This month’s Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour focuses on The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead. (For the official synopsis, see my previous post here.)
When I posted the synopsis mentioned above, I hadn’t read the book, but it looked intriguing so I thought I’d pass the link on to you. However, now that I’ve had a chance to read it, I find myself a bit surprised by a couple of things.
First of all, I was surprised to see so many traditional elements of fantasy fiction in the story. From what I had seen in the promos, I thought it would be more contemporary in nature. Don’t get me wrong. It is contemporary, but author Ross Lawhead has reversed the typical use of a time-travel device. Rather than stepping back into the past, he brings the past to the present. In this way, he was able to combine contemporary and historical with an alternate universe — an ambitious goal to say the least.
For my next point, I will start by saying that Ross Lawhead definitely stands on his own with this book. And yet I see a tiny flavor of Lawhead-esque fantasy found in Stephen Lawhead’s work — probably no doubt due to the fact that this father-son team has worked together quite well in the past. That said, either author stands alone very well.
The Realms Thereunder is a head-spinning tale that had my mind going in several directions at once. (Of course, that could be just my mind traveling in it’s normal circles, as it is wont to do.) Anyway…enough about my ditziness and back to the business at hand.
The Realms Thereunder is quite suspenseful, especially the last quarter of the book as the author winds up for the grand finale, stock full of heroes, underdogs, villains and “uncertains.” By that I mean characters who I was uncertain about in terms of whether they were villains or good guys.
This debut fantasy by Ross Lawhead (that is, the first solo fantasy by this author) is a fun Christian inspirational read. In terms of ranking, I give the book 4 out of 5 stars. It was good and I might consider reading it again. If you like contemporary, alternate reality, traditional fantasy with a tiny twist of medieval England, you might want to give this one a try.
I encourage you to see what the other bloggers on this tour had to say. Check out their links on the sidebar to the right. (If you’re reading an email digest, follow the link back to my main web site to find the sidebar.)
How about you? If you’ve read it, I love to hear your thoughts. If you haven’t and have any comments or questions, I’d love to hear from you too. Feel free to leave me a note. Just click on the comment bubble to the upper right of this post.
You can find the author online at: http://www.rosslawhead.com/blog/
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes as part of the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour.