new Ross Lawhead release “The Realms Thereunder”
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until 4 pm CST today 09/97
By Ross Lawhead
Reading Group Guide
- Freya and Daniel live with the knowledge that there is more to the world than what most people understand. How does this knowledge affect each of them?
- “Black ops” officer Alex Simpson is committed to fighting the forces of evil. Do you believe that the presence of evil can physically manifest itself in the existence of malicious creatures? Do you believe, like Ecgbryt, that “there are places that are more enchanted than others”? Where and why?
- Despite his grim situation in life, Daniel feels as if he belongs to another time, to a greater purpose. Do you believe a person can choose his or her own destiny or that it is chosen for him?
- Though Freya declares that her time in Niðergeard was the worst thing she’s ever gone through, Daniel fondly recalls it as the best thing that has ever happened to him. Why do you think two people, going through the same experience, have such different perspectives? How did Freya’s and Daniel’s experiences define each of them?
- Swiðgar says to Freya and Daniel, “You have started along a path that you cannot go back on. But there will be more paths to choose from and soon. Perhaps one of those will lead you to the place you seek, perhaps somewhere better.” How are Freya and Daniel alike? How are they different? Why do you think they were each chosen for this task, and why were they chosen to do it together?
- What parts of Freya’s and Daniel’s lives do you think were reality, and what parts were deceptions, meant to entrap them?
- Ecgbryt declares that, “War is only barbaric when fought by barbarians–dishonorable when fought by those with no honor.” Do you agree with his point of view? Why or why not?
- Daniel says, “I think I’d rather die doing something than die doing nothing.” How does the ideal of being a hero affect Daniel’s determination and course of action in the book? Does this ideal affect Freya’s perspective?
- What role does Elfland play in this tale?
- Freya has the opportunity to kill Gád and falters. What prevents her from completing the quest set before her? Why do you think she lies to Daniel about what actually happened?
- How does Gád cause Freya to rethink her perspective on the relationship between good and evil? How does Gád’s perspective influence her?
- Swiðgar believes that “men and women of any type, of any nation, of any advantage, at any time, will always war with, steal from, and take advantage of each other, no matter what is done to try to help them improve their lives. No matter what the advantages–education, riches, comfort–men will still tend toward evil.” He declares that, “It seems that people carry corruption around inside of them wherever they go.” Do you agree or disagree with his statements?