Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Craig Smith

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Latest Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar review

Hey,

I thought I would let you guys know about the latest review for Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar.  A big thanks to Nayu’s Reading Corner for reading it and reviewing it.  There’s also a  Goodreads review by Rick Saunders and a Dead Trees review by Paul Lappen.

Fantasy

Friendly trolls, ogres, a skeleton pirate ship, lots of trials involving magic, wizards, a dragon, a quest, lots of tension, strange foes, lots of humour, an imp, a kingdom

Book blurb


A thief in the night. A missing sacred artifact. An evil warlord from ancient history, out to rule the world. These are only a few of the problems facing Tennen, the newly appointed Lord Protector of Melin. Thrown into a desperate race against time, Tennen, his dragon friend Berrinn, and his men chase the thief and his mysterious companion over land and sea to a cursed island where they try to wrench the Chalice of Ringtar from the enemy’s hands before it’s too late. All while under the watchful eye of a mysterious black hawk.


eanwhile, searching for his family that had been taken from their home by the enemy during the war in Elfwood, Devlin and his friends face mounting danger as they travel through war torn Welkland to find them. Battling ogres, befriending a rambunctious imp, and even competing for the crown of Welkland in a grand contest, Devlin finds a little more than he bargained for, something that will change his life forever.

Nayuleska’s thoughts

This book takes well known elements in the fantasy realm and uses them to create an entertaining read. I liked how the book followed the two characters. That really heightened the intensity, especially when at least one, if not both, of the groups were in grave danger. I felt that I really got to know Tennen as a person. He has got such a prestigious role, but really he’s fairly ordinary and doesn’t see himself as others see him. He’s sensible because he practices defending himself against magic, without the use of the stone which is in his possession. I feel that in the course of the novel he starts to accept the role he has, and although he doesn’t necessarily like doing so, he calls on the benefits that role bestows him. I loved his dragon friend, who proved very useful in the quest in the later stages of the book. However, initially Berrin wasn’t mentioned much. After his first mention, Tennen wasn’t in touch with him for several chapters, which considering how helpful he is, I found that a little bit strange. After that though he became a regular feature, and I loved learning all the skills he had.

Devlin gets into just as many scrapes as Tennen does. It’s so funny because for a while, wherever they go they managed to cause trouble so were worried about which route they would return by. I think my favourite moments with them was with the competition to become king. I’d have liked to see all the trials explained as they happened, rather than being retold later on to characters who couldn’t compete. However the trials are really clever and meant that only a person worthy of being a leader gained the crown. I got teary eyed when Devlin finally meets his family.

Overall, this is a book I heartily recommend. It’s not too dark and heavy, although some descriptions of the monsters had me wanting to run for cover. I really want a magic tent which provides enough room and resources no matter how many people need to use it. There were a few clunky sentences, but I read a proof copy so they’ve probably been ironed out now. Also there wasn’t a lot of mention about the mysterious hawk, who I still don’t know what it is. It certainly suggests there are more tales about Tennen and Devlin to be told. The content is clean and generally family friendly, so this is good for all readers.

Final conclusion

A fun sword and sorcery fantasy read, which lures you into a false sense of security and then springs unexpected problems and foes onto the two teams who are both on a quest.

Zoolin Vale and Chalice of Ringtar and The Red Stone (the first book in the series) can be purchased from your favourite online store. Reviews for The Red Stone can be found here.

Exclus1ves: Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar R104

Exclus1ves: The Red Stone R112

The Book Depository: The Red Stone About R90 with free delivery

The Book Depository: Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar About R90 with free delivery

My First Radio Interview

Had a blast with JP Naude on his Power Hour show yesterday. And it was so cool to see the Good Hope Fm studios in person. Everyone was very friendly and professional. I was a bit wracked with nerves near the start of the interview, but picked up confidence. Have had a lot of nice comments about my voice. I think it’s what saved the day! Would love to do more in the future. We spoke a bit about my books The Red Stone and the follow up book Zoolin Vale and Chalice of Ringtar. As well as a project I’m working on with three other writers Jani GreyLood Du Plessis and Dave-Brendon De Burgh. Crumbling Ruins, a post apocalyptic novel with four characters hellbent on escaping their captors. It’s a weird tale that will have you laughing in places and cringing in disgust in others.

