hid, it was interesting and all, but I was pretty deep in a reading slump and nothing much was really catching my interest. But, I forged on. And I’m so, so glad I did! This story soon mesmerized me, and now I sit here wishing I had the sequel! ;)

Achan and Vrell are our main characters. I quite adore Achan and his interesting personality; tho
...more
C.B. Cook
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a wonderful story! I can't wait to read the next book.
Amber Stokes
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An exciting and intriguing beginning to the "Blood of Kings" trilogy, By Darkness Hid is a fabulous fantasy novel! An imaginative world, dastardly villains, and plenty of plot twists abound in this book that has a lot to offer fantasy fans of either gender.

Achan is a boy on the verge of manhood - and on the verge of an epic adventure. It would be a dream come true for him to find a life beyond kitchen duty at the palace. But when he discovers he has a powerful gift and a destiny that unfolds one
...more
Janna
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have heard a lot about this new publisher of Speculative/Fantasy Christian books called Marcher Lord Press and I've been very interested in the books they have published so far but haven't gotten one to read until now. Hold onto your hats fans of Christian Spec/Fantasy - Marcher Lord Press may be the best thing that has ever happened to us (the fans) and it all starts with "By Darkness Hid" by Jill Williamson!
Kings, politics, orphans (called strays), knights, squires, bloodvoicing (mind readin
...more
Rebeka
By Darkness Hid is the first in the "Blood of Kings" trilogy by Jill Williamson. It is told in dual points of view, chronicling the adventures of Achan Cham, a lowly Stray who dreams of a better life, and Vrell Sparrow, a young noblewoman fleeing from a disastrous match with a despicable prince. Their stories intertwine in very interesting ways throughout the course of the novel.

It is very difficult to find Christian fantasy that has it all: faith, adventure, a dash of mystery and romance. The f
...more
D.M. Dutcher
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, christian
Slow start and meh finish, but a really nice middle make for a good Christian fantasy, if unambitious.

Achan is a orphaned stray, who exists in a castle as little more than a serf. One day he does something to get a knight's eye on him, and his hidden past unravels. Meanwhile, a princess hiding from an arranged marriage by acting like a stray boy gets shanghaied into a plot of her own.

It starts off slow, with some abrupt point of view changes that aren't handled well and are confusing. One minute
...more
Lauren
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
First, I want to mention how amazing it was to have won an autographed copy of this book from the great people here at Goodreads. Thanks Ms. Williamson - you ROCK!

Second, I would like to recommend this delightful fantasy. It was a fast, fun and exciting read. The story is told in third person alternating between our two unlikely heroes, Vrell and Achan. The world that Ms. Williamson creates is vivid and detailed. Moreover, I love the fact that she describes each character fully. Vrell was by far
...more
Leah Good
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Young Achan Cham’s life is worse than that of a slaves. As a stray, he’s the lowest of the low, destined for a life of servitude and degradation. Despite his unpromising future, Achan’s a fighter. When a famous but enigmatic knight shows an interest in training Achan, the young man jumps for the opportunity. Maybe someday he can make something of himself after all. If the strange voices in his head don’t make him insane first.

I read this book early in 2013 and didn’t have any complaints when my
...more
Claire Banschbach
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book had been on my to-read list for a while and then I conveniently convinced by younger sister that she also wanted to read it. We both really enjoyed it.

It's got adventure, a little mystery, and a daring escape or two. I did get a little confused at some parts when the author would drop a new word or phrase as if expecting us to know what it meant and then not explain for a few pages. The female character Vrell grated on my nerves, although she did improve as the book went on. Those are
...more
Carman
Sep 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Bravo! I am floating on a cloud. By Darkness Hid is a book any fantasy reader will love. Filled with action, deceit, and bravery, you will not want to put it down. I’m giving 5 stars, and putting it on my favorites list, though, I wish there was a higher recommendation to bestow upon it. I am anxiously awaiting book 2.
Michelle
I don't normally like fantasy, but this story was incredibly well done and held my attention. In fact, it more than held it. It gripped me. I was entrenched in the characters' world. I could not stop reading this book because it was so edgy and exciting that I had to know more. Think Dragonspell, but even better!
Vernona E
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Jill Williamson has created a world of amazing details, unpredictable twists and turns, and characters that jump off the page and threaten to drink all your coffee. A must-read for fantasy lovers... and others.
Michael Wood
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is What Sword & Sorcery Fantasy Should Be!

Jill Williamson writes "Christian Speculative Fiction", but this book is also a premier example of good Sword & Sorcery Fantasy. This novel features several strong protagonists, one of which is an orphan boy serving as a kitchen helper in a medieval stronghold. Another is a young woman of noble birth, heir to a powerful Duchy. We don't find any sorcery, although the Royal family and their descent do have a power to communicate by some sort o
...more
Samuel Blake
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, christian
It was amazing. I loved the part where he finds out about himself. And the blood voice ability is pretty cool to have. I wish I had it.
Judy Rogers
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down. Although I was a tad frustrated here and there... wanted to shout at one character to look around. Eagerly grabbed the second book though! And by the way have read the whole series more than once. It's not often I re-read a book.

