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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Realms Thereunder

Ross Lawhead has taken his first step in fulfilling a fantasy-genre fictional based storyline that I will no doubt have to read the next book called The Fearful Gates according to the advertisement at the conclusion of this book, even though his blog site states that The Hero's Throne is book 2 so on that part I am a bit unclear which will come out first.

In The Realms Thereunder, the first book in the Ancient Earth series, he has a great storyline that you can relate to regarding a secret history of England and the sleeping Knights who protect the realms of ancient Earth before, during and after of any evil doing. I found myself immersed in this book for the first few chapters. I found the characters of Freya and Daniel to be compelling and well written. However, after the first 4 to 5 chapters I found myself being confused on the storyline where Freya is once in a chapter with Daniel and 2 other knights, then is all of a sudden pregnant and has a different story line altogether. I found myself disconnected with how it switched from past to present, one realm to a different realm and one story to another very distracting! I found myself being very confused between which part of the story line I was at and had to skip either back or forward to find myself figuring out where I should be.

Better time frame negotiation and chapter development should be given to better straighten out the story as most readers I feel would be very confused in this book. I feel like Ross who although has a great storyline, needs to define the chapters and stories within stories to better give understanding of where each character is at. I think that while he definitely has a great premise for storytelling, I was let down on many occasions trying to figure out where the characters were going or coming from. Chapter formatting and development needs to be well written and chronological instead of fragmented the way this book is structurally put together haphazardly.Now don't get my wrong, some readers may love the way this book is written but since I process my thoughts logically, I found myself getting lost in what was happening several times through this book and had to go back and re-read sections to see where I might have missed something.

I would rate this book a 3 out of 5 stars for The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead.

For Ross’s first book however, he has a strong writing ability that will hopefully bring more fluidity and structure to his next series of books to come. It's also difficult to not be compared to your father's books and writing styles when you are just starting out as an author. Yet he has been published and I am quite confident that his books will only get better as he continues to write. I received this book compliments of Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy for my honest review.

For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead

You can also learn more from Ross's website by clicking here.

Here are more reviews from readers participating in this book tour:

Gillian Adams
Red Bissell
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Melissa Carswell
Jeff Chapman"> CSFF Blog Tour
Theresa Dunlap
Emmalyn Edwards
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Tori Greene
Nikole Hahn
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Rebekah Loper
Shannon McDermott"> Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirriam Neal
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Joan Nienhuis
Crista Richey
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Shane Werlinger
Nicole White
Rachel Wyant


  1. Great review! I also found the different storylines, timelines, and worlds confusing. Especially that part about Freya. Whew. That threw me for a loop! Took me a bit to get my bearings again after that.

  2. Good review. I actually liked the shift in time and perspective. Ecgbryt was my favorite character, but don't ask me to pronounce his name. ;)

  3. Nice review. You made a good point about the jumps between time streams for the characters getting a bit confusing at times. If you include the opening chapter, there were three different times. The multi-timeline aspect at times reminded me of The Time Traveler's Wife. Maybe it's me, but the story jumping came across as similar to someone remembering a past event; like older aaunt and uncles at a family reunion. As one person recounts a tale, that helps another person to remember another family event. Daniel and Freya are reliving their past in a series of flashbacks.

  4. Good review, Kathleen! I can identify with many of the points you addressed, particularly about the number of shifts in the timeline. I actually don't mind when a story doesn't take place in chronological order, but I found the number of shifts in The Realms Thereunder prevented me from becoming fully immersed in the story. The premise was intriguing enough, though, that I plan to continue at least to the second book to see how things unfold.

  5. Def has to be hard to be Stephen's son in the writing world! I enjoyed the book but can see the points you brought out here, as valid.

  6. I agree with Melissa. It would be really difficult for me as a writer to follow in my father's footsteps if he were Stephen Lawhead! Nonetheless, there are a couple of similarities, which I found somewhat intriguing. I'm curious to see how Ross picks up the story line(s) in book 2, if I get around to reading it. So many books, so little time! Sigh.


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