Hidden Realm

Legends of Lightning, Book One

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
360 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2021
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Author Biography

T.R. Slauf was born and raised in Michigan, originally studying and working in the field of Biochemistry. After having an open-heart surgery for congenital heart disease, Slauf changed career paths to pursue the passion of storytelling and published their debut novel, Hidden Realm two years later. Slauf now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with their spouse and two cats.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Hidden Realm is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy, action, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author T. R. Slauf. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience and contains some scenes of fantasy battle and dark themes that some may find disturbing. In the opening novel of the Legends of Lightning series, our protagonist is Esther, a seemingly ordinary young woman plagued by horrifying visions, who finds herself facing a terrifying enemy from the Hidden Realm. What results is a dark journey into the familiar world of Grimm-esque fairytales but with some sharp original twists and a highly immersive plot that picks up more and more as it develops.

Author T. R. Slauf has crafted a fantastical and truly imaginative work of fiction with a perfect balance of familiarity and originality to offer its audience. In terms of its presentation of character, I found that the use of close narration creates a deeper emotional resonance, and brings readers right into the center of the action with Esther as their guide. Emotive and passionate with a strong theme of self-discovery, this is a tale that feels immersive and cinematic in every aspect of its presentation. What results is an atmospheric start to what promises to be a very engaging series, filled with clever twists, exciting action scenes, and plenty of surprises despite being on familiar ground. Overall, I would highly recommend Hidden Realm to fans of dark fairytale atmospheres, heartfelt character presentations, and fans of enigmatic fantasy fiction everywhere.

Susan Sewell

A librarian's nightmares take her on a journey into another realm in the fantasy novel Hidden Realm (Legends of Lightning: Book One) by T.R. Slauf. After reading an original first-edition of a Grimm's Brothers' book, Esther starts having terrifyingly realistic nightmares where massive bi-pedal wolf-like creatures are trying to kill her. During these horrifying nighttime vigils, Esther continues meeting Oisin, a strange hooded man who insists she is the prophesied Realm Walker and he is there to protect her. One morning, when Esther awakens after being attacked in her dreams, she discovers the injury she sustained in the dream world followed her into the waking world. Seeking help from a New Age practitioner, Esther travels into the realm of her nightmares, where Oisin is waiting to introduce her to her new life. This new world is fraught with danger, and Esther is still skeptical about her place in it. Can she meet Oison's expectations? Or will she fail to save his world?

Fraught with terrifying creatures and bloody battle scenes, Hidden Realm (Legends of Lightning: Book One) by T.R. Slauf is a brilliant epic fantasy. Capturing my interest from the first sentence, I was captivated until the story came to the shocking last page. Ending on a thrilling cliffhanger, the story stops abruptly, leaving the reader panting for more. With an enthralling storyline, incredible backdrop, and fascinating characters, this extraordinary book is unputdownable. Skillfully written, the author did a fabulous job of creating a story world that fires the imagination. It is an exceptional novel that will enthrall everyone who enjoys action-packed fantastical adventures.