Chibineko's Reviews > The Realms Thereunder

The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead
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Sep 27, 11

bookshelves: cool, fantasy, magic, tentative-buy, supernatural, religious
Read from September 15 to 27, 2011

I have to admit that this book wasn't entirely my normal type of read. There's no gritty heroines in leather going against the modern system or angsty love triangles/squares/geometry going on. I'm rather glad of that because otherwise this wouldn't have been such a good read.

I really enjoyed the way the book unfolded. We're introduced to our main characters in two ways: in present time and in the past. While this format takes a while to get used to, it's worth it because it helps build up a nice slow tension throughout the book. The main characters are well written and I was pretty glad to see that Lawhead didn't (yet) give into the temptation to throw tons of romantic tension into the book, giving us time to soak in the plot and get introduced to the massive world that he's creating.

What really impressed me was how well Lawhead wove the religious angle into the story. Many times the religious angle is either awkwardly inserted into a book or the author browbeats you with the "this book is religious oriented" aspect. You won't find any of that here. By the time you do realize that this is Christian fantasy, you're already well into the book and it all just feels natural to the story line.

The only thing that sort of hurts this book is that there's not much here that's particularly new. Almost all of this has been seen elsewhere and while this isn't automatically a bad thing (they're common tropes because they work well in stories), it does mean that Lawhead will have to step things up slightly in the next book in the trilogy.

Overall this was a fun read and I'm sure that this will catch on well with a pretty wide audience. As far as how he compares to his father, I have to admit that I've never read anything by either author so I had nothing to compare Ross to. Fans of his father might end up being harsher or more generous than me, but so far I have to admit that I'm pretty curious to see what happens next. It's not my normal read but there's enough here to entice me into Lawhead's next book.


(I received an ARC through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.)
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Reading Progress

09/16/2011 page 56
14.0% "A little slow moving but decent. I haven't read any of his father's work & I think that's actually a good thing since I have nothing to judge him against."
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Chibineko Can't wait to start this!


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