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The Valley of Decision by [McDermott, Shannon]
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The Valley of Decision Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 416 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


The prose also frequently achieves a gentle cleverness ... A solid fantasy that wears its spirituality lightly yet effectively.  -Kirkus Reviews

TheValley of Decision transportsits readers into a fantasy world as rich and authentic as Tolkien'sThe Lord of the Rings. The novel is high fantasy with a neo-medievalsetting. McDermott's characters and storytelling are not onlycredible, they are totally enthralling, imaginative, and original.She has created a trio of men--Keiran, Caél, and Jarmith--whocannot possibly be any more different from the other, but they forgean alliance of friendship and championship that is then capable ofdelivering a host of people and other creatures from the oppressivegrip of the evil Belenus. Through their struggle and battle forliberty comes the revelation that we all have to choose which masterto serve. It will either be the one that steals, kills, and destroys;or else the Eternal One, who is good, restores, and can set us free.-Dr.Brenda Ayres, Director of Undergraduate Research and CreativeWriting, Liberty University.

Valleyof Decision is a masterful tale of fantasy, friendship, andredemption. It is sure to inspire as well as entertain all those whoread it. ~ Sarah Holman, author of Adventuresand Adversities

ShannonMcDermott is a promising young author who has created an intriguingstory with strong plotting and character relationships. Readers whoenjoy thinking below the surface of a novel will find much to thinkabout here.Janie B. Cheaney, Sr. Writer, WORLD Magazine

Product Details

  • File Size: 1383 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: SALT Christian Press; 1 edition (May 21, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 21, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,627,648 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Age Appropriate For: 12 and up for violence
Best for Ages: 12 and up

I shy away from reading fantasy, much less endorsing it. However, when Shannon asked me to endorse her newest book, I told her I would give it a try. I am so glad I have this excellent book a change and I hope you will to.

Although it can best be classified as fantasy, it does not have the magic and overwhelming darkness that normally comes with the genre. Like Shannon’s other books, she is reclaiming some of the genre’s that are dominated by secular fiction.

This is a tale of strong male friendships that are not girlified. This is a story of a people’s struggle for freedom and survival. This is a story of personal redemption. Valley of Decision it a light allegory of our own lives and struggles.

The characters in this were so well developed. Each had their own personality and way of thinking. In fact, I don’t think I have read a female author who has done such a good job of making two good male leads so different.

The world that Shannon created for this story felt very real. Some fantasy just doesn’t work well because the author didn’t take enough time to world build. Shannon obviously did a lot of work and created a place that feels real.

For those of you who get tired of romance stories, this book also proves to be a nice break from the norm. There are a couple of very minor romantic interests in the story (one of them being a married couple) but that is it.

I highly recommend this book to those who like well written fiction, non-magical fantasy, and stories that inspire.

I was given this book by the author. No Amazon review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It's been awhile since I cracked open an honest-to-goodness high fantasy tome, and unfortunately it was a mixed bag. This book's expansive, bold plot is weakened by writing that doesn't quite meet its bold vision, but there are glimmers of greatness to reward the reader who finishes it.

It took me a while to really get into the story: both "The Valley of Decision" and its short story prequel "Sunrise Windows" suffer from slow starts. This quiet-before-the-storm approach might have worked if the prose was less perfunctory. Without a strong voice or style, it's weighed down by extraneous details and simplistic sentences, with a heavy reliance on telling the reader how to feel rather than organically inspiring the emotion through the text. Even in the rough patches, though, an occasional gem surprised me. I'd like to see the writer polish her work so that everything shone as brightly as those few and far between moments of wonder she sprinkled in.

Author Shannon McDermott is to be congratulated for finding just the right size for her tale. I gained an appreciation for just how big the world was as the novel progressed, even as I grew more attached to the hopes and dreams of the characters. 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.

Once this part of the story began the human characters grow more believable in word and deed. Formerly they behaved more in service to the plot, without a real foundation for their actions (especially the captive-turned-ally Jarmith).
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Format: Paperback
This is a very intriguing and enjoyable Christian high fantasy leaning toward the heroic. The level of spirituality is Old Testament with potential self-chosen spiritual life change possible—though not common. A relationship with God is virtually unheard of among man but the core of the fay world with which man is intertwined. The world is divided between the half in bondage and slavery to evil and the half seemingly free to make their way toward good and freedom. The fay are immortals placed on the world to make their choice between serving self and power or serving the Eternal.

Mainly, this is an intriguing, exciting epic adventure about finding freedom
It is a typical American venture, in other words. It is saved by wonderful characters—both evil and good. The three main characters, Keiran, Caél, and Jarmith, are very different from each other and all wonderful heroes in their own right. The bad guys are extremely evil immortal slavemasters governing their underlings as worthless slaves controlled by fear. Needless to say, the good guys seek to be free of the bad guys—but they want to take all their people with them into freedom.

I missed strong female leads. There really aren’t any, though there are a couple very nice, strong women in the book. This is a manly book, written by a woman, which gives us a different look at the more normal testosterone-driven world of leadership and warriors. These are men it is easy to admire. Even the bad guys are more driven by fear than evil. Only the evil fay leadership is shown as truly evil—consciously denying and rebelling against their creator.

Spiritually, there’s not a lot here
But the tale is a solid joy you should read if you like epic fantasy at all. There’s very little romance. This is about a fight to the death for freedom. Read it!

I was given a copy of the book so I could review it, with no restrictions.
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