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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.