By Darkness Hid
by Jill Williamson
Genre: YA Christian Fantasy
Ages: 12 and up
Life as a stray is miserable. You are treated like a slave and despised by all. Achan Cham has spent his whole life being beaten and ordered about, until the day Sir Gavin arrives. Sir Gavin seems to see something in Achan that even Achan is not aware of, and begins to train him as a squire. Then Achan starts hearing voices in his head, and he learns that he has the magical ability to bloodvoice, to speak to and see people with his mind.
Vrell Sparrow has a secret. Disguised as a boy and a stray, she is desperate to hide her true identity lest she be sent to marry a man she loathes. When she is taken by men who think she is simply a boy who has the talent of bloodvoicing, she puts her faith in Arman to protect her.
I am always on the lookout for new Christian fantasy novels, but I am often disappointed by their stiffness. There was no such disappointment in By Darkness Hid. Their was faith without preachiness and Achan and Vrell had human flaws that make you empathize with them more than any exaggerated purity ever could. By Darkness Hid is a promising beginning to Jill Williamson's fantasy trilogy.
I gave this book to my little sister (now thirteen) and she read it very quickly, coming to me immediately for Book Two, To Darkness Fled (which I haven't even finished reading yet). So now I have to wait for her before I can read it...
I give this a 1.10 in profanity for the use of a completely inoffensive made-up oath that is used a few times throughout the novel.
There are some brief, mild innuendos and references for which I give this book a 1.10 in sexuality.
There are several scenes of violence in this novel, including bullying, fighting and multiple beatings, so I give it a 5.10.