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Darkness Reigns (The Kinsman Chronicles): Part 1 Kindle Edition
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- File size : 3310 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 160 pages
- Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (December 1, 2015)
- ASIN : B013EW2SV4
- Publication date : December 1, 2015
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #10,899 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This title, unlike her previous novels, is not a YA title. While the content is still basically clean overall, many of the POV characters are older and the themes are darker.
Williamson’s newest epic fantasy does not disappoint. The settings are descriptive, the plot clips along at a good pace, and the four individual Point-of-View character voices are racially and culturally diverse, unique, and interesting. Because of the large cast typical in an epic fantasy, it takes some time to sort out who’s who, especially when switching POVs, but the inclusion of a Key Players list at the front of the book was a helpful tool to refer back to when needed.
Darkness truly is reigning in the Five Realms at the start of this tale, and this first part of the larger story does a great job of setting the scene and transporting the reader into the middle of established societies that feel like they have existed for centuries. The four POV characters are well-developed, and even in a short space, I feel like we learn enough about them all to care about their stories and want to know how they will continue to weave together.
Downsides (minor, in my opinion): This being Part One of a three-part story means that it feels a little short considering the scope of the story, and it leaves the reader wanting the next part to start immediately (though I think that’s also a positive).
The darker side: the story also deals with human sacrifice practices in two different cultures, mysticism involving black spirits, and a culture involving polygamy and concubines, much like what we see in the Old Testament, so if those things bother you, just be aware that they are present. Sexual content is limited to a few kisses, one scene where a side character forces himself on a woman but is interrupted, and veiled innuendo/talk without depicting anything in detail.
*I received an advance copy of this book, but my opinions are wholly my own.
This is a hard review to write.
First of all, I'll begin by saying it's a really cool idea to try breaking up a book into parts and releasing them separately. It's a unique way to try to help the poor fangirls dying of impatience waiting a year between books.
But I sadly found that I don't particularly care for reading a whole "book" of just setup.
Don't get me wrong, plenty of stuff happened in this part. And I was forewarned that this story starts off dark. But unfortunately, that seemed to mean that the whole first part, almost, is dark. And then ending with it...still being dark was kind of depressing. This is the main reason I think it would've better been left with the other parts, because a sort of ending without hope is not so great.
I am quite interested, though, in how the story will continue. I loved Trevn and Mielle's parts, and I like Wilek for the most part, but Charlon's parts just...weirded me out a bit much for my liking. However, I will note that her last scene/chapter took an intriguing turn and I'm really curious to see how it turns out.
Apparently this is set in the same world as the Blood of Kings trilogy, but to be honest, it didn't feel like that at all. The whole "vibe" I got from it was, well...African tribes in the 1800s. Now, that is definitely something I haven't read fictionalized before, so it was interesting, but again, it was dark. A lot of mysticism and spirits and such.
To sum things up, take my review with the "grain of salt" that this is indeed just the setup. There's a lot more to happen in this story, and therefore a lot more chance for me to love it to pieces. I just found that I don't care for having my dark setup ended as...still a dark setup.
Content warning (no spoilers):
- "Dark" refers mainly to the worship of many gods, which includes human sacrifices shown once or twice and mentioned throughout the story, as well as some mentions/instances of magic and some sort of spirit worship in Charlon's POV.
- Sexual content is alluded to rather frequently, mostly dealing with the king's and princes' concubines. Nothing more than kissing (and then only three separate instances, if I remember correctly) is shown.
- As far as violence, a woman is found dead (understood that she was murdered), Wilek's first scene is a human sacrificed to a god, Wilek discovers one of his men kissing a maid against her will, and Charlon's first scene involves a hunt of humans by humans. Some mentions of slave trade as well.
I feel it's important to mention that none of this darkness is condoned by any of the POV characters except in the case of Charlon, who is a participant in the spiritism or whatever it is (which is why I wasn't fond of her chapters).
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Top reviews from other countries
However, be warned, I did find the huge range of characters quite daunting at first. The last time I had to refer to a character list so much while reading, I had dipped into Tolkien's Silmarillion. However, if you persevere, the relationships between the characters will become much clearer. I have already purchased part two and look forward to the remainder of this fabulous series.
However, once the plot finally started to kick in, it did become quite interesting but then it finished somewhat abruptly which left me disappointed. Setting up the "universe" where this story is set took much longer than it should have, be it due to unnecessary details, ineffective writing style, whatever, the fact remains that a large bulk of the start of this book could have been sacrificed to allow the story to develop further before the book ended.
I will continue on to book 2 purely to satisfy my own curiosity and understand where this universe is headed. It is certainly not one of the best fantasy books around, be prepared to invest a lot of time into something that doesn't ultimately pay off, but eventually picks up.
The authors writing is good, but the whole book seems to be the initial stages of a world building device. There is very little in the way of plot, the characters don’t develop at all and the various religions of the universe, which I assume will be key to the over all plot, are only somewhat explained.