Monday, February 20, 2012

The Relams Thereunder

The Ancient Earth Trilogy - Book One by Ross Lawhead

Blog Tour - Day 1

A First Novel with a Great Story!

(click image for Amazon link or click link below) The Realms Thereunder - available from:

I received a review copy from Thomas Nelson of The Realms Thereunder
in conjunction with the February CSFF Blog Tour

Wayne Shepard interview of Ross Lawhead on The Realms Thereunder:

The Realms Thereunder is the first full-length novel for Mr. Lawhead. He's worked with his father, author Stephen R. Lawhead, on a speculative fiction trilogy, created a graphic novel that he both wrote and illustrated, and even published a couple of poetry books in a series named "The Colour Papers." Well, I wondered, he definitely has the credentials but can he write? When I heard that this month's CSFF blog tour review was for a portal story set in England with some good ancient Celtic characters and a bit of fantasy, I immediately thought of Stephen Lawhead. He's one of the few Christian authors I've read who could pull all that off in a book or series.

Apparently Ross Lawhead has inherited the writing gene. He's created an original story in The Realms Thereunder that pulls the reader into a period existing only in time's misty past. Portal stories and time travel are too of my favorite genres. Lawhead has managed to unite the two in a compelling novel. Some reviews I've read about this book suggest the use of Gaelic and Old English only confuse the reader. But someone who thrives on Early Middle Age life and it's history, will appreciate the detailed research this story must have required. It's not like the Wayback Machine on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show where every historical figure spoke 1960's English. If you were transported to the past how much would you actually understand of what's being said or not said? Sure the words sound funny to the modern ear, but that just allows the reader to puzzle out meanings at the same time as the two protagonists.

I enjoyed The Realms Thereunder. I wasn't too sure about the jumping back and forth between the past and the present, but there's a lot of back story to explain and it's all important to the storyline and how the trips to the under realms changed Freya and Daniel. Whether the change was for the best or worst depends on the viewpoint. We can't always make a big difference in life, but sometimes a chance meeting or action sets a much larger chain of events in motion. Ross Lawhead manages to stack each seemingly unrelated event like a house of cards. Each part depends upon every other part and in the end you just step back and wonder how we got there so quickly without seeing it coming.

Day 2 Blog: A thousand years? Is that too long to sleep?
Day Two I'll discuss some of the original characters created for the story and how the Realms changed them.

*Participants’ links:
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


Heart2Heart said...

I love how you are breaking this review into segments and loved how you explained the different perspectives in the story that get a bit confusing.

I do believe he could have done a better job at the transitions so he wouldn't lose reader interest along the way and hope he'll work this out in future novels.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Tim, what an outstanding, thoughtful opening to the tour. Great beginning. Very cool that you researched that information about Ross. And I agree, someone who loves history and myth will especially like this book.


Fantasythyme said...

Thanks for visiting Fantasythyme, Becky and Kat.

Jainene said...

"Ross Lawhead manages to stack each seemingly unrelated event like a house of cards. Each part depends upon every other part and in the end you just step back and wonder how we got there so quickly without seeing it coming."

I love this! Very true--one thing the novel succeeds in is keeping you in the dark about the relationship between events--until the end! Good thought.