The Stones of Valtara

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Mockup of Tablet

A vengeful god returns from the shadows and will not rest until his dark designs are fulfilled. His name is Velak, and he comes to harvest the Chosen.

In the sleepy village of Nabaya, Tarek lives a blissful life with his wife and son. He spends his evenings in the tavern, entertaining the villagers with stories from Tarania, the land where they live. Then one night, he recites a dark fairytale from his homeland’s distant past:

A creature as old as the ancient Hen Rai,
Its home is the forest, in slumber it lies.
It waits for a movement, a scent or a sound,
Then out of the forest, the Bwgan crawls out.

As silent as a tomb, it nears its prey,
All tucked up in bed, sleeping they lay.
Then out of the shadows, it stretches its limbs,
Slithering and shimmering on the ground they skim.

It worms through windows, chimneys and doors,
Slipping past those it knows to ignore.
Until a child it finds, that brings it delight,
And steals them away, in the black of the night.

The villagers applaud, oblivious that Tarek’s words foretell of the cataclysmic fate that awaits them—for the terror that inspired the legend now lurks outside the village walls, ready to be unleashed by its divine master, Velak. In the aftermath, Kaine, the ruthless commander of Velak’s fanatical worshippers, reveals to a heartbroken Tarek the staggering truth of why the village was attacked. They came for the Chosen, and they came for Tarek. The dark god has plans for him.

What happens in Nabaya will set in motion kingdom-shattering events that lead to one place—the Stones of Valtara. It’s not a question of who will die, it’s who will survive to challenge Velak?

Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Bernard Cornwell will enjoy the Celtic-themed world of Tarania, with its flawed characters, bloody battles and jaw-dropping twists.

Grab your copy today.

