My Review: I have a feeling that Ross Lawhead will be the next big thing in the Christian Fantasy market. In The Realms Thereunder, Mr. Lawhead writes a heart-stopping tale of epic proportions, intricately woven, and overall masterfully done.
I wasn't sure how much I would like it, because it is so different from what I would usually read. But being a huge fan of a Mr. Stephen R. Lawhead, and the fact that this is his son convinced me to give it a shot. And I certainly wasn't disappointed - far from it! I was blown away by the how well written and how well plotted it was. Yes sir, Mr. Ross Lawhead is one to watch out for.
The book follows two characters, both very robustly written, Freya and Daniel. Now here's the twist, it follows them at two different times. The past and the present. Eight years before, Daniel and Freya got swept into an underground battle between good and evil, to save the underground kingdom of Nithergeard. Now in the present time they are being hunted down by the same evil forces that they tried to defeat eight years ago. Occasionally this book reminded me of Narnia or Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the classic fairy tale, but all remixed and recharged in a whole new way. Oh, and this book has some pretty awesome knights! Just thought I'd add that :)
My favorite character was Daniel, maybe because his (present day) adventure was easier to follow along with, whereas Freya's (present day) tale was really creepy.
This book was pretty hard to put down and definitely had me returning to it throughout the day. I was a bit disappointed that the theme was more of a battle between good and evil, and not as distinctly Christian as I would prefer. But God was mentioned a few times, mostly indirectly, but it's obvious that Freya and Daniel are in a spiritual battle against evil. I was a little put out with the book because it was over so soon, and because it ended with a cliffhanger of sorts. I feel like it was just the beginning, and the real adventure is coming in the next two books. And if the next two book were released already, I would be at the bookstore right now purchasing them.
So overall, I would highly recommend this book for all you adventure lovers out there, and I have a feeling that this will be a hit with teen boys. My brother was eyeing this book, while I was reading it with devious intent (LOL). I think that fans of Stephen Lawhead, and action-adventure, fantasy fans, will really enjoy it. Just to warn you that some of the scenes were pretty violent, not to bad if you don't pause to think about it too long. I made that mistake. But this is a book that will captivate your attention and take you to epic dimensions in other worlds. Thanks!
Final Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Thanks so much to Thomas Nelson Publishers (Booksneeze) for giving me this review copy free of charge in return for my honest review.