MC
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently on the web site Speculative Faith, there was a debate about the tone of fantasy and other “speculative” Christian fiction, and how “gritty” or “realistic” it should be. This debate can apply to secular speculative fiction, as well. It was basically the debate over whether something had to be “darker and edgier” to be real and true to life. I took up the argument that, sometimes, yes it did. I was wrong. I see that now after reading By Darkness Hid, the first book of The Blood of Kings s ...more
Lauren Grace
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young adult, Christans
I. Loved. This. Book. It was interesting and captivating. Disclaimer: this is christian-fantasy, but based off of Goodreads other reviews, non-religious readers enjoyed the series anyway. I personally reccomend it to all YA fantasy lovers. It was epic. 👌

There are two main characters, and we often switch between their POVs. The first character is Achan. For as long as he can remember, he has been serving in the kitchens for the royal family. As a stray, he has almost no friends, no family, no mo
...more
Jeanette
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-library
I just finished reading By Darkness Hid (Book I of Blood of Kings) by Jill Williamson. What can I say but "Bravo!" to an author who has published her first novel? Williamson has done a masterful job of bringing the characters to life and drawing the reader in to care deeply about each of them. I long to re-enter the world of Er'Rets while I wait for the sequel to be published. Is the second book finished yet, Jill?

The first character we meet is Achan Cham, a stray or an orphan with no remaining
...more
Karen Deblieck
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a Writer... Williamson has a wonderful and unique style of writing that is very beautiful. I enjoyed the original descriptions and pictures that she painted with words. She also has a wealth of knowledge about castles and medieval weaponry that comes out in her writing. Sometimes I found the story line got weighed down by the in depth descriptions-I admit to some skimming to see what happens next. Both Achan and Vrell were believably portrayed. It was a wonderful and enjoyable read - I would ...more
Doug Winenger
Jan 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've been in a 'drought' for good fantasy story for a while. After doing some looking around on Amazon and Goodreads, I came across By Darkness Hid. The plot intrigued me so I ordered the Kindle version of the book about a week ago.

The reading level is fairly easy for an adult as this book is geared a little more toward the young adult crowd. However, the story is compelling and fun. The characters are easy to relate to and the pace of the book draws you in until the very end...which comes abrup
...more
D.M. Webb
By Darkness Hid, To Darkness Fled, From Darkness Won: The Blood of Kings by Jill Williamson
Published by Marcher Lord Press- 2009, 2010, 2011

Jill Williamson may sit beside the authors Tad Williams with his Sword of Sorrow series and George R.R. Martin with his Game of Thrones series. She succeeds them with her Blood of Kings trilogy.

Follow the whirlwind journey of Achan, a young man whose status is lower than a slave, who not only discovers that he is the long lost heir to the throne, but also th
...more
Denae Christine
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reader thoughts: Predictable for the most part. Yet there were complications I didn't foresee (Khai) and layers I didn't expect to surface (insulting Jaira, Nathak's real motivation). I do wish we had a better understanding of how the kingdom/world/duchies worked. There is a council of seven until the prince comes of age . . . and what else? I learned so much more about how everything worked only in the last tenth of the book.
The Creator, One God, aspect and discussions were neat. Arman has a pl
...more
Rebekah Rodda
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, christian
'By Darkness Hid' is a gripping fantasy read. It tells the story of the stray, Achan, who is considered the lowest of the low. He draws the attention of Sir Gavin, a knight, when he defends a young boy from being bullied and from thence his life changes, not always for the better. This is a pleasure to read as it is very well written. Achan is an underdog that refuses to be cowed and watching him handle very difficult circumstances with courage is what is most likeable about this book. I was les ...more
Jeneca
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was oh-so-very enjoyable. The first page or so I wasn't draw in, but after that? stuck. Sitna, the village that our main character Achan lives in, came to life! It's warm, plausible and just homey. All of it has such a lovely old-world feel. *sigh*

I admire Vrell and her endurance in her disguise, as well as her longing to have long hair again, no longer be treated as a slave, and return to her Bran.

I also think it a plot hole was very cleverly written up: If Vrell is disguised as a b
...more
Sue
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: youth, fantasy
I enjoyed this book quite a bit and like the characters alot. That being said, I really didn't like book 2 and haven't decided whether I will even bother to read book 3. The books left the entertaining realm of fantasy and became very, very pushy on religion and duty. I stopped even liking the characters at that point. This book isn't really a stand alone book, it is meant to be part one of a series. I would not recommend the entire series, so it is hard to support the first book, which I'd orig ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Blood Of King...: By Darkness Hid 57 22 May 26, 2017 12:01AM  
Christian Specula...: Christian Fantasy actually exists 18 47 Feb 24, 2014 11:21AM  
forgot 1 11 Nov 20, 2013 10:11PM  
What do you think??? 1 16 Nov 23, 2011 08:04PM  
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Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms and the award-winning author of several young adult books including By Darkness Hid, Replication, The New Recruit, and Captives. She got into writing one day when someone was complaining about teen books and she thought, “I could do that! How hard could it be?” Very, she soon learned. But she worked hard, and four years later, ...more
More about Jill Williamson...

Other Books in the Series

Blood of Kings (3 books)
  • To Darkness Fled (Blood of Kings, #2)
  • From Darkness Won (Blood of Kings, #3)