To Darkness Fled
Marcher Lord Press
To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson is the second in the Blood of Kings trilogy. Picking up where By Darkness Hid left off this book follows Achan and Vrell along with their companions Sir Gavin, Inko and Caleb. Vrell is still disguised as a boy, but she finds it increasingly difficult to hide her secret from her friends. Achan struggles with the revelation that he is the true king of Er’Rets even as most of the other nobles actively support the usurper Esek.
The challenge of the second book of a trilogy is to find a way to keep the plot moving after all the main characters have been introduced and yet not bring it to the resolution that waits in the third book. What Jill Williamson has does with this challenge is to take us on a journey through Darkness. We not only get to see the Dark that rests over half of Er’Rets, but we see Achan struggle through the darkness in his own soul.
No true hero is simply good. Achan must figure out where he fits in this world that has shifted beneath his feet. He no longer knows who he is or what he really wants. The Darkness the company travels through is mirrored within Achan. We are introduced to more of knowledge of Arman in this book, yet the God doesn’t appear as a solution to the problems they face. Rather, for Achan, Arman is one more puzzle. The God speaks to him and tells him he is chosen, yet apparently is content to allow him to be beaten and tortured.
As in the first book the Christian content of the book is not allowed to overwhelm the story. It is a little more obvious in To Darkness Fled, but it is carefully crafted to fit with Achan’s own internal journey to discover what kind of man he is going to be.
This book is a well crafted follow up to By Darkness Hid, and a book that I can recommend to anyone who likes well written fantasy. I am looking forward to reading the newly released the third in the trilogy From Darkness Won.
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