Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Review: From Darkness Won
Vrell has her own agenda of serving Prince Oren as a healer, but when she is stormed and lost to the Veil, Achan does all he can to bring her back. His conversations with her are strange, though, as if she has no memory of who he is.
In a land consumed by Darkness, the fate of Er’Rets hangs in the balance as Achan endeavors to take the throne and end the reign of Darkness. (From the back cover.)
This is it.
The end. Or, the end of the beginning. All of what happened before has been leading up to this—a final battle for the heart and for the land of Er'Rets.
As I began reading this book, (I was reading the print version, a whopping 661 pages) I couldn't help but wonder how things would turn out. How everything would work itself to a satisfying ending. It had been a long journey, and there was much ground left to cover, and a few strands of plot to tie up yet. I wondered, could this book measure up to the other two?
It certainly could.
From Darkness Won takes you on an adventure and if I would describe the word adventure, I would include in that definition a mention of this series. You don't read this book—you live it. The characters are real, in your imagination. Alive. I read this book and felt like everything that happened happened to me. Such is the power of Jill Williamson's writing. Adventure has become a common word, thrown around to describe various books. But when I say adventure, I mean this: a saga. An epic. A story so real you can touch the grass and fly into the Veil yourself. And From Darkness Won is undoubtedly an adventure.
In matters of plot, From Darkness Won excels. If you thought Williamson was done with the plot twists, you were sorely mistaken. The entire book is a wild ride (except for the ending, that is). From murders to storming to underground passages and battles; you will find such within these pages.
And rarely have I seen such characters. They practically live and breathe. They become beloved to the reader, three-dimensional men and women (and the odd kid) with their own faults and weaknesses. The point of view of the characters was excellently written as well. Each POV has an original voice.
As always, the dialogue in From Darkness Won is superb and realistic, and some of the dialogues between Vrell and Achan made me laugh.
The spiritual matters were well-done as well—the dangers and consequences of temptation, lying, and many others were addressed in this novel, as an integral part of the characters' development.
After the climax, the book had fifty pages or so that I nicknamed the Epilogue (though the real epilogue is only at the very end). It wrapped up loose ends and showed the scenes that the reader had been waiting for in the entire trilogy, which gave me some time to wind down and absorb what had just happened. It might have been a slightly boring section, had it not been for Vrell and Achan's constant banter, which had me smiling the entire way through.
There were a few cons, however. First, in the middle of the book, Vrell's name (in her POV) was changed to Averella, which rather annoyed me (though I could see it was necessary). I expected her POV to change back to 'Vrell' sometime in the book, but it never did. It made me feel as if I had lost the familiar Vrell I was accustomed to, replaced with a similar character with more refined mannerisms. Several other characters acted out of sorts with their personalities as well. However, other than this minor detail, the book was excellent.
All in all, From Darkness Won is a fantastic final installment to the Blood of Kings trilogy. Highly (and more so!) recommended to older ages. Rated 9.3 out of 10.