Customer Reviews for

To Darkness Fled

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Terrific Fantasy--I couldn't put it down!

I'd read By Darkness Hid, and enjoyed it immensely, so I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read the sequel.

To Darkness Fled didn't disappoint. I wasn't able to put it down. If it hadn't been a PDF file, I would've been flipping the pages; as it was, I kept...
I'd read By Darkness Hid, and enjoyed it immensely, so I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read the sequel.

To Darkness Fled didn't disappoint. I wasn't able to put it down. If it hadn't been a PDF file, I would've been flipping the pages; as it was, I kept hitting the arrow key to find out what would happen next!

The main players: Vrell Sparrow (aka Lady Averella Amal); Achan Cham (aka Prince Gidon Hadar); and evil Prince Esek (formerly, falsely known as Prince Gidon Hadar).The story picks up where By Darkness Hid left off, with Achan Cham and Vrell Sparrow in a boat rowing through the Darkness with several men who've pledged Achan their service: Sir Gavin, Sir Caleb, and Inko. The Darkness is both mist and lack of light; it's disorienting and dangerous; it seeks to creep into their souls and take them captive. It can only be fought by staying close together and speaking among themselves.

There are also dangerous creatures in the Darkness: ebens , gowzals , and cham-bears - huge, fierce beasts that breathe fire. Achan Cham got his Stray surname from the cham-bears.

Worse than the dangerous creatures are the dangerous people, like the Sakin Magos (Black Knights) they encounter, all of whom have some reason to either enslave or enthrall Achan, or torture and kill him. In a few places, they also meet people who believe Achan is their true ruler, chosen by Arman (their name for God). These people greet them in peace, and help them, giving sacrificially to them.

Travelling in the Darkness takes its toll. The Darkness is both an absence of light and a mist that obscures the vision. It creeps into the brains of the weak-willed and drives them crazy. With stronger souls who are focused on their purpose or distracted by activity, the Darkness cannot invade their minds and spirits, or take control, but it lurks about the edges of their consciousness and if they should become lost in their own thoughts and cease other interaction, the Darkness will invade and seek to take them over.

Vrell and Achan learn that the Darkness is growing; that only the true king anointed of Arman can drive the Darkness back by teaching his people to put away their false beliefs and wrong practices in favor of worshipping Arman and doing what He says is right instead.

Some of the things that I really liked about To Darkness Fled:

Personalities. The main characters are quite well-developed. Their personalities are unique and memorable. I liked it that Achan would think or mutter "Pig snout!" as an expression of disgust every time something bad happened. This reminded me of where he began; taking care of the livestock as a humble Stray.

I liked that Vrell struggled with maintaining her disguise, and wrestled with her feelings for Achan even as she fussed over him like a mother hen about his battle injuries. I also liked how the author dealt with a girl's reasonable objections to certain aspects of masquerade as a boy.

I still have trouble with the whole concept of bloodvoicing, though in this book the concept seemed more natural and reasonable than in the first of this series.

I highly recommend To Darkness Fled for ages 13 and up. This is an excellent Y.A. book, but it's also a good read for those of us who are older, with a great deal of spiritual food for thought.

posted by Krystine_Kercher on November 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Great ideas. . .yet disappointing

I really wanted to love this book, but the problems I saw in book one, especially with Vrell's character, did not resolve in book two. In fact, by the end of the book I had lost all patience with her. And while Achan is very young and a reader can't expect him to think ...
I really wanted to love this book, but the problems I saw in book one, especially with Vrell's character, did not resolve in book two. In fact, by the end of the book I had lost all patience with her. And while Achan is very young and a reader can't expect him to think and behave like a mature man, I did not find him particularly appealing at his best.
I had no trouble putting this book down. The plot was episodic and tended to drag, and I found the heavy-handed allegorical message disappointing as well. However--I did keep picking it up again after a day or two away, so the author obviously did pique my interest with her tale.
Jill Williamson has a vivid imagination and her story offers flashes of brilliance. It felt to me like a lot of bright and original ideas stuffed into a flat formula, producing a somewhat hodge-podge result. I hope for better things from book three of this series.

posted by nutsforgoodbooks on October 12, 2010

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    Great ideas. . .yet disappointing

    I really wanted to love this book, but the problems I saw in book one, especially with Vrell's character, did not resolve in book two. In fact, by the end of the book I had lost all patience with her. And while Achan is very young and a reader can't expect him to think and behave like a mature man, I did not find him particularly appealing at his best.
    I had no trouble putting this book down. The plot was episodic and tended to drag, and I found the heavy-handed allegorical message disappointing as well. However--I did keep picking it up again after a day or two away, so the author obviously did pique my interest with her tale.
    Jill Williamson has a vivid imagination and her story offers flashes of brilliance. It felt to me like a lot of bright and original ideas stuffed into a flat formula, producing a somewhat hodge-podge result. I hope for better things from book three of this series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    In this second installment of The Blood of Kings trilogy, our he

    In this second installment of The Blood of Kings trilogy, our heroes Achan and Vrell gather an army with the help of the Old Kingsguard Knights. The romantic tension between Achan and Vrell intensifies. I didn’t feel that this book was as good as the first. The religious message got a bit heavy-handed, and the plot barely moved forward at all. Sure, progress was made, but it was progress that was outlined by Sir Gavin as their “future plans” in the end of the first book. There were only two small plot-thickening events. On the other hand, there was much character development, and the reader becomes very familiar with the setting (i.e. which cities are where, who’s in charge of them, who’s on our side). I was also a little irked by the cliffhanger ending. I’m not a big fan of cliffhangers—I lose my patience with them quickly, especially if the entire series hasn’t been published. Luckily, this series has been published so I was able to start the third (and last) book with only a few grumblings about people-who-don’t-know-how-to-end-a-book. Despite these shortcomings, I think the story is very good, and the characters are well developed for a young adult novel. I think it may have worked out better had Williamson shortened the trilogy into ONE book, and edited out a lot of stuff. I realize editing is hard, but there’s really only enough plot for one book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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