About the Book
Book: The Queen of Steel and Fire
Author: Steven South
Genre: Young Adult, Epic Fantasy
Release date: April 21, 2021
When her father is murdered, Princess Claire Erinn is thrust onto the throne of Keldaren. Unprepared to rule, Claire has to act like a strong queen until she learns how to be one. But an enemy queen and Claire’s half-mad brother don’t intend to let her live that long. They’re coming for her crown—and her head. With Death herself hunting her, Claire struggles to become the warrior her kingdom needs. As war engulfs an entire world, only one queen can rule—through steel and fire.
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About the Author
Steve lives in Minnesota with his wife. When he’s not reading, working, or writing, he loves to travel…his goal is to make it to at least six continents in his lifetime. Just three more to go! Beside traveling, he also loves karaoke, although he’ll be the first to admit that he’s terrible at it. You can contact him through his Facebook page:
More from Steven
This project began as a bit of a lark to see if I actually had it in me to write a book. I first “finished” the book in 2006. Then I discovered the meaning of the phrase “writing is re-writing”. It took me over thirty attempts to get the beginning right. Six complete re-writes of the book and 13 years later, it won the 2019 Minnesota Author Project award for young adult fiction. Many query letters later, I found a publisher. After several more revisions with Mel Hughes—the excellent editor that I was very fortunate to work with—Elk Lake Publishing released the book this year.
When I first started writing this book, there weren’t a lot of Fantasy novels with female main characters. I felt it was a really under-represented area within the genre, and I wanted to write a book that imagined what a world with more strong female characters—and especially a strong female protagonist—might look like. I also wanted to write a book that explored the struggle with reconciling faith and reason, and how to be good in a world of moral relativism.
I was raised in a strong Catholic household, but I drifted away from faith in my late teens. In my mid-twenties, I decided that I was being intellectually dishonest with myself, having one foot in religion, and one foot in a kind of lukewarm agnosticism. I took some time to “wander in the desert” and really wrestle with religion and my beliefs, did a lot of studying of different religions and Christian denominations, and as a result of that, found myself really strongly drawn back to the Church.
There’s a saying that all first novels are autobiographies. I guess that’s somewhat true for this novel too. Claire has to struggle to answer the fundamental question about faith that all honest skeptics have to confront at some point in their lives—what if could be true? The Queen of Steel and Fire was born of my journey through that question, and the answer I found.
The Queen of Steel and Fire is a Young Adult Fantasy story that is written by Steven South. This is not my typical genre to go to - but I found myself fascinated with the castles, kings, queens, and dragons. I read this book with my 10 year old son - who enjoyed the story.
Claire is a young Queen. She becomes Queen after her father's death. She knows now that she is a target and that there are those that want to see her fall. While she is young, she really thinks decisions and choices through. I thought this was a good lesson to the audience to really think about decisions. The author really shows what it is like to be inside Claire's head - and while she is thinking things through. Another thing I really liked Claire is that she didn't care what she looked like. She was comfortable in her own skin. I thought that was another important takeaway from the book - especially since this is geared toward young adults who may need to hear that message.
The dragons in this story are not like in other stories. They know they need to protect Claire. That was a unique perspective. All of the characters in this story are well written - the story flows so well throughout the pages.
Well written, action packed and unique - I hope to read more from this author in the future.
I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program - all thoughts are my own.
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To celebrate his tour, Steven is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.