Hello there, fellow digressors. I return to you after months of being on the run after, unfortunately, faking my death. I would tell you why that was necessary were it not for the fact that telling you as much would mean I would have to kill you.
Wait... Maybe that was just a dream I had after falling asleep trying to explain why I was gone for so long. Well, either way, I'm sure the government will be swooping down on me soon, either to change my identity or to arrest me for my serial-killer-esque search history.
Anyways, I have big news for all of you who are familiar with the works of my favorite author, Jill Williamson, and particularly her 'Blood of Kings' trilogy, of which I reviewed the first book here.
On December 1st, Bethany House Publishers will release 'Darkness Reigns', the first installment in a NEW FANTASY SERIES from Jill. That's right -- there are more Jill books on the way! 'Darkness Reigns' is a free eBook, and makes up the first third of 'King's Folly', the first book in 'The Kinsman Chronicles'. There will be three eBooks, and then the paperback of 'King's Folly' will be released in April of 2016. You can preorder 'Darkness Reigns' for FREE here and read it as soon as it hits the market!
But first, let me clarify -- 'Blood of Kings' was written for teens (and it was beautiful). 'The Kinsman Chronicles' is written for adults, and thus the content is somewhat more mature. I've been reading an ARC of 'Darkness Reigns', and let me say that while it is an excellent book and well worth reading so far (I'll post a full review when I finish it), it is very different from the related 'Blood of Kings' trilogy, largely due to the fact that it takes place hundreds of years beforehand, in a darker time when Achan's ancestors lived in a different land and lived less than godly lifestyles. The culture of the realms which the characters occupy is entrenched in idol-worship, and the king who rules over Armania in particular (where most of the main characters reside) is a corrupt man, and his corruption is reflected in the debauchery of the court and society at large. Parallels can be drawn between the rule of the Armanian king and the rule of the kings of Israel when the people forgot Jehovah and strayed to worship false gods. There are things such as human sacrifice, women calling upon dark spirits to gain power, and the presence of concubines and multiple wives taken by the king and various nobles. As such, caution should be exercised when considering the series as reading material for, say, young teens or anyone who does not appreciate a measure of darkness (restrained, of course) to provide contrast to the light in their fiction.
Now, that being said, where there is great darkness, there is great capacity for the light to shine through and to shine all the clearer. After all, many a testimony has been given by a person who lived their own life in such darkness and found the light when they came to Christ, and I myself believe that these testimonies would not hold such power were it not for how much they did and went through, and consequently how much change God wrought in their lives. (Hey, I had a demon-possessed character in my first book and he tried to kill people. If that's not dark, what is?) And Jill, being a responsible author, handles the darkness in such a way that, while it is uncomfortable witnessing such a corrupt society, gore is kept to a minimum and the inappropriate relations which do occur happen behind closed doors rather than being flaunted for the reader to witness. Hence, Jill's careful handling makes what is admittedly a different read from her other books still very much worth the reader's precious time. The characters are multi-dimensional as ever and their stories are riveting. I can only imagine how powerful the transition will be when the characters (I don't know which ones yet) find Arman and allow Him to transform their lives. I, for one, am excited to see it happen.
Oops. Did I just post a full review of the book before actually getting to the end of it? Well, I guess I am rather far into it. Still, I will update the review when the time comes and, hopefully, have more to add than I've already given.
At some point, I will endeavour to sketch portraits of the many lovely characters residing in the book, though I might have a little diffculty doing justice to their faces. (Incidentally, if anyone has any advice on how to sketch darker skintones without making them look splotchy, I would not say nay to such assistance.)
All right, now to the goodies (virtual though they may be). Jill has, at the link below, posted a chart of the five realms in 'King's Folly' and written summaries of them. I definitely recommend checking out the list to start getting into the mood for when the first installment comes out in FOUR DAYS.
Speaking of which, I do happen to have these lovely graphics, created by Jill for just such an occasion (although technically the first one was supposed to be for yesterday)...
OH. That's right -- there's also going to be a Facebook party to celebrate the book launch, and you are all invited to attend. (I will post details about that as well when I post my review of 'Darkness Reigns'.)
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to finish reading this awesome book I've been going through, and also trying to finish the first draft of 'The Sehret Chronicles: The Rescuer'. Yes, you heard me correctly -- the end is in sight! I've just hit page 225 in the manuscript, and I'm already working on figuring out how to end this thing. (My writing process is complicated, but suffice to say, I'm making up nearly everything as I go along at this point, and it's resulting in quite a lot of plot twists. Anyone particularly attached to my characters and concerned for their wellbeing should probably be afraid of this stage of my process.)
So what have you all been up to lately? Read any good books? Besides 'Darkness Reigns', I recently read 'Unwind' by Neal Shusterman. It's a dystopian novel, the first in a series, and while the premise may seem a little disturbing (basically, the pro-life and pro-choice people went to war and ended up making peace under certain conditions which allowed for teenagers to be "unwound" at their parents' orders), it's a really compelling story and worth the time to read. I've actually moved on to the second book, and the trend of haunting awesomeness has so far continued. It's nice having the brainpower to read books again, after a long period of being too foggy or distractible. Maybe that's why I've only recently gotten into the groove of writing again, since reading fuels my passion for writing.
But, as ever, I digress.