What readers are saying about The Stones of Valtara

Amazon Reviewer, Rach, gave The Stones of Valtara ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
She wrote…
SO IT BEGINS : Lady Amira opening paragraph.
OMG??? What a read!
Taranians, Mendari and Ancient Firsts
Epic lives playing out before my eyes
Exquisite Early Medieval world building
… All for the glory of a warriors death
This book dragged me gasping into its world and the people who live there and kept me sitting on the edge of my seat right to the very end.
Bring on book 2 … I can’t wait to go back !
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Know this. The Stones of Valtara is, simply put, stellar. It is worth your time.
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2021
The Stones of Valtara is the debut novel from fantasy author Christopher Clargo, a fine gentleman you will soon be hearing much more about if my instincts are correct. The novel is a wonderfully engaging tale that I devoured in one long sitting, and this is for a good many reasons. While certain fantasy tropes can be recognized in the novel, the story offers an interesting perspective on Celtic mythology, a highly detailed and developed world certainly influenced by Medieval times, and a cast of characters worth getting to know, each described in a way that allows your imagination to work with some of the author’s intentions.
Before I get to the novel itself, I would like to include an interesting story about self-published authors, and the fashion in which they can get their works read. Quite a few years back, I read an epic fantasy novel by the name of The Crimson Queen. Now, some of you might know this first book in The Raveling trilogy by Alec Hutson. It was his debut novel, and it was also self-published. When it first hit the “shelves” of Amazon, the book did not fare well at all. Sales were slow, and reviews were few and far between. However, I liked the book so much, I took the time to write a glowing review and received a personal response from the author. So, with a little help from further positive reviews and Alec’s graciousness in thanking people personally for helping spread the word, The Crimson Queen hit cult status, and eventually, bestseller status. I keep in touch with Alec to this day. So please remember, these self-published authors APPRECIATE you, Constant Reader!
The situation that I describe above is much the same with Christopher and The Stones of Valtara. I reached out to him and told him how much I loved the book. I truly wanted to post a review that would matter in the long run. So here it is. However, a few qualifications. The Stones of Valtara is the first book in For the Love of the Gods series! You wonderful fantasy readers will be rushing headlong into ANOTHER SERIES! But it is SO WORTH IT! AND… Christopher has the prologue book to The Stones of Valtara, Grimbard, for FREE on his webpage! Further, I will not offer any SPOILERS in this review, that is totally unfair, but I may discuss a few plot points. Last, if you post a review, please be kind to this fine gentleman and author, Christopher Clargo. He has worked hard and has written a hell of a novel.
So, the novel itself? An excellent blend of political intrigue, dark magic, and a world at war.
Now, I never fully enjoy politics in my fantasy books—bor-ing; just give me the magic and fight scenes. But the politics here are not in the least bit boring or tedious. Let’s just say we have six different clans within the kingdom system, and a certain amount of divisiveness caused by an uneven and unfair caste system. Now, further divide these people by faith–with monotheistic and polytheistic religions represented–and you have a powder keg of possibility waiting to explode. Clargo exploits these divisions to great effect because the reader is allowed to understand what motivates each character within the story (similar to other authors I can mention) but on a smaller scale. We are not left floundering, trying to remember names and affiliations, loyalties and grudges (or ARE WE?). We can just immerse ourselves in a story perfect for a fireside read.
Add to this the mysterious magic system in the mystical world of Tarania. Let’s just say it is wonderfully nuanced, and offered on a grand scale. It is also drenched in Celtic mythology, but keeps an incredible secret at its very core that goes against the very nature of the world’s existence. It certainly keeps you guessing around every corner. Also, we find a new reason to be horrified, as Clargo describes scene after scene of magic and mayhem in his unique way. I’ll tease you with one word: Reaper.
This book is not for the faint of heart as it includes a lot of gore and explicit descriptions of battle. It is also an R-rated world regarding the sex scenes found within its pages. If these are not in your wheelhouse, then I would tread lightly here. Nonetheless, the action sequences and the human relationships are what gives the novel a lot of its strength. Clargo has some interesting ideas about life and mortality, as he will summarily destroy thousands on one page and save one seemingly random individual on another. It helps to show us the cost of war, how it affects the freedom to live and worship as you please, and the value of each and every human in the land he has created.
But I’ll tell you… when I finished this book, there was one overriding thought in my mind: the idea of love, and with that, the idea of what it means to be human. And not in any cheesy fashion whatsoever. I remain shocked and surprised at how Clargo deftly weaves these ideas, and the subsequent emotions involved, throughout the story. It was not what I expected to leave with AT ALL after reading the novel. I had such a sense of wonder at how Christopher infused the novel with such sentiment without having to play a trumpet to romance or bang a drum for lovely freedom. Self-love. Love of family. Love formed in the bonds of friendship. Love for kingdom and country. Otherworldly love. Spiritual love. All-encompassing love. I mean, wow, that’s a testament to some fantastic writing. The story becomes a meaningful one, and not a love story with all the requisite slick marketing and contrived window dressing.
I recommend that you join the trio of fighting friends Tarek, Rodric, and Luis, the evil Kaine, the beautiful Lady Amira and her faithful Cai, and the rest of the Mendarians and Taranians, as they make their way in their world at war… to the Stones of Valtara. It is worth your time and you will not be disappointed.
PS–I wanted to mention that even though this is a debut novel that is also self-published, it DOES have the benefit of an editor. The book reads in an incredibly effortless way because of this fact. You Constant Readers know exactly what I’m talking about, right? Cheers and happy reading.
Amazon Reviewer, Gary, gave The Stones of Valtara ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
He wrote…
Gripping and full of action
This is the start of a great series, full of twists and turns that will keep you wanting more.
My favourite character started off the worst of the bunch and it only got better.
Definitely one to reread!!!
Booksprout Advance Review Reader, Stephen, gave The Stones of Valtara ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
He wrote…
A stunning first novel from Christopher Clargo. The Stones Of Valtara will take you to an imagined world and time full of believable characters caught up in a war of might and magical foreboding. A guaranteed page-turner of descriptive brilliance that leaves you wanting more.
Fear, Loathing, Death , and Treachery in a Savage Land
ADULT Medieval Style Violent Sci-fi Fantasy with Paranormal Elements. This is a twisted tale of Religious fanaticism and untold Treacheries between families.
I don’t know how anyone in this novel ever survived to adulthood. But somehow they did even though their entire world is filled with mass executions, and murderous sword and crossbow ambushes and battles between warring religious factions all the time. The two factions are the followers of the Goddess Enora, and those that follow Velak.
None of these people are happy with their lot, and it’s because there are two religious factions that cannot leave each other alone or coexist. There is also a highly regimented caste system wherein the mark of their caste is literally branded into each person’s palm . Pretty tough to hide that!
Each side insists on killing armies of both men and women knights and warriors, even women and children civilians in their quest to dominate, and eliminate their enemy.
The violence is overwhelming and salacious at times. Violence is used for the sake of instilling fear and total obedience among the peasant populace, as well as turn their enemies to their side. Non compliance means a nasty death . Both sides are guilty of atrocities . A Shoot first and ask questions later attitude seems to be the norm.
Kaine , the heavy in this tale, is the leading disciple of the supposed God, Velak , and his leading enforcer . Velak is a God always hungry for blood and gore, or at least, this is the way Kaine portrays him. Kaine slaughters hundreds just to make a point, just to ensure obedience by the masses. I guess there are still a few left alive for him to conquer and subjugate!
In the meantime, there are persons who are sleeper spies among both sides. is there still an honest man among them? Is it Cai, a young warrior who cannot remember his past? Or is it Tomos, the young heir to his father’s throne who is so sickly he can never become a warrior?
ARC Provided by Booksprout
I also got this ebook from Amazon with KU.
Great world building and editing is throughout this long but mesmerizing novel. The jumping around with different chapters from character to character in the novel was a little disconcerting but it all fit seamlessly into the timeline of the book.
“The stones of Valtara” is the first book in a new fantasy series by author Christopher Clargo. For those, like me, who are fans of epic fantasy with touches of alternative History and a consistent setting based in Celtic roots and Early Middle Ages, this author’s debut is a must, and promises a series almost as enthralling as “Chronicles of Ice and Fire”. Of course, no dragons here, but a dark second world – Tarania – where political intrigues go hand in hand with the struggle between two religious systems. The fights for power and religious fanaticism lead the trajectories of several characters, which can be good, bad or even doubtful; especially the women, they can be surprisingly strong and decided in their actions, a refreshing view in fantasy epics, where so often a certain sexism seems to be the keynote. In all, it is worth of the reading, but I leave you a warning: it’s not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of violence in many scenes, so, be prepared.