Hidden Realm: Review

Book 1 in the Legends of Lightning Series

Releasing October 6, 2020


“The next Realm Walker will bring with them a storm. Lightning must fight the Crimson Shadow, or the lands will be cast into eternal darkness.”

When she was a child, Esther was plagued with vivid nightmares. Now they have returned to haunt her. Bloodthirsty monsters chase her through a forest of dead trees while a mysterious hooded figure stalks her. After waking with fresh wounds from her dreams, Esther searches for the truth about who she is and the Hidden Realm she is destined to save.

Join Esther on her journey of self-discovery as she travels into a world long forgotten. Unsure if she can trust her hooded guide, she is hunted by unknown enemies and smothered by expectations of grandeur. Deciphering friend from foe she travels the lands, trying to unite kingdoms torn by pride.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


First off I want to note that this is in fact a dark fairytale/fantasy novel that has themes that are similar to the dark Brothers Grimm tales it is inspired by. With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised to see the way the author incorporated those fairytale aspects into the novel. I thought it very clever and loved the originality of it. Maybe it’s because I’m drawn to darker, grittier tales but I found the way the author integrated some of my favorite childhood fairytale aspects to be quite appealing.

Fairytale elements aside, I thought the plot of the novel to be really fascinating and quite magical. The fantasy world that the author has created is uniquely atmospheric and one that I couldn’t stop thinking about long after setting the book down. The author’s poignant style of writing really allows for the world to come alive in the reader’s imagination and creates an atmosphere that is brilliant and haunting. The story develops at a fast pace that makes for a page turning, mind blowing, book that had me highly invested in where it would lead.

As for the characters, I found I was a lot more intrigued by the secondary characters and the villain of the novel. Esther, the main character, unfortunately fell a bit flat for me. I felt like I couldn’t really connect with her and found her to be a bit emotionless almost. Considering the fact that this world and who she is, is sort of sprung on her, I expected more of a reaction from her throughout many of the events of the novel but she seemed to take everything at ease which felt a bit unbelievable. That aside, I did like how strong and fierce she was despite everything that happened.

Overall, I absolutely loved the storytelling method, the world building, and the darker fairytale components that the author incorporated. I’m very riveted by the Legends of Lighting world and can’t wait to see where the author takes the story, especially since ‘Hidden Realm’ ended on a daunting cliffhanger and I have no patience.

About the Author:

I have always been torn between two halves of myself; one half revels in all things scientific and longs to explore the secrets of the universe, while the other half finds solace and excitement within the arts. When it came time to choose a college degree, I put aside my creative hobbies and perused a career path in biochemistry. For me, college was an expensive privilege, thus I decided a degree within STEM was the most logical route for my costly investments. Through my years in college I still tried to enjoy the arts, reading novels and drawing in my sketchbooks when time permitted.

Five long years later, I graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology. I immediately began working full time in an academic research lab, it was miserable. I quickly grew weary and depressed in the toxic and hostile work environment created by our supervisor. I began interviewing for other jobs and exploring my creative hobbies again when my congenital heart condition required me to have another open-heart surgery.
T.R. Slauf Independent Author

In the months before my operation, I became determined to finish my first novel; I had started and abandoned several over the years. Once I was well enough, I continued writing during my recovery. Nine months after my operation, I left my job at the research lab and invested more of myself in my novel. It wasn’t an easy transition and it did not happen over-night, but I decided to start a new career as a novelist.

Now, almost three years later I am proud to share with you my debut novel Legends of Lightning, Hidden Realm. I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed bringing it to life. I am eager to hear your thoughts, please leave reviews or contact me directly. I look forward to sharing many more stories with you in the future.

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