Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead - Book Review

I approached reading this book with some hesitation, but I was intrigued by the premise.  The hesitation was for two reasons: Stephen Lawhead and Christian Fantasy.  I read several of Stephen Lawhead's (Ross's father) books when I was in college and enjoyed them but found them tough to get through; the writing style didn't suit me.  I'm also weary of trite and simple fantasy marketed to the Christian sector.  The books I've read have no depth and the writing styles are usually too simplistic. I was intrigued because The Realms Thereunder deals with elements of English mythology that I wasn't aware of (I really like the King Arthur tales, but am not aware of much more).  I've got to say that I'm glad I gave it a chance.  Ross Lawhead's writing moves quickly and is easy to follow.  The protagonists, Freya and Daniel, are followed during two different times in their lives.  One thread of the book deals with the two as children and the adventure the went on in a realm literally underground in England.  The second thread revisits the two in their early 20's, when strange and evil occurrences begin happening around them.  This refers back to their childhood.  I found the story to be engaging as it moved back and forth through time, following Freya and Daniel.  My only complaints are that the editing needs to be tightened up (sometimes names were transposed, causing confusion) and that this is clearly the first book in a series.  The story line was barely wrapped up and the sequel does not arrive until next year.  I'll definitely be reading the next installment to discover what happens next to Daniel and Freya.

I received this book free from in exchange for my honest review.

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