Published: December 28, 2015
Publisher: Kel Kade (ebook) Podium (Audio)
Pages: 483 (eBook)
My Rating: 5.0/5.0
Raised and trained in complete seclusion at a secret fortress on the edge of the northern wilds of the Kingdom of Ashai, a young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows. With no understanding of his life’s purpose and armed with masterful weapons mysteriously bequeathed to him by a dead king, the young warrior relentlessly pursues his only lead. A single elite warrior escaped during the battle and may have knowledge of who Rezkin is and who is responsible for the slaughter at the young man’s home.
Rezkin must travel across Ashai to find the one man who may hold the clues to his very existence. His last orders, spoken on the lips of his dying Master, were to “Kill with conscience” and “Protect and honor your friends.” Living in isolation from the outworld under a strict regimen of training and education, the young warrior has no understanding of a conscience or friends. Determined to adhere to his last orders, Rezkin extends his protection to an unlikely assortment of individuals he meets along the way, often leading to humorous and poignant incidents.
As if pursuing an elite warrior across a kingdom, figuring out who he is and why everyone he knows is dead, and attempting to find these so-called friends and protect them is not enough, strange things are happening in the kingdom. New dangers begin to arise that threaten not only Rezkin and his friends, but possibly everyone in Ashai.
Free the Darkness was consistently on my Recommended Reads section on Audible and after much debate and review I decided to give it a shot. I was hoping for something entertaining at the very least, but what I got was far beyond simple mediocre entertainment. Fellow readers, you’ve GOT to check out this book because it far exceeded my expectations and completely explained all those rave reviews.
The main character, Rezkin, has been trained from infancy to master all the skills necessary to make him the most formidable man in the kingdom of Ashai, possibly the world. When he leaves the only home he’s every known in search of his last living instructor, Rezkin has no knowledge of what his new purpose in life is. That is, until he meets Frisha and Tam, two travelers on their way to the city of Kaibain, where Frisha will be looking for a suitor. Rezkin immediately bonds with the pair and then the real adventures begin. Everything from banditry to usurpation of the thieves’ guilds occurs. This is without a doubt one of the most exciting and gripping books I’ve read this year and I’ll be reading any book that Kel Kade releases in the future.
Each character had a distinct personality, with lots of emotions. Frisha was vibrant, somewhat naïve, and utterly smitten with Rezkin and even though it was insta-love on her part, it wasn’t awful. I totally ship Frisha and Rezkin (Frishkin? Sounds like cat food.).Tam, also naïve, but more suspicious was brave and open. Free the Darkness is definitely character driven, with much, if not all, of the plot revolving around Rezkin and his actions. I found his interactions with Frisha, Tam, Jimson, and the other characters to be so incredibly fun to read about. I LOVE these characters and even though there were moments when I found them to be tremendously stupid or naïve, it was pretty much okay. I did find the repetition of RULE #1- protect and honor your friends, to be a little grating at times because repetition of stuff practically drives me up a wall.
Free the Darkness is SO SO SO COOL and after I finished it I purchased the sequel, Reign of Madness, which is equally awesome! I am stoked for the third installment to be released, which is tentatively scheduled for December 2016. I can’t get enough of this book series guys!! Rezkin is noble, but at the same time morally grey, which is a conundrum but it works. This book was like, pumping your fist in the air, cheering wildly kind of excitement. I am such a giddy book nerd right now! Check it out because I think that if you’re a fan of fantasy, you’ll love this. It’s free for those who are Kindle Unlimited subscribers and it’s available on Audible as well. Nick Podehl does a brilliant job of bringing the story to life and conveying such emotion and subtleties that you might miss just reading it, so I highly recommend the audio format.