Sunday, January 10, 2010

Book Review - Worlds Unseen

Beyond the everyday existence of men and women lies a realm of ancient beauty and goodness and light. An exiled King calls his people to awake and remember him. But an unspeakable evil is seeking to break into the world of men and rule by misery and cruelty. The Veil that keeps that evil back is wearing thin.

Worlds Unseen follows the stories of several young people who realize that the miserable world of the Empire is not all that exists. Maggie has a song in her heart, just waiting to be drawn out. Nicholas hears what others don’t. Virginia, the blind girl, sees visions.

From the grey city of Londren and the highlands of Anglsie, through the forests of the gypsies, and deep in the ancient tunnels of the Eastern city of Pravik, Maggie and her friends will need all the courage, faith, and love they have to stand against evil. And they will be changed in ways they never dreamed.

Here is what I wrote to Rachel, the author, upon finishing the book the first time:

Oh my goodness. When you put Worlds Unseen on your site as a free download, you certainly knew what you were doing. ;-) I am so hooked. Now I need to decide if my budget can handle hard copies of it and Burning Light. I definitely want these to keep, in tangible papery form!

Thank you for this story! I am in rather a state of shock (the end-of-an-amazing-read sort of shock), and it might be a while before I can write a coherent review for my blog. But for the moment, I mainly wanted to thank you for your well-told story of life and death and tears and growing up, of ashes and newness and the bright, starry thread, of monsters and scoundrels and everyday heroes stepping bravely into battle against evil. Thank you for a picture of worlds unseen, of faith that hopes and believes when the night is dark. Of a King who is coming. Oh, I loved it!

I love your descriptions of all the mysterious, otherworldly characters, like the wind and animal and tree spirits, and Virginia's visions. Ah, beautiful! That is stuff that really encourages me. It reminds me of how little I really see of reality. What all is going on beyond my senses? It's far more than I think, both worse and far better than I can dream.

Now, after reading it for the second time four months later, I found the book just as compelling. The writing is excellent. From the sweeping scale of lands and peoples to the vivid details of small moments, this book shines. The characters are real, each with their own struggles and strengths, and I already love them dearly. Nicholas, the kindhearted Gypsy boy, was probably my favorite character, and I was thrilled to learn that the second book is mainly his story, as the first was Maggie’s.

As far as Christian fantasy goes, I thought it was beautifully done. Magic glinted from these pages, but when it was used selfishly it was always shown to be bad. The source of the good power was always the King, and nothing brought greater joy and comfort and hope than when characters realized He was with them. Nor was there so much direct allegory that it took away from the story, which seems to me to be the other ditch Christian fantasy writers can fall into. Overall, a sense of bittersweet longing pervades the whole book. 

I’m sure I shall be reading this again, as well as recommending it to friends. In the meanwhile, please excuse me while I dive into Book Two – Burning Light.

(You can visit Rachel's website HERE.)

Book 2 - Burning Light   | Book 3 - Coming Day


  1. Rael, thanks so much for your review! I enjoyed reading your descriptions of the book -- you write very well :). "A sense of bittersweet longing" -- that's definitely what I wanted to convey, in this book and in the whole series.

    I'm linking to your review from my blog :).

  2. Thanks for sharing~ dear!
    I hope you have a lovely week!!

    Many Blessings~ Miss Jen