A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.
It’s the Grand Finale for
The Valley of Decision
by Shannon McDermott
âA solid fantasy that wears its spirituality lightly yet effectively.â
~Kirkus Reviews (read the entire review here)
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the characters and the story-book world of The Valley of Decision. Did you miss any of the stops? You can check them out below:
Colorimetry – The Mountains, the Moors, and the Hills
If you ever travel north beyond the Black Mountains, into the kingdom of Belenus, you will find yourself in a vast and varied land, a country of laws unwritten, unspoken, and scrupulously obeyed…
Katie’s Clean Book Collection – The Trow
Deep in the mountain Anuin, the smithies of the Trow house mighty fires. Those crimson flames imbue the stony heart of the mountain with heat, fill it with a pulsing red glow like living rubies.
Bookworm Lisa – The Fays
Belenus, the master of the North, does not often leave his glittering palace or his green hills. You are not likely, even if you roam his kingdom, to ever see him…
Distractions of Grandeur – Review
“The best story element involved the Fay, an elvish race who for once felt truly alien. She went beyond current stereotypes and really brought out the danger of these beings, even those one might count as allies. There were echoes of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, elevating the stakes and the narrative itself.”
Finding the True Fairy Tale – Interview
Which of the characters from The Valley of Decision was your favorite to write?
The main character, Keiran the Captain of the Hosts. To even attempt what he did, a person would have to be either very desperate or very confident of his own abilities. Keiran is the second, and he has an extreme self-assurance, and sometimes conceit, that I enjoyed using. Heâs also bold, another fun characteristic for a writer to work with. And because he is a very able man, and has reason to be confident, his occasional conceit adds texture to his character and makes him more interesting.
I Love to Read and Review Books – Ten Fun Things to Know About Shannon
(1) I was born in California but grew up on the East Coast.
(2) I have seven little sisters.
(3) I like sweet potatoes baked or boiled, with butter or with sugar, made into fries and made into pies. But I cannot stand them canned.
Wishful Endings – Dokrait and the Black Mountains
The Black Mountains are high and treacherous â so many sheer, soaring cliffs, so many monstrous boulders dangerously perched. Wolves teem on the mountains, spilling into the lowlands when the winters are long. Bears and the great cats prowl those hazardous slopes, too.
Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Pretty much. I was eight when I first decided (and declared) my ambition to write a book. Of course, it was years later when this desire to write took on the adult dimension of âThis is what I want to do with my life, this is how I want to earn my livingâ.
Mythical Books – The Dochraitay
The Dochraitay possess the unhappy distinction of being the foremost servants of Belenus. They fight his campaigns against Alamir and the Islemen, they grow the crops and hunt the animals eaten by the Fays, they give up their children for the mines and the army and the palace of Muireach.
Brooke Blogs – Interview
2) What is your favorite part of the writing process?
When I take my scenes, written longhand in my notebook, and transcribe them into the computer, revising and polishing as I go. Itâs easier than the initial writing, and I finish with a feeling of satisfaction. The scene is done! Until my editor gets her hands on it, anyway.
Coffee Books & Art – Interview
How did you come up with the title? Names?
The title comes from a Bible verse found in the Book of Joel: âMultitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!â For the names, I established this pattern: of Gaelic origin, unusual enough that the names would not be common in our own world, but not too unusual. I avoided names like Ruairidh because it just looks too foreign. Who would care to guess how to pronounce it? So I ended with names like Torradan and Artek and Belenus â different, but easy enough.
Mel’s Shelves – Review
“There are lots of moving parts that came together in the end for a satisfying conclusion. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read this, and I look forward to reading more from this author!”
The Wonderings of One Person – The Alamiri
Long ago, the Alamiri tribes came from the distant sunrise lands â climbing nameless mountains, fording forgotten rivers. Their wanderings ended here, among the forests south of the Black Mountains.
The Written Adventure – Interview
3) What gave you the idea for The Valley of Decision?
The Lord of the Rings, much as it pains me to admit it. In those books, Sauron had legions of human slaves whose only purpose in the story was to fight the good guys (and get beaten). Itâs not that Tolkien was heartless in his use of these characters â remember Sam witnessing one of them being killed and sadly wondering what his name was and if he even wanted to fight â but I came to think how good it would have been if Sauronâs slaves had staged a revolt. Why should all the heroes come from the free nations fighting Sauron? Why not from the enslaved nations oppressed by him?
Mommynificent – Review
“The characters were definitely my favorite part of the book. I really enjoyed coming to understand the complexities of the three main characters, who interestingly are all male. I also really enjoyed the unfolding mystery of who the Fay are and why they are a part of this world.”
Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If there is one message in The Valley of Decision, itâs that we all have choices to make, and we canât escape it. Not making the choice is itself a choice. My principal character, Keiran, faces the ultimate choice: Rebellion or obedience, Godâs way or his? But all the characters have to choose, and their choices mean risk and sacrifice and (sometimes) reward â just as our choices do.
Platypire Reviews – Review
“Keiran, the Captain of the Hosts, was an interesting character. From the beginning of the book, I wasn’t quite sure what direction the story was going to go in, and I didn’t know what to think of him at first. As things were revealed and I got further in the story, I found myself rooting for him as a reader and enjoyed his character development.”
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – The Northmen
In the uttermost north, beyond even the kingdom of Belenus, icy mountain peaks look down on the Coldlands. The Coldlands are not on our maps, not even the borders. The Alamiri do not venture even to Belenusâ home, let alone past it. But rumors come to us â from foreigners, adventurers, and far-travelers, brave, reckless, wild men.
My Devotional Thoughts – The Hobgoblins
One more tale? All right, my love; just one.
Long ago, the great father Athair led the first Alamiri up into the Rhugarch Pass. They were men of his clan, relatives loyal and strong. When they scaled the mountain to the Rhugarch Gap, they stopped for the night.
The men settled down to their rest; the fire sank into embers; the watchman grew drowsy. And a soft, soft pattering murmured into the camp.
Christy’s Cozy Corners – Interview
What do you hope people take away from your books?
I hope that whenever someone finishes one of my books, they feel like theyâve been on a journey and it has ended well. Every story is about a characterâs struggle for something, and I hope my readers will be able to feel that in my stories and be encouraged.
The Bookish Fairy – This or That
Chocolaty or fruity candy?
Chocolaty. Hands-down, 100%, all the time.
Get out of the house or stay at home?
Stay at home.
Winter or summer?
Can I pick spring or fall? Iâll go with summer.
Where the Black Mountains pierce the sky, they divide the south from the north, Alamir from the kingdom of Belenus. Belenus, the undying master of the north, commanded Keiran â the Captain of the Hosts â to conquer Alamir. But the Captain is deep in conspiracy, and he has his own plans.
The Valley of Decision is a fantasy novel, a saga of slavery, freedom, and choices.
Shannon McDermott is a Christian author of speculative fiction, as well as a humorous detective series called “The Adventures of Christian Holmes”. She has written both fantasy and science fiction, and has yet to decide on which one to like better.
She was born to Wisconsin, expatriates in California, grew up on the East Coast, and now lives in the Midwest. Her principal hobbies are politics, history, novels, and coffee.
– Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card and ebooks of The Valley of Decision and The Sunrise Windows (open INT)
– 2 print copies of The Valley of Decision (US only)