Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hidden Realm (Legends of Lightning #1)” as Want to Read:
Hidden Realm (Legends of Lightning #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hidden Realm

(Legends of Lightning #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  86 reviews
“The next Realm Walker will bring with them a storm. Lightning must fight the Crimson Shadow, or the lands will be cast into eternal darkness.”

When she was a child, Esther was plagued with vivid nightmares. Now they have returned to haunt her. Bloodthirsty monsters chase her through a forest of dead trees while a mysterious hooded figure stalks her. After waking with fresh
Paperback, 267 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by T.R. Slauf
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  114 ratings  ·  86 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Hidden Realm (Legends of Lightning #1)
Whispering Stories
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com

Hidden Realm (Book 1 of the Legends of Lightning series) is an ambitious dark fantasy. The story begins with Esther, a librarian in our world, who has been recently plagued with nightmares where she is chased through the woods by wolves. As wounds begin to appear on her body after these nightmares, she searches for a way to discover what is going on and how to stop it.

Most of the novel takes place in this other realm, where Esther must journey in order t
 Danielle The Book Huntress
I read this back in September, but I didn't have time to add it to my Goodreads shelf. I personally found the pervasive violence, particularly sexual violence, harm to children, and cruelty in this novel very off-putting. The story is pretty strong and interesting. I just didn't care for the execution. It's sad, because I want to see what happens to Esther and Oisin, but with all the horror of 2020, this book is way too triggering for me.

Overall rating: 2.5/5.0 stars.

Affaire de Coeur. http://aff
Jun 29, 2022 rated it liked it
"Don't you have cross animal talkers in your Realm?"
"Humans can only talk to humans."
"So then, what, you just go about never know' what the others are thinkin' of doing?"

Esther, a 29-year-old librarian, is going about her daily tasks and leading a routine life. Her childhood dreams, which have resurfaced with a vengeance, are the only anomalies in her life. Not only that, but she has noticed a consistency in her dreams. They are being pursued by a man as they rush through the jungle whe
Jun 17, 2022 rated it liked it
I'm going to be honest with my review, as I always am, I did struggle with this book and specially in the beginning.

The idea seemed very enticing and it immediately appealed to me. Reading the first chapters though I found myself wondering if I should let it go. Im glad I didnt because the story gets more interesting and with more details.

Im glad I didn't DNF but also I know this is a book I wouldn't easily recommend.

An issue that really got me was the constant repeat of the names. There were
Faten  (Onceuponabooksta)
Apr 04, 2022 rated it really liked it
Twisted fairytale elements for Adults >>>

Hidden Realm is the first book in the 'Legends of Lightning' series. The author did a great job of taking the elements of the original fairytales and weaving them into this new tale in often surprising way!

The story takes place in today's world as we follow Esther, a human Librarian girl who frequently has weird dreams. But there's something strange about her dreams because they seem too real and palpable. When she falls asleep, her body gets transported
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Hidden Realm
Legends of Lightning
By: T.R. Slauf


First, I have to mention the creepy, freak-me -out cover. Yikes! Isn't it perfect for Halloween and all things spooky?

Hidden Realm is a unique story. T. R. Slauf incorporates the original Brothers Grimm fairy tales as a sort of foundation to build the story on. These are dark fairy tales, and I don't recommend reading them to children. B
Esther never wanted to believe she had an important role in a cosmic plan of anything. She never thought highly of herself, not once did she want to be someone important or special, because that brought attention. Esther was content to live out her life alone; quiet, and unnoticed by anyone.

This dark fantasy was such a pleasant surprise! I loved the main character Esther and her guide, Oisin. They have fun banter and I'm super curious to see what happens with their relationship in book two. I
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC of this one!

⚡️ 𝘈 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘴, 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘭, 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘴, 𝘓𝘦𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘓𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘣𝘺 𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘳 𝘛.𝘙. 𝘚𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘧.

This prologue is one of the most atmospheric and moody introductions to a story I have ever read! It drew me in immediately and the world around me ceased to exist. Perfect in my opinion.


As a child, Esther was plagued with nightmares, and now these nightmares have returned to haunt her. Waking with fre
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much to Literary Bound Tours for having me on the tour for Hidden Realm by T.R. Slauf!  Pay attention my fairytale and dark fantasy loving friends because you don’t want to miss this one!

Esther is a resident of modern day Earth who finds herself literally torn between two realms. After performing a ritual to enter the Hidden Realm, which is a mashup of dark fairy tales based off of the brothers Grimm, she must unite the kingdom against the elusive enemy called the Crimson Shadow.

I r
Tati Alvarez
Feb 15, 2022 rated it liked it
Actual rating 3.5!

One of the reasons why I was so drawn to this book because it reminded me very much of a Darren Shan book, just from the cover and synopsis alone! So I'm super glad the author reached out to me. All my thoughts are my own.

I loved the monster and the grim fairytale aspect. I thought Esther was such a unique and strong character and really enjoyed her development. She is discovering who she is, who she can trust, and what destiny awaits her. This book is a perfect mixture of horr
Jessica Gleason
Jun 20, 2022 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


First of, I want you to know there are several triggers in this book. Something happened very early on that I found quite upsetting. Animal lovers beware.

Other trigger warnings: Talk of rape and sodomy, sexual abuse, rape, harm to children, strong language, murder

It's very violent. I don't mind violence in novels... I'm primarily a horror and thriller reader. But, much of this violence seemed sort of without purpose or like that
Jessica Belmont
Oct 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Hidden Realm by T.R. Slauf is a dark (emphasis on ‘dark’) fantasy novel. It is quite ambituous and very intriguing. The plot line is engaging and unique, which made this a good read for me.

The world building is the best part. The other Realm where main character, Esther, must is really well written. It was easy to visualize where we were.

This novel I’d dark and gritty, with some themes that may be difficult for some to read. It is a quick paced read with interesting characters.

There were some th
Richel (letsreadshallwe)
**I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review**

“I meet plenty of men. I just don’t pursue any of them because I’m simply not interested in dating.” “You mean none of them match the overly masculine characters from those misogynistic books you love.”

Legends of Lightning is an adult dark fantasy that follows Esther’s adventure to a realm that she thought only existed in her dreams, a journey that also led her to self-discovery.

It took me a few chapters to realize
Clairey Stanhope
Oct 25, 2021 rated it really liked it

As many of you know I love a good fairy tale, give me a brother Grimm retelling and I’m all in. Add that this is an adult book. Yeap, 18 years plus and I’m intrigued.

Slauf’s world being in the other realm is on point. With descriptions that could have actually come out of nightmares, the reader has escaped into a place you don’t want to go. The characters are well written if not a little two dimensional at times. I still loved them as life’s not always so well explained. Coupled with an overpro
Sharon Rimmelzwaan
Oct 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
One thing I do love is discovering new authors to 'stalk' and T.R Slauf is a debut author whose first book has me sat up in expectation now!
A fantasy story that's dark, captivating and anyone who loves fairytales will enjoy this book. Esther is our main character, who finds herself torn between two realms. She performs a ritual to get into the 'hidden realm', which is a place that is based the Brothers Grimm fairytales but all mixed up.
The world building of the hidden realm is excellent. It wa
Ellie Mitchell
May 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing


Esther, a young librarian is asked to appraise an old German translation of a Grimm fairytale book, however, there’s something odd about it that she just can’t put her finger on. On top of this, she starts to have dreams of a Huntsman named Oisin who says she is the next Realm Walker.

Esther soon finds out that she was found as a child, covered in blood, with amnesia. Now, a great evil stalks her and she is the only one who can put a stop to it. She is the Realm Walker of an ancient prophec
 Afreen  Khalil Inscribed Inklings
Hidden Realm (Legends of Lightning Book 1) by T.R. Slauf 📚

Check out the review on my blog-https://inscribedinklings.wordpress.c...

Hidden Realm was an epic dark fantasy book which had Grimm's fairy tales adapted into the story. I just thought the book was a simple fantasy book, but it was a very complex retelling/ adaptation of not one fairy tale but several of them. I loved the use of strong language and swear words in this setting because people generally perceive fairy tales to be all light an
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars

First off I want to note that this is in fact a dark fairytale/fantasy novel that has themes that are similar to the dark Brothers Grimm tales it is inspired by. With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised to see the way the author incorporated those fairytale aspects into the novel. I thought it very clever and loved the originality of it. Maybe it’s because I’m drawn to darker, grittier tales but I found the way the author integrated some of my favorite childhood fairytale aspects
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
HIDDEN REALM is the first book in the Legends of Lightning series, and I was really looking forward to it.

What I got was a fantasy with elements of Brothers Grimm and all their original fairy tales. Now, it DOES say it is dark, so please pay attention to that if you have any triggers.

Esther is content (as far as she seems possible to be) with her life, but it takes a strange turn when she starts to manifest injuries from her dreams. She does a minimum amount of digging and decides to pack up he
Nagma (Take A Look At My Bookshelf)
Hidden Realm is Book 1 of the Legends of the Lightning series and T.R. Slauf’s debut. This is a fast-paced, dark, gritty, fantasy with interesting characters. The novel is a mixed adaptation of some of the Brothers Grimm stories and Beauty and the Beast. This fairy tale aspect made this a much more interesting read.

The story revolves around Ester, a librarian who has nightmares where she is chased through the woods by wolves. It seems anything physical, like a wound, Esther experiences in her ni
Oct 11, 2021 rated it liked it
I love a return to the original dark roots of fairy tales! I absolutely love the dark world Slauf has created in Legends of Lightning, and I think they’ve provided an interesting take on classic stories. I really love the interpretation of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood. The fight scenes feel bloody and epic, and there’s a general gloom to the writing that really sells the setting. It’s also very easy to read, I found myself saying “one more chapter” a handful of times. O ...more
Kriti Dalmia
Oct 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
“The next Realm Walker will bring with them a storm. Lightning must fight the Crimson Shadow, or the lands will be cast into eternal darkness.”

Esther is a librarian in our realm but recently she is having nightmares of Wolves chasing her, until one day she is hurt by wolves to wake up and realise it was all true. But how and why she had no answers. She has to save a Hidden Realm she has no idea of.

Esther's journey is terrifying, filled with horror and so much cruelty, it is disturbing. The worl
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: already-read
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves dark fantasy. I always knew The Brothers Grimm's original fairy tales were seriously twisted. But, this fantasy has me rethinking my entire childhood story life. The story unfolds within your eyes as you read each and every page. And, turn the pages you will as you try too take the entire story in. Our heroine is perfectly imperfect, whether she is in a library or the haunted woods. Esther shows complete courage throughout the entire story. As doe ...more
Shelby Goodwin
Feb 19, 2022 rated it really liked it
First off, huge thanks to the author for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.

As a devout fan of both horror and urban fantasy, my heart burns for this kind of mysterious, dark fantasy story. Naturally, I was instantly captivated by the Brothers Grimm vibes of this one. Definitely among the most unique fairytale retellings I’ve come across!!

I absolutely LOVE the premise: Esther, an unassuming librarian, steps into a
Jun 08, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Esther had vivid nightmares as a kid, but now they have returned Monsters chase her through a forest of dead trees while a mysterious hooded figure stalks her. When she wakes, she has wounds just like the ones from her dreams. Esther must figure out if she can trust this hooded guide while traveling to fix a broken kingdom.
I could not put this one down, I read it in a day. This is the first book in the Legends of Lightning series, and I am dying to know what is next. The characters were all so i
Erika Clements
Jun 29, 2022 rated it liked it
Legends of Lightning: Hidden Realm is a mash up of sorts with multiple fairytales coinciding in one book. Let me be clear: very dark fairy tales. I struggled at times moving through different parts of Oisin and Esther's adventure to save the world from the Crimson Shadow but overall I liked the inclusion of so many characters from the world of the brother's Grimm. I will likely read the next book 📖 [Redemption] to see what transpires between the Realm Walker and her guide, Oisin, but frankly am ...more
Batsheva Guy
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Innovative, Intense, & Inclusive
I was captivated by this book immediately, drawn in by the cover illustration and excited about the female protagonist. Right off the bat, I became enamored by Esther's character, as a seemingly timid and unassuming librarian becomes pulled in to a whole new world and grapples with her newfound identity. Aside from the adventure and fantasy, I was enthralled by Oisin and Esther's heartwarming and unlikely friendship. This novel is an imaginative take on classic st
Blackcats and bookish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Rate: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
TW: Dark, Gore, Rape, Child trafficking, Death

A twist on the Grimm Brothers stories and it reminded me of the show called Once Upon A Time. I struggled reading the beginning. The writing was quite rough and did not flow nicely throughout, I had to reread some sections. Many events happened once, with different side stories not connecting to the main plot. The FMC at times annoyed me, she was too eager when it came to life-threatening situations. Yeah, there were times when she was a
Julie Kabouya
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Medievil, fantasy adventure and horror.

I wasn't sure where this book was taking me, which is what drew me in. A great escape! The main characters are brought to life by the author's effortless descriptions and quirks, creating a bond between the reader. You are completely emmersed in the terror and life threatening challenges, and graphic descriptions. Believeable world building and mythical creatures - I can't wait for the sequel to return to Esther's world!
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Secrets of a Rose
  • River of Ashes (St. Benedict, #1)
  • Chaos Forged a Fable (The Chaos Covenant, #1)
  • A Kingdom of Flame and Fury (The Four Kingdoms, #1)
  • Obedience (The Guild # 1)
  • Challenge Me: Breaking
  • All the Dark Souls
  • The Chosen Sacrifice (Tampa F.B.I #3)
  • Violent Shadows
  • Celestial Persuasion
  • At Witt's End
  • Windsong
  • Jinxed
  • Destiny
  • Come True (Come True #1)
  • The Fool and the Sparrow (Arcana of the Tarot #1)
  • Play or Die
  • Hiding Forever (The Forever Series #7)
See similar books…

Other books in the series

Legends of Lightning (4 books)
  • Redemption (Legends of Lightning #2)
  • Wastelands (Legends of Lightning #3)
  • Untitled (Legends of Lightning #4)

Related Articles

With his new horror novel, The Only Good Indians, author Stephen Graham Jones conjures one of the most effective scary images to ever hover in that...
71 likes · 8 comments