YA Review – The Queen of Steel and Fire – Young Adult Fantasy

Queen Steel

About the Book

Book: The Queen of Steel and Fire

Author: Steven South

Genre: Young Adult, Epic Fantasy

Release date: April 21, 2021

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QSF cover

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.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review of The Queen of Steel and Fire

South, Steven. The Queen of Steel and Fire. Plymouth, MA: Elk Lake Publishing, 2021.

Steven South is a new-to-me author. There is always a little bit of uncertainty when reading a new author – is the book going to be up to my standards? The Queen of Steel and Fire exceeded my expectations. South included many elements of a great fantasy – an epic quest, mythical creatures, a well-developed setting not of this world, complex characters, conflict between good and evil, and more. 

One thing I really appreciated was the strong female characters in the story – there are male characters but it is the females who carry the plot. I also appreciated the many parallels to the Bible and Christianity. The book also contains dragons which are a favorite element of fantasy for many. 

The ending of the book left me hoping for a sequel and maybe even a series. I would love to read more about the characters in this story. 

The Queen of Steel and Fire could absolutely find a place in a K-12 Christian school library. It could possibly find a home in a public school library as well – there are many Biblical parallels but they all have names different than those found in the Bible. I think fantasy lovers in middle school and up will enjoy this title. 

I received a complimentary copy of The Queen of Steel and Fire. This is my honest review. 

About the Author – Steven South

Steve South headshot

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:
www.facebook.com/queenofsteelandfireseries

More from Steven South

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.

Blog Stops on Celebrate Lit Tour

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

Inklings and notions, October 23

Nancy E Wood, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 25

Libary Lady’s Kid Lit, October 26

For Him and My Family, October 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 27

deb’s Book Review, October 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 29

Rebecca Tews, October 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 31

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 2

Blogging With Carol, November 3

Giveaway

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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/126b1/the-queen-of-steel-and-fire-celebration-tour-giveaway

You can purchase books at: (affiliate links)

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My Teachers Pay Teachers shop

If you are an avid reader, you need to check out Totally Booked: A Book Lover’s Companion. Totally Booked, a companion reading journal from The Mosaic Collection, is perfect for book lovers. As a paperback, Totally Booked travels easily and is a charming gift for mothers, sisters, girlfriends, book lovers, avid readers, book club members, influencers, bloggers, and book reviewers (description from Amazon).

Other items you may be interested in: (affiliate links)

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