Review | Knights, Kings, and Betrayal

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Synopsis:

The King was dead.

His body was found slain in his room, only months after his son had been brutally murdered. Skylar Mandolyn, his daughter, has now become the last heir to inherit the throne. But instead of becoming Queen, she has been imprisoned for helping in the escape of Sir Harlin Brien, her knight who was framed for the King’s murder.

Confined to darkness, Skylar’s captors have given her no choice but to yield to a new kind of enemy: a kingdom that has advanced in both technology and warfare. It’s when she refuses that the prison uses its other means of persuasion, and although unmerciful, the whip lashings and isolation can’t suppress the memories of her family’s downfall. Pulled between her subconscious and reality, Skylar already knows who the true enemy is, because even the darkness can’t hide the deceptive hands that have destroyed them all.

With two kingdoms on the brink of war, Skylar’s only hope is in the person who has gone missing — Harlin, the knight who was sworn to protect her. The memory of him surrounds her when the darkness screams louder than the prisoners, and when Death smiles a faceless grin in between the cracks of the stone. While the tremors start to rise from the deep, crawling up through the prison’s walls, Skylar doesn’t realize that she will soon see why he’s one of the Benighted.

The mystery was never how Harlin escaped. It’s how he’ll return.”

My Review:

If I’m being totally truthful (and I am), I would say that I started off by being impressed and then it kind of leveled off. The Benighted still received a 4/5, so, as you can see, it clearly wasn’t too awful though.

I liked Skylar. She was resilient, clever, humorous, a strong leader, and even though I can’t relate to her particular issues, I felt as if I knew her personally. Skylar didn’t really undergo character development, at least not in the normal, “selfish to generous” obvious kind of way. Rather, her experience throughout the book most definitely developed her in some way that readers will probably realize in the next book.

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By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings series) by Jill Williamson

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Review: 5/5

Synopsis:

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 prince to a council presentation, their convoy is attacked. Achan is wounded and arrested, but escapes from prison–only to discover a secret about himself he never believed possible.

My Review:

While the cover of the book isn’t exactly exquisite, By Darkness Hid was a well written adventure in a new world.

The whole story was told in omnipotent third person as the story switched between Achan and Vrell, the two main characters, which was a wise choice on Williamson’s part. The point of view helps to move the plot along without unnecessary dialogue or scenes, since now the reader can see inside the two different characters’ heads. It’s going to be a little hard to write a good amount about Vrell and Achan since I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but we will see how it goes.

Achan Cham’s life broke my heart more than once. Each time it seemed that he could finally stand on top of the world, the earth would flip and he would be back on the bottom again. He was sweet, witty, strong in both mind and body, caring, hopeful, down to earth, and an amazing character. I loved that he had such a humble personality, but wasn’t afraid to talk back to people who were out of line, even if they were authority. He was an admirable man who did his best to handle the abuse that was thrown at him.

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