Worlds Unseen, by Rachel Starr Thomson (Little Dozen Press, 2007)
A richly-imagined fantasy set in a vaguely British Isles world, in a time where the weapons are sword and spears, and transportation is by horse, boat, or train.
Maggie Sheffield’s world is upended when she takes on a simple quest that makes her a target for evil beyond her imagination. Along the way, she befriends a boy who can hear what animals say, meets Gypsies and revolutionaries, and learns that there’s more to see than the world around her.
Maggie’s world is the Seventh World, and the other worlds seem to be spiritual realms. There are various types of spirits, some good, some evil. Ruler of all is the King, who loves humans greatly and who left the Seventh World when human rebellion broke His heart. But promise and prophecy say He will return.
Framing Maggie’s adventures are occasional entries from an ancient book written by one who calls himself the Poet, the Prophet. He remained behind when the other spiritual beings left, to leave a record for those whose hearts would one day seek the truth.
On one level, this is a classic fantasy with an oppressive regime and a handful of humans who want a better way. On another, it’s a spiritual allegory I found encouraging for living in my own world, where the key to courage is to remember the King and trust Him.
Worlds Unseen is a clean read with a bit of a C.S. Lewis feel, and although the evil beings and deeds are dark, the author doesn’t stray from fantasy into horror. This is a book both adults and young adults can enjoy. Highly recommended!
The novel is book 1 in the Seventh World series. It’s free in ebook form (also available in print), and well worth reading. I look forward to the rest of the series.
Rachel Starr Thomson writes both fiction and non-fiction, both from a Christian perspective. She’s also a speaker. For more about the author and her work, visit rachelstarrthomson.com.
[Review copy from my personal library.]