The Realms Thereunder and Alfred The Great

22 Feb

Ancient legend tells of an army of knights that will remain sleeping until the last days.

The knights are waking up.

A homeless man is stalked by a pale, wraithlike creature with a mouthful of needle-sharp teeth. Maimed animals and a host of suicides cluster around a mountain in Scotland. And deep beneath the cobbled streets of Oxford, a malicious hoard besieges a hidden city.

Freya Reynolds is a university student with a touch of OCD and an obsession with myth and folklore. Daniel Tully is living rough on the streets of Oxford, waging a secret war against an enemy only he can identify. Years ago, they found themselves in a world few know is real. They have since gone their separate ways and tried to put that adventure behind them.

But the mythical world is now bleeding into our reality-a dark spiritual evil that is manifesting itself in forgotten corners of the British Isles. Alex Simpson is a Scottish police officer who specializes in hunting mythical creatures. Together, they must confront the past, the present, and points beyond to defeat the ultimate threat to humanity.

Nothing they’ve seen so far prepares them for what awaits . . . in The Realms Thereunder.

The CSFF Blog Tour is reviewing Ross Lawhead’s first book of a new series, The Realms Thereunder.  The  book opens with an excerpt of the poem The Ballad of The White Horse by G. K. Chesterton and one of the characters refers almost constantly to Alfred the Great.  So I thought I would include a little about Alfred.

Alfred was an unlikely person to become the only English king to be called Great.  The youngest son, he was not even supposed to inherit the throne of Wessex.  But as king he did so much for his country — unified the Anglo-Saxons, fought and repelled the Danes, established a navy, set up a system of education and law and brought many of his enemies to Christianity.  Benjamin Merkle has written an excellent history of Alfred entitled The White Horse King.  I read this book shortly after I began blogging and reviewing books.  You can read my review HERE.  The book is highly readable — more like a story than dry history.  So after you finish The Realms Thereunder and you want to know more about Alfred, pick up The White Horse King.

Sometimes the heroes of history are truly worthy of the golden reputations they carry. 

 King Alfred united Anglo-Saxon England against a Viking invasion, led the English into battle against the Danish hordes, created a renaissance of literature and the arts, reformed the legal system, and set the stage for a revival of Christian worship. But that’s not what made him great. Ben Merkle unravels the tale of how a great man came to power during one of the most difficult periods in English history, how he led his nation through them, and how he laid the groundwork for England’s coming triumphs on the global stage.

(I received both of these books for review and the opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Check out the posts of other participant on the CSFF tour:

Gillian Adams 

Red Bissell  

Thomas Clayton Booher

Keanan Brand  

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  

Janeen Ippolito

Jason Joyner   

Carol Keen    

Krystine Kercher   

Rebecca Loper



Shannon McDermott   

Rebecca LuElla Miller   

Miriam 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   

Dave Wilson

Rachel Wyant 

5 Responses to “The Realms Thereunder and Alfred The Great”

  1. Dona Watson February 22, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    Thanks for the info on King Alfred. Very interesting!

  2. Rebecca LuElla Miller February 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    What a great idea to share some of your knowledge about Alfred the Great. It does indeed add a layer to Lawhead’s novel. Thanks.


  3. Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama February 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    I like this historical transition. I love it when someone sends me seeking another book.


  1. CSFF Blog Tour – The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead « A Christian Worldview of Fiction - February 24, 2012

    […] √ Gillian Adams √ Red Bissell √ √ √ Thomas Clayton Booher √ √ Keanan Brand √ √ √ Beckie Burnham √ Melissa Carswell √ √ Jeff Chapman √ Theresa Dunlap √ √ […]

  2. CSFF Tour Wrap – The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead « A Christian Worldview of Fiction - February 24, 2012

    […] And the nominees, with the links to their posts, are √ √ √ Thomas Clayton Booher √ √ √ Beckie Burnham √ √ √ Timothy Hicks √ √ √ Janeen Ippolito √ √ √ Jason […]

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