• Selena | Beauty's Library

Hidden Realm Review

This takes the Grimm Brothers tales we already know and twists them up into a dark fantasy retelling.


Rating: 5/5

“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.

 

I received a copy of Hidden Realm from the author, T.R. Slauf. In return for an honest review. Thank you so much for this opportunity!


This turned out to be such an amazing read! I loved this one so much! I’m already dying for the sequel.


Going into this I really had no idea what to expect. I was not anticipating this to be a Grimm Brothers retelling, but I’m so happy to see it was. This takes the tales we already know and twists them up into a dark fantasy retelling. And let me just say, it was absolutely amazing!!


I was not anticipating this to be a Grimm Brothers retelling... This takes the tales we already know and twists them up into a dark fantasy retelling.

We follow Esther, who leads a rather boring life as a librarian, fully content with her uneventful life. That is until she starts having vivid nightmares causing her to question her life. Esther quickly discovers she’s actually a Realm Walker, who was prophesied to save a hidden realm from destruction by a being known as the Crimson Shadow. Esther journeys to this hidden realm, leaving behind everything she’s ever known to save a world she never knew existed.


I loved following Esther, described as a petite gal, she’s often misjudged and assumed to be weak. It was great to see her strength and self-confidence grow as she explored and became acquainted with those in this new realm. She no longer saw herself as weak or incapable. She grew into quite a badass, refusing to let men make choices for her.


It was great to see her strength and self-confidence grow as she explored and became acquainted with those in this new realm.

Speaking of men, I had such a love-hate relationship with Esther’s guide, who found her after entering the realm and is set on protecting her at all costs. His mistrust in Esther often irked me, but I also loved just how much he cared for her when he barely knew her. I can’t wait to see what happens next for these two. I know what I’m hoping for…


And the world-building in this was just spectacular! It really painted a picture of the different kingdoms within this realm. Going off the tales, we already know such as Aurora, Snow White, Little Red, Rumplestiltskin. But none of these were the same, the premise similar but each tale was uniquely it's own within this universe. It was such a different take on these tales than I’ve ever seen. A much darker take at that too. I truly enjoyed every moment.


Overall, I loved every page. I can’t wait for the next book! I need to know what’s next for Esther!


I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys dark high fantasy retellings. This is an amazing start to what I imagine is an adventurous series.