If you would like to listen to the interview you can listen to it on YouTube here

JP is very much interested in the writing process and local writers.  If you’re in the area you should contact him and see if you can arrange something similar.

Official release day of Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar

Hi all,

Glad to report that my 2nd fantasy novel was finally released today and is available from the Exclusive Books website for R100. And if you get them to send it to a store it’s free delivery.

I will keep you guys posted as new reviews etc become available.

Exclusive books link:

http://bit.ly/ebzoolin

Here’s what others have said about the book so far:

A vivid fantasy world. A classic quest adventure. If you like Dungeons & Dragons, you will love what Craig Smith has to offer.

Herbie Brennan, author of the New York Times best-selling Faerie Wars series.

“An enjoyable read – highly recommended for fans of Fantasy novels” – Lood du Plessis, Exclus1ves.co.za

“Craig’s prose is deceptive in its simplicity, giving his characters layers of emotion, which also makes Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar a quick and refreshingly honest Fantasy.” - Davebrendon’sFantasy & Sci-Fi Weblog

Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar

Hello Everyone,

My second novel Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar is going to be released in one month’s time! (10th December 2010)

Here’s the back cover blurb:

A thief in the night. A missing sacred artifact. An evil warlord from ancient history, out to rule the world. These are only a few of the problems facing Tennen, the newly appointed Lord Protector of Melin. Thrown into a desperate race against time, Tennen, his dragon friend Berrinn, and his men chase the thief and his mysterious companion over land and sea to a cursed island where they try to wrench the Chalice of Ringtar from the enemy’s hands before it’s too late. All while under the watchful eye of a mysterious black hawk.

Meanwhile, searching for his family that had been taken from their home by the enemy during the war in Elfwood, Devlin and his friends face mounting danger as they travel through war torn Welkland to find them. Battling ogres, befriending a rambunctious imp, and even competing for the crown of Welkland in a grand contest, Devlin finds a little more than he bargained for, something that will change his life forever.
What others have to say about the book:

“A vivid fantasy world. A classic quest adventure. If you like Dungeons & Dragons, you will love what Craig Smith has to offer.”

Herbie Brennan, author of the New York Times best-selling Faerie Wars series.

http://www.herbiebrennan.com/

“An enjoyable read – highly recommended for fans of Fantasy novels” – Lood du Plessis, Exclus1ves.co.za

http://outofmycave.blogspot.com/

“Craig’s prose is deceptive in its simplicity, giving his characters layers of emotion, which also makes Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar a quick and refreshingly honest Fantasy.” – Davebrendon’s Fantasy & Sci-Fi Weblog

http://davebrendon.wordpress.com/

Here’s the fan page: http://on.fb.me/zoolinvale

You can also pre-order the book directly from the Publisher’s website!http://bit.ly/zoolinsg

Or you could purchase The Red Stone. My first novel and the prequel to Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar from:

Exclus1ves http://bit.ly/exclus1ves (South Africa) only R107
Amazon US http://amzn.to/theredstone amazon
http://amzn.to/theredstoneuk amazon UK
The Red Stone FB page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Red-Stone/58322753263

If you have any questions or would like to interview me, feature the book, or review the book please contact me through FB or my email: zoolinvale (at) gmail (dot) com

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it,
Craig

Cover Art by Peter Joseph Swanson

NaNoWriMo

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year?

Would like to introduce myself

Hi all,

Been lurking around the BookSA site for a while but haven’t been too active. Just haven’t had much time lately, but hope to pop in from time to time to keep up to date with everything.

From my mini blog page you can see I’m a writer. I’m 27 years old and live in the Western Cape. I write part time but hope to make it a full time career.

My first novel The Red Stone was published in 2008. Here is a link if you would to check it out: http://tinyurl.com/y5hf8p8

My second novel and the follow up to my first novel Zoolinvale and the Chalice of Ringtar is still in the editing process and is due to be released in December this year. I’m very excited about it!

Here is a link to its Facebook page if you would like to know what is going on with that:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zoolin-Vale-and-the-Chalice-of-Ringtar-by-Craig-Smith/434698480576?ref=ts

Apart from that I have number of short stories published. The best of which were from Macmillan Education SA. 2 short stories last year and another 2 this year. They are currently being marketed to schools etc…

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!