Review of The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead


Genre: Fantasy

Series: Book One of the Ancient Earth Series

Loosely Recommended.

I only rarely enjoy fantasy, so I was trying to be extra open-minded as I read this. Actually, I was hoping it would be more about the Old English language and culture and less true fantasy, since the premise is that two students in England find their way beneath the streets of Oxford into a hidden city filled with Old English mythology and folklore. I studied Old English in college and was excited to revisit it; but this story is purely fantastic (as opposed to historical with fantastic elements).

I also felt that the story was trying to cover too much at once (multiple characters in the past and present), which made it a bit hard to follow. I dreaded finishing it until the very end because I wasn’t caught up in the story or characters. But the story ended in a way which actually caused me to want to keep reading. Perhaps I will check out the later books in this series. I imagine the upcoming books will be better now that the background has been thoroughly laid. A true fantasy fan would likely enjoy the book the full way through.

I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogging Program through


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