Fiction - Fantasy - General
336 Pages
Reviewed on 02/14/2016
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Clive was born in the mid-1950s in Bradford, in what was then the West Riding of the English county of Yorkshire. Mid-way through the 1970s, he found himself lured away by the bright lights of Manchester to attend Salford University.

In addition to getting a degree in electronics, he also had the good fortune of meeting Maureen (Kit) Medley - subsequently his partner and recent Editor. Manchester retained its lure and has thereafter been his hometown.

Torn between the arts (a natural and easy artist) and the sciences (struggled with maths), youthful rationality favoured science as a living, leaving art as a pastime pleasure. Consequently, after graduation, twenty years were spent implementing technologies for mainframe computer design and manufacture, and being a Group IT Manager for an international print company.

The unearthing of a late seventies manuscript - during loft improvements - resurrected an interest in storytelling, and one thing led to another. A naïve and inexpert seed finally received benefit of mature loam, and from it Leiyatel's Embrace eventually blossomed.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anna Smith for Readers' Favorite

Solem by Clive S. Johnson is a fantasy story about the magic and misunderstanding of demons. In The Green, demons are forbidden. Demons are sent away over the river as young children without another thought as to their fate. But Janeen is different. She doesn't realize that she is a demon at first. But she has a way of bewitching the people in her village. Unfortunately, all of that changes when Janeen grows up. She is now a young woman, and as a female demon she unknowingly brings about changes to the orderly, normal way of life her village is used to. Even worse, the effects of Janeen's demonic magic are unleashing intense consequences that will affect not only her, but also the world around her that is unaccustomed to change. However, it is not all bad. The changes that Janeen stirs within her world also bring back a long lost secret that could potentially save and preserve the Earth. While Janeen is thought to be unleashing evil into the world, she just might be the one thing that can save it from doom.

Solem is a beautifully written story in such a fantastical world! Johnson does a fantastic job with the description of this gorgeous world. I immediately fell in love with it and never wanted to leave it. The richness of the details captivated me and really drew me into the story. I loved the magical elements of this tale and thought the characters were fresh, smart, and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!


Delightful and engