Part 1 of Jill Williamson’s Epic Fantasy Series The Kinsman Chronicles
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 until Prince Wilek’s concubine turns up dead–beside her, a bloodied message that seems to have come from the mother realms.
Darkness Reigns is collected together with parts 2 and 3 in King’s Folly.
Jill Williamson is best known for her Blood of Kings trilogy, published a couple of years ago by the now extinct Marcher Lord Press (Now, Enclave Publishing). The Kinsman Chronicles, according to her, is an ancient prequel to her trilogy, which I haven’t read, but I guess it’s not necessary to do it in order to understand this one. Or at least that’s what I think, lol.
This series is labeled as epic fantasy, and believe me, there’s not better description; this is not your typical YA novel with a typical love triangle and a predictable plot. This is a story in the veins of The Lord of the Rings, or to compare it to a more contemporary, Game of Thrones (I haven’t read GoT, but GoT is compared to LOTR, don’t hate me).
In this first part, followed by The Heir War and The End of all Things, we get to know five different realms, but in this case we got a closer look to Armania. This kingdom is in the middle of a transition, a king transition, and in this first part we follow the lives of the possible heirs to the throne.
I got stuck in the first chapters, but as I kept reading, it was easier to follow the different PoV’sused throughout the book. Wee see the reality of this five realms through the eyes of at least four (maybe five) different eyes. But not only that, and that’s what makes The Kinsman Chronicles an awesome book, becase we get to know an overall story developing at the same time we get different personal stories running and making sense of everything. I don’t even know if it makes sense, does it?
I’m only naming those character which I liked and think are important to the story.
Wilek, is a prince, heir to the throne and the one character which is central to the story. He doesn’t follow the traditions of his father’s kingdom and questions everything that doesn’t make sense to him. He’s the hero of the story (or at least it seems to be) and thank God he’s not perfect which at times leads him to make bad choices and take wrong decisions.
Trevn, is the prince half-brother, and even tough we don’t see a lot of him in this first part, I feel he’ll be playing an important role in the future. His personality is well defined for a boy of his age, a little bit immature and curious about love. I guess we’ll learn a lot more about the different religions through him in the next installments, as he’s learning to be a priest.
Zeroah and Mielle are the two female characters that stand out from the rest. The first one being a possible bride to the heir, and the second one playing the role of her maiden. Both of them posses a noble character and seem to have the best intentions. Personally, Miellebecame a favorite, she has an outgoing kind of personality, the one that makes you want to know a person a little bit more each time (and I hope we’ll get to do it).
Darkness Reigns serves as an awesome introduction to this new series. If you’re looking for something exciting, mysterious and intelligent for your next read, look no further and grab your copy today. The kindle version is being offered for free.
I received an eARC from the author in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.