Tag Archives: S.F. Claymore

Book Review: ‘Champion’s Rising’ by S.F. Claymore

Title: Champion’s Rising (Champion of Psykoria Book 1)

Published: 1st March 2018

Author: S.F. Claymore

 

Blurb:

An young adult medieval coming-of-age fantasy filled with action, adventure and a huge variety of magical creatures, including dragons and demons.

Prince Snarmis is a giant of a man, one of the strongest in the kingdom of the Psykoria. But although he towers above his peers, Snarmis’s skill at fighting fails to impress his father, whose approval he seeks. His close friend Celtor, leader of a mysterious and hermetic group of forest-dwellers, advises him to seek help from werewolves. Before he sets off, a young, enthusiastic and naïve member of the tribe, Serenity pleads with him to take her with him to give her a taste of life beyond the forest.

He is giving Serenity a tour of Psykoria’s capital, when the country is invaded by the daemons – terrifying, blood-thirsty monsters set only on death and destruction. Snarmis realises he must become a great warrior or die in the attempt, and accept help from anyone willing to offer it – including Serenity.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a dragon in it. Warrior one called Rakkan that fights with King Breetor of Psykoria. An interesting fantasy read that takes you on quite the journey.

The last great battle was the War of Good and Evil, some would say the war was over but it looks like evil has found a way back to cause chaos. Seems sword training with Snarmis needs to be improved stat if he wants to be as good as his father.

Snarmis, the Prince of Psykoria, longs to impress his father with his skills but they just don’t seem to be improving on their own. He has the height and build to be a great warrior but his sword skills are lacking. Which isn’t good when news of a new battle is on the horizon. His friends the Lambada tribe might be able to help – along with the fairies in the forest that offer a little pain relief after a tricky training session, magic comes in handy some times. The leader of the tribe Celtor thinks he has a way to help but needs to travel to Drason Wood to see the werewolves there to do so, collecting something that will come in handy to fight. While he travels Serenity, another member of the tribe, asks to spend time with Snarmis to see more of the outside world, she may wish she had stayed put with what comes their way.

One way to charm your guest is to offer a ride on your pegasus. Well Serenity does want to fly so what better way than on a winged horse. Her wish is granted but not from a fun flight, more like a retrieval one when she goes off to find her leader fearing he is in danger. Snarmis is there to help but what will they come across on their journey? In doing so they might find themselves in the middle of a battle they should really be flying away from. Wherever Snarmis goes Serenity will follow, even when she really shouldn’t. Both getting better with fighting though – good job too with what comes at them.

A whole army of beasts called the Ultimate Evil is on their way destroying everything and everyone in their way. Demons are coming and it’s a fight to the death. One of the leaders Gassar wants to create an even worse army of followers – don’t get too close during a battle or you may wish for death. He wants something and is willing to do all he can to get it. Well that’s one battle that will be hard to beat.

Interesting read from start to finish, though in places a bit long in the description of things. Later part was mainly battle after battle but was a good way to see new sides coming together to fight the demons. Battles may be won but the war is just beginning. Intriguing characters overlapping along the journey taken with Snarmis and his friends. His skills might have improved but the battle for war continues.


3.5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Author Interview: ‘Champion’s Rising’ by S.F. Claymore

Champion of Psykoria Book 1

About the Book:

“Prince Snarmis is a giant of a man, one of the strongest in the kingdom of the Psykoria. But although he towers above his peers, Snarmis’ skill at fighting fails to impress his father, whose approval he seeks. His close friend Celtor, leader of a mysterious and hermetic group of forest-dwellers, advises him to seek help from werewolves. Before he sets off, a young, enthusiastic and naïve member of the tribe, Serenity pleads with him to take her with him to give her a taste of life beyond the forest.

He is giving Serenity a tour of Psykoria’s capital, when the country is invaded by the daemons – terrifying, blood-thirsty monsters set only on death and destruction. Snarmis realises he must become a great warrior or die in the attempt, and accept help from anyone willing to offer it – including Serenity.”

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I was born and raised in the UK, but spend more time in the Philippines nowadays. Even though my studies revolved around computing, I’ve always been far more passionate about creating my own worlds and characters.

