Book Review: The Realms Thereunder

My 14 year old daughter loves fantasy fiction.  I have been reading more fantasy fiction because I want to expand my literary genre and so that I can better understand my daughter.  When I read the description for this new trilogy by Ross Lawhead, I knew this would be a book that we would both enjoy.  The Realms Thereunder is book 1 in the The Ancient Earth Trilogy series.

From the Publisher:
Uncover a land that has been hidden for over a thousand years. Realms Image

Beneath the land of Britain, a great army is sleeping. On a visit to an old church, Daniel Tully and Freya Reynolds awaken two ancient knights from a centuries-old slumber. They are kidnapped and taken to an underground city that stands in peril, besieged in all directions by a vicious war host. Nidergeard is the only thing protecting the upper world's blissful ignorance of mythical forces that have been held at bay since the creation of the world. In order to return home, Daniel and Freya must strike at the heart of the opposer's power.

Fast forward eight years. Daniel, now homeless, still wages what he believes to be a righteous war against those he judges to be evil. Freya has tried to put the past behind her and concentrate on getting an education, a job, and a life. When they reconnect in Oxford, unseen forces begin to ally against them. Daniel is pulled through a portal and into another world. Freya is abducted by someone—some thing—posing as her professor and drugged to keep her in a delusional state. After they finally break free, neither can deny the truth . . . they must return to Nidergeard and resume the battle.

With a thrilling narrative that draws heavily upon British mythology, The Realms Thereunder will quickly establish Ross Lawhead as a major new voice in fantasy.

My Thoughts: I found this book appealing because Mr. Lawhead combined mystery with adventure to create this fantasy.   There is something going on and as a reader I am pulled in because I want to know what that something is.

At times I found myself a little confused because chapters rotate between then and now and within the now chapters we have divided sections that flip between three main characters, Daniel, Freya and Alex Simpson, a Scottish police officer.  But over all, I enjoyed the story line, the characters and I even grew to appreciate the rotations in locale and characters. 

Mr. Lawhead employed another element I particularly enjoyed.  He used the epilogue to both wrap up the current book by answering a question or two but at the same time sets the stage for the next book in the series.

There is one disappointing fact, however. The next book in the series is not scheduled for release until September 2012.   I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. It's always best to find a good trilogy after they are all published!


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