I, LILY J, ALSO KNOWN AS GWEN C, HEREBY VOW TO READ A NEW BOOK EVERY WEEK UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR, AND THEN TO REVIEW EACH BOOK ON THIS BLOG. SHOULD I FAIL TO DO SO, I CHARGE THE READERS OF THIS TEXT TO SEE THAT I RECEIVE JUST PUNISHMENT, BE THAT BY DEPRIVATION OF CHOCOLATE, HAVING TO WRITE A SHORT STORY ABOUT ZOMBIES, OR ANOTHER SUCH PUNISHMENT, AS THE READER SEES FIT, WITHIN REASON. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.
Okay, now that's over.
I just finished the last book in the Blood of Kings trilogy (or as I call them, the Preposition Darkness Verb books) by Jill Williamson. Oh. My. Gosh. I loved these books. They get six out of five stars.
Back Cover Blurb for By Darkness Hid (book 1) from Ms. Williamson's website:
Half of Er’Rets is locked beneath an impenetrable shroud. On the side
that still sees the sun, two young people struggle to understand the
mind-communication abilities thrust upon them. It’s called bloodvoicing.
Some say it’s a gift. One of the newly “gifted” wish it had never come.
Achan has been a slave all his life. He is consigned to the kitchens
of a lord and forced to swallow a foul potion every day. When an
enigmatic knight offers to train Achan for the Kingsguard, he readily
accepts. But his new skills with the sword do not prepare him for the
battle raging between the voices in his head.
Vrell Sparrow is not who she seems. She masquerades as a boy to avoid
capture by the powerful forces that seek to exploit her. But Vrell
feels called to help a young squire who recently discovered his
bloodvoicing gift, even if doing so requires her to work with those who
could destroy her.
While Achan learns to use his new ability, Vrell struggles to shut
hers down. All the voices strive to learn Achan and Vrell’s true
identities—and a different kind of voice is calling them both.
I won't go too far past that, 'cause there's a really big spoiler at the end of this book that I don't want to reveal. The two things I will say are that Vrell and Achan wind up going on a quest together, all the while he thinking she's a boy, and that most of the key characters practiced a fantasy form of Christianity, which plays a huge part in the story, especially in Achan's character development.
These books had it all. Okay, they didn't have dragons, but they had epic battles, deceit, great plot twists, complicated love polygons (yes, I like those), the characters were all delightfully flawed, and there was some good humor. Vrell and Achan's banter back and forth was hilarious.
Cleanliness wise, these were pretty good. There was no swearing, though there were some insinuations made to "advanced snogging", as one blogger put it. Mentions of men having mistresses, and the like.
After finishing the last book, instead of feeling that sadness that the story had ended, I felt giddy, 'cause the end was so good. I don't know what that says about the book, but I thought I'd mention it.
Well, I think that's all I have to say, coherently and without giving out more spoilers anyway. Hopefully I'll be better at reviews by the end of the year.
Next on my reading list is Born To Rule: a Camp Princess novel by Kathryn Lasky. It's one my sister bought at our library's book sale, and she begged me to read it. So, that's next. I'll have a review next week.