Review: By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson

By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson

By Darkness Hid
Jill Williamson
Marcher Lord Press
Published April 1, 2009

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About By Darkness Hid

Achan has known nothing but the life of a stray, lower even than that of a slave. When a mysterious knight, rumored to have once been a stray himself, makes an offer to Achan to train him as his squire, despite laws that should prevent it, Achan finds himself trapped between two lives. In this midst of this, a strange gift seems to wake inside him. But isn’t bloodvoicing just a myth?

When an evil prince seeks her hand in marriage, Vrell hides behind the orange tunic of a stray and masquerades as a boy to conceal her identity. At the same time, her own newly discovered gift brings her to the attention of those in power despite her disguise. As they seek to exploit her gift, they draw dangerously close to uncovering her secret. As the prince’s coronation approaches, Achan and Vrell’s troubles only increase. Will Achan’s gift uncover his true identity? Can Vrell quell her gift to protect hers?

My Review

BY DARKNESS HID, the first novel in Jill Williamson’s Blood of Kings trilogy, is fast-paced, intriguing, and full of clever characters. I loved both Achan and Vrell (though their names are a little tough to say) and the story world contains some really different elements. I’m always a sucker for political intrigue, and By Darkness Hid had a little bit of that happening, too, which kept me guessing. This is one of those books you need to own two copies of: one for yourself and one to lend out to others. Great summer read!

Content Notes for By Darkness Hid

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
Er’Rets is a kingdom half in darknes. The people worship many gods, but some believe there is one god, Arman, the creator, above all others.

Some battle scenes, but gore is minimal.

Drug Content


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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

2 Responses to Review: By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson

  1. KIM says:

    HELP!!! I’m trying to find appropriate books for my 15 year old girl and 17 year old boy to read. I am a slow reader. Thank God they are patient kids. I prefer books with no sexual content. They brought home “The Kill Order” by James Dashner. Read your review and decided no thanks. We are a christian family but the books don’t have to be Christian….just platonic and quality. No dark magic like Harry Potter. We are more on the line of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, etc. I would like some book choices. I am new to your site and am not sure how to find books without knowing the title. I’m hoping you can give me some author names or some titles to look at…something. I don’t mind reading books before them but lately the junk they have brought home is not worth my time or theirs.

    I know you are busy and I appreciate your time. Thank you.


    • Hi Kim! I’m working on a list for you right now which I hope to post next week. But for now, here are some ideas… Your daughter might enjoy the Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. It has some light romance– in the first book, the princess marries a Jesus-like character– but there’s no sexual content. The fifth book is a little bit dark as the title character– The Dragon Witch– is the story’s villain. There’s some light-vs-dark magic elements, but I think, much like Tolkien and Lewis, Stengl keeps the story very clearly connected to Christian beliefs about those things. If your kids are fans of sci-fi, they might enjoy Kathy Tyers, too. You might want to try Mercy’s Prince by Katy Huth Jones, Word Changers by Ashlee Willis or Through the Balustrade by M B Dahl as well.

      I’ll try to put together a better list for you and offer some tips on how to navigate the site looking for clean books in a post next week. Thanks for your comment.