This is the first book that I have read by Stephen Lawhead and I was very pleased with what I found.
The Paradise War invokes shades of C. S. Lewis when two modern-day Oxford students find themselves in a Narnia-like Otherworld steeped in Celtic Mythology. Lawhead's love and knowledge of ancient Celtic mythology provides a very rich foundation for this trilogy.
This story was well written and the characters were both interesting and engaging. There was a good combination of faster paced action and character development mixed in with slower and more tedious times of difficult travel. The pace at the end of the book picked up considerably as conflicts intensified, setting the stage for the next installment.
Lawhead succeeded in creating a world both concrete and mystical that drew me in from the very beginning. This book falls in line with a variation on the fantasy genre of Tolkein, the escapist nature of Narnia, and the historical appeal of the ancient Celts. I really enjoyed it and wasted no time in starting book two, The Silver Hand.
From the dust jacket: "Wolves prowling the streets of Oxford. A green man haunting the Highlands...Lewis Gillies is face to face with an ancient mystery. Drawn from the ivory towers of Oxford to the misty moors and glens of Scotland, Lewis expects little more than a pleasant weekend away. But the road north leads to a mystical crossroads, and he finds himself in a place where two worlds meet, in the time-between-times. The ancient Celts admitted no separation between this world and the Otherworld: the two were delicately interwoven, each dependent upon the other. In THE PARADISE WAR this balance is disturbed-a breach has opened between the worlds, and cosmic catastrophe threatens. THE PARADISE WAR is the first book in Stephen Lawhead's epic series, SONG OF ALBION.