Recap: Free the Darkness by Kel Kade

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*This recap is made from listening to the audiobook. Names and places may be misspelled.


  • Rezkin is growing up, learning to sneak around and fight. He doesn’t understand the concept of “play”.
  • On his final day of training, the masters call him to the main yard and put him in the middle of the 14 strikers who had trained him. He is then given the order to kill all the strikers, and a large battle rages as the strikers then must fight for their lives.
  • The masters give Rezkin his final 2 rules. Rule 2: Kill with conscience. Rule 1: Protect and honor your friends. [Note: From how it is written, and the master who gives the rules is dying, we can guess these rules are not as they are truly supposed to be.]
  • Rezkin realizes one of the strikers, Farson, has escaped with his life. Unsure of how to proceed, he gathers some supplies then heads out to look for Farson.
  • In a nearby town, Rezkin is eating in the common room of an Inn. A woman asks to sit with him as many of the seats and tables are full. The woman introduces herself as Frisha. Later in the conversation she starts telling Rezkin not to worry about something because they are friends. He starts internalizing and wondering how then he is supposed to find these friends, or if they somehow know him and will identify themselves to him.
  • Tam then joins Frisha and Rezkin and is put off by Rezkin. He sees Rezkin as a threat. Eventually, they work things out and agree to travel together.
  • Rezkin takes Frisha and Tam to charter passage on a boat to get where they are going. He takes them in a kind of meandering way to avoid thieves.
  • After returning, Rezkin leaves Frisha and Tam at the Inn and heads out. A thief goes for his purse, and Rezkin stops him. Rezkin explains to the thief he shouldn’t have done that, but blames the head of the guild. The small group of thieves take Rezkin back to their hall for the Diamond claws. Rezkin works his way through the thieves and their leader to take over leadership of the guild.
  • The next night, Rezkin takes the same little boy out with him and he takes over the Serpent Guild as well.
  • After leaving on the river boat with Tam and Frisha, the boat eventually comes to a blockage by another boat stuck in the middle of the river. Rezkin heads over to the other boat and takes one of the thieves prisoner back to the boat with Tam and Frisha. Eventually the party disembarks because their travel is stopped by the other boat. They then are traveling with several soldiers as well.
  • The group are attacked by bandits on their journey a few times. After one large battle, Lt. Jimson notices Rezkin’s Shalin blades. He confronts Rezkin asking for proof they are his as it is a crime for him to have them if they are not intended for him. Rezkin willingly provides the proof and Jimson is relieved Rezkin has not become an enemy.
  • While resting in Jestain, Rezkin notices a woman who has been listening in on the groups conversation. He abruptly leaves the table and confronts her. She is apparently interested in going to the same tournament the group is discussing. After a few more questions, and a vote, Reylin joins the group which makes Frisha a bit jealous.
  • The two do not get along, and in fact, while the group is bathing the two girls get into a fight. Rezkin hearing the screams runs to their aide thinking they are in trouble. He is completely naked when arriving and yells at the two women. Jimson then confronts Rezkin thinking the scream was because Rezkin was peeping on them. Things are resolved with Rezkin and Jimson much later.
  • Upon reaching Kaibain, the group splits up. Reylin goes to meet up with others she knows in the area, and Lt. Jimson reports in. Rezkin, Tam, and Frisha go to her Uncle General Marcum’s estate to stay. When General Marcum meets Rezkin however, he seems to have an idea of who Rezkin really is and is weary of him although Rezkin never does anything threatening or otherwise make him weary of Rezkin.
  • Rezkin asks for Frisha’s hand in marriage, but Marcum rejects his proposal which makes Frisha upset. Rezkin then refuses Frisha’s insistence to leave her family as doing so would dishonor her.
  • Lt. Jimson visits with a letter about who Rezkin is and that he is a Sheylin holder. The General is perplexed but still refuses to allow Frisha to marry Rezkin. Jimson is promoted to Captain, and is allowed to pick a master blade from the General’s collection. Rezkin goes with them and Jimson isn’t sure which weapon to choose and looks to Rezkin who carefully chooses one which Jimson agrees to and chooses.
  • Rezkin sneaks out one night and goes to the Dark Hall, the Assassin’s Guild to steal something from the leader. He is injured and is forced to use a secret healer to heal his injuries. The healer he is looking for died recently though, and he convinces the healer’s assistant to heal him instead.
  • Reylin and Jimson visit the estate the next day to start going over their plans for the tournament. The General finds Rezkin in the yard working with one of his rare master blades from his collection. They have a conversation and he tells Rezkin he’s changed his mind about allowing Frisha to attend the tournament.
  • Marcum with the group tells them his niece and nephews will also be joining. Rezkin gets upset with Marcum realizing he means for Rezkin to provide protection for the group for free even after he declined his proposal for Frisha’s hand. Rezkin then runs through all the arrangements he’s already made for the group’s travel, including Marcum’s nephews, niece, their servants, and their guards. Marcum is dumbfounded because Rezkin has information he didn’t even have yet regarding who all would be attending to and traveling with his niece and nephews. Rezkin uses the argument as a reason to leave.
  • He meets up with 3 other thieves from the guilds he took over. They go to the Dark Hall where he walks the Gauntlet, which is their test for leadership. Rezkin passes while protecting the 3 thieves. He leaves the small boys with the Dark Hall for them to learn how to fight.
  • Rezkin returns as the group is finishing dessert. Marcum sits them all down again and warns them of trouble he’s heard about. The Golden Trust bank was robbed, which Rezkin did, but he plays like this is a surprise. Also warns some person calling himself the Raven has taken over the 2 thieves guilds.
  • Next morning Marcum again has information to share with the group. Tells them at breakfast to be careful. A slip from the Dark Hall visited him last night. Apparently the Raven had taken over the Dark Hall and had given instruction that he was not to be harmed and that the Raven would deal with me himself. Well they received a request for Marcum’s death, and not knowing what to do since they were unable to reach the Raven on such short notice, they broke tradition and told Marcum someone wanted him dead.
  • Marcum intends to tell the King, but Rezkin convinces him not to just yet. Marcum warns Frisha to remain with Rezkin no matter what happens.