To say when I got into writing isn’t an easy question to answer. I always enjoyed writing stories since childhood, but wasn’t capable of creating a believable world back then. I even spent a few years in my teens participating in online role-plays. It was probably around this time I realised that writing a story in a fictional world created by someone else always brought restrictions on one’s imagination based on whatever limited knowledge I lacked on that world. I don’t doubt this is what inspired me to create my own world, and I quickly found myself able to bypass those “limitations” I’d previously felt.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Wherever my computer’s located. This would usually be whichever bedroom I’m in, based on where I’m staying. I have written chapters in other locations, such as a university library, a school’s computer room, and even inside a gazebo for a time. Regardless, it’s not the surroundings that matter so much as my personal mindset at the time, and the amount of possible distractions. But when all is said and done, nothing beats one’s own private quarters.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I literally get ideas from everything I see: mythology, television, video games, other books and comics/manga, anything that puts a good and original idea in my head. I try my best not to rip anything off though, and put my own unique spin on everything.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Before I start writing the chapters, I create a brief list in a notepad file, numbering the different scenes and noteworthy events.

Here’s an example, based on the first issue of my free-to-read comic, The Great Taelon Laskar:

1) Introduction – Taelon in practice. Archmage Esenion watches. Taelon’s quest for improvement stressed.

2) Orfrid plans his attack on the Master’s Temple.

3) Taelon interacts with Marek, Shelton and Jacob.

4) In tavern – Taelon speaks with Lain. He learns of vampire and werewolf war in Ortis.

From this point, I’ll start writing the first chapter, filling in details and discussions, letting dialogue flow naturally, etc. I might even end up making changes to the original ordering; for example, anyone who’s read my comic will note that scenes 1 and 2 in the list above were swapped around in the final product. It’s when writing the scenes where unplanned details and actions emerge though; where the characters start to naturally come to life.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

My novels are fantasy, set in a fictional setting with historic and mythological influences. It was, in my opinion, a genre where I could really let my imagination run wild. I also enjoy writing fight scenes involving characters with unique fighting styles and abilities. I suppose the same could be said of other genres, particularly sci-fi, but picking between fantasy and sci-fi to me was more a matter of whether I preferred to create a world with roots in magic, or in technology. Needless to say, I chose the former.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Hmm, tough question, something I never thought about. These are definitely choices I’d leave to an expert, though I could imagine Chris Hemsworth as a good pick for Snarmis.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I confess that I’m a bit of a slow reader, preferring to savour the suspense from scene to scene. I usually read 1-2 chapters a day. I’ll even finish on a chapter that ends in a cliffhanger. I think of this the same way when I see a cliffhanger in a weekly episodic show, or when I come to the end of a weekly/monthly comic issue. I’ll also confess that I didn’t read that much in my childhood – despite having always enjoyed writing stories, my younger self always preferred video games. Perhaps that may be why that same boy was intrigued to discover the fighting fantasy game-books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. I couldn’t tell you what age I was when my parents bought me one of those books, but the book was Battleblade Warrior.

Being more of a reader of novels now though (and still a gamer, I’ll add), some of my favourite authors include George R.R. Martin, Terry Goodkind, Gail Z. Martin, and the legendary J.R.R Tolkien.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m up to Confessor in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. A long series that’s taken me time to get through, but very enjoyable.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

To be honest, this isn’t a question I can give a straight answer to. While, like perhaps everyone, I’ll read a book and weigh my enjoyment of one story against another I perhaps might not have enjoyed as much (particularly those in the same series), but I’ve never actually thought about every individual story I’ve enjoyed greatly against one another to pick a single favourite. The authors I listed in the previous questions aren’t the only ones whose novels I’ve enjoyed, but perhaps I felt their novels were enjoyable collectively, as opposed to others who I felt had some stories I enjoyed just as much, and others not as much.

If asked on which novel in a particular series I enjoyed most though, I’d find that question much easier to answer.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

I’m still learning on the go about self-publishing myself so can’t offer much, but I will warn any aspiring independent authors not to make a certain mistake I did, and that’s leaving my marketing actions so soon before my novel’s release date. I should have sent out review requests months before, and made a more sound marketing strategy. However, it’s not all doom and gloom if you do make this mistake; your novel isn’t going to be taken down from any merchant sites, but be prepared for a longer wait.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

My twitter is @SF_Claymore. I tweet mainly if I feel I have something to report or if I see something I can relate to or agree with and decide to retweet it.

 

About the Author:

Born and raised in the UK, I have a technology-based education, but my passion has always been in creating stories, worlds, characters, and doing anything that allows me to use my imagination.

I’ve had the privilege of being able to travel many parts of the world in such a small number of years, learning of different cultures and histories. Everywhere I go, I’m always absorbing new knowledge, and when one has so many ideas bursting in their mind, there is no greater joy than allowing them to materialise.

Website: www.bladeorflame.com

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