The Paradise War by Stephen R. Lawhead
The Paradise WarThe Paradise War is a rich fantasy novel, with a man from our earth traveling to an alternate reality. Here in Albion, the inhabitants are similar to the ancient Celts, using that language the style of living. But this is a vivid, beautiful, and barbaric land. Here wars and battles are fought one on one or hand to hand, rather than using high tech machinery to distance the combatants.
Lewis Gillies is an ancient Celt scholar at Oxford. His roommate, Simon, reads about the appearance of an extinct aurochs in Scotland. When Simon drags Lewis along to investigate, they see other creatures and happenings that should not exist. Then Simon disappears into a cairn and doesn’t emerge. Lewis gets tired of waiting and returns to Oxford alone. When Simon doesn’t return, Lewis seeks help. He and professor Nettleton return to the Scot farm. Lewis follows the professor’s instruction and finds the entrance to the magic cairn. Then he finds himself crossing a perilous bridge and emerging into a new land.
The first thing that happens to him is to walk into a battle between two groups of warriors. His introduction to Albion is to find himself holding the head of a dead enemy and being credited for the kill. Simon helps him get introduced into this new world. Soon Lewis is training to be a warrior himself and is given a new, insignificant name until he earns a better one.
This is an excellent fantasy novel and this saga is one that should remain timeless. It is the first book of a trilogy, yet stands completely on its own as well. The Song of Albion is not finished, but this first trial is. By the end of the book the reader is aware how closely Albion and our own reality are intertwined. Lawhead has brought the reader to a tantalizing world in The Paradise War. I have already put the next book on request from the library.
Notice: Graphic violence