Hello Rebel, and welcome back to my life.
Continuing our video series we’ve been doing the last few Fridays, I’m here to give a synopsis of another one of my book series, and today we’re gonna talk about the Realm Keepers series.
The Realm Keepers series was published in 2013 and 2014 and are the only books where I’ve had a co-author. They were written with my oldest friend and the guy who got me into indie publishing in the first place, Zach Bolger, who writes under the pen name of Z.C.
The Realm Keepers series is about six young high school students in Rhode Island who all mysteriously fall asleep one day in detention.
When they wake up, they’re in another universe called Midrealm, where they discover they have new magical powers. Each one of them is a wizard of incredible power, and the master of a single element.
They’re also thrown straight into the middle of a war, with only a cranky old wizard there to tell them what’s going on. After barely surviving their first battle, they’re naturally a little curious what’s going on.
They learn they’ve been selected to be the Realm Keepers, wizards who defend Midrealm against the forces of Chaos. Now, every time they go to sleep on Earth, they wake up in Midrealm, and vice versa.
The problem is that the war is already raging, and Chaos has the upper hand. Normally Realm Keepers get a whole introductory training period in which to learn how to use their magic, but all of that’s gone out the window.
They have to figure out how to defend this new universe from evil, because if they don’t, and if Midrealm ever falls, the forces of Chaos will be able to break through and overrun Earth as well.
But at the same time, they have lives here on Earth, and they can’t simply abandon them. And of course they can’t tell anyone what’s happened to them without being immediately sent to the nearest psychiatric institution.
In many ways, the Realm Keepers books are the most fun series I’ve ever written. There’s a lot more humor and fun in them than in the Underrealm books, for example.
They are written specifically with a Young Adult audience in mind, and if that’s not your thing, you might not enjoy them.
Realm Keepers was my first foray into fantasy. It’s the series that made me realize that fantasy was pretty much what I wanted to write, and they’re the reason I went on to write the Underrealm series in the first place.
Also, unlike all of the Underrealm series so far, the books are written from multiple points of view. In fact, they’re written in an episodic format, and were originally released as serialized books.
The first episode is told from the point of view of Sarah, the de facto leader of the group, the second episode is from Calvin, her little cousin, and so on.
Each book (or “season” if you use television terminology) also ends with a big finale, which is three times the length of a regular episode and told by all six kids at once, with each chapter alternating between them.
As a result, the books are pretty big. Here’s one of them. That’s over a quarter of a million words, so just a little bit of light reading.
Now, I should let you know that only the first two books in the series have been written, but six are planned. Zach and I haven’t been able to coordinate our schedules to write the third, but it will happen as soon as we can.
However, you do have half a million words and more than 1,200 pages of stuff to read RIGHT NOW, so it’s not like there’s any huge lack of story as it stands.
They were written with a very clear influence from the Animorphs series of books, so if you read those as a teenager and liked them, you will DEFINITELY see that influence in the story.
Reviewers have said, and I would agree, that the Realm Keepers books aren’t quite as mature as what I’ve written since. They deal with less intense subject matter and delve less deeply into the themes I explore in the rest of my fantasy.
But they are really, really fun. I re-read both the books this year, and I forgot exactly how much fun I’d had writing them. They’re adventurous and funny and every once in a while, really, really earnest and heartfelt.
If you haven’t already read the Realm Keepers books, there’s a link in the description where you can pick up the first book, Midrealm.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick summary. Next week, for our final video in this series—at least for now—I’ll be talking about my standalone “literary” novel Rebel Yell—which is why I call you a Rebel, by the way, so you might be interested.
Thank you, Rebel, as always, for watching. Do the usual good stuff—like, subscribe, and drop a comment. I will see you Friday. Byyye!