Sarah Maddaford's Reviews > The Paradise War

The Paradise War by Stephen R. Lawhead
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's review
Nov 17, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: demons, fantasy, first-in-series, mythology-misc, portal-fantasy, war, arlington, mythology-celtic

This book is not quite a gentle read. It is more violent than many of the readers of this genre would probably prefer. There is very little if any language and absolutely no sex. A reader looking for a purely Christian set of ideas may be disturbed by a “kiss” between two men. In truth, it was a transfer of knowledge and power from a dying man, but that wasn’t explained immediately. There is talk of the excesses of the modern world and a belief that the past may have held a better state for men to find Paradise. Much of the violence could be explained as Good defending itself from the violence and excess of Evil because the men who become evil revel in the hunt and in battle.
Also, it is a bit heavier than many of the stories these readers prefer with the Christian message couched in Celtic terms and beliefs. The build up of the world takes time; the main character doesn’t enter the Otherworld for almost a hundred pages. This is common in the first book in an adult fantasy trilogy, but may be too much exposition for an Inspirational reader to wade through.

I really enjoyed most of this book. I do think that a lot of the explanation could have been edited for length; but, when I wasn’t falling asleep, I was fascinated by the world and the story. This would have been impossible to read aloud because of the countless Celtic names and words, but they were not jarring enough to prevent me from enjoying the flow of the story. I probably will pick up the other two books in the trilogy because I am interested to see how things turn out.

It is such a good first-in-a-trilogy fantasy novel that I would not hesitate to recommend it to any other fantasy fan that I know. It might also work for some historical fiction readers because there is a lot of Celtic mythology and history involved in the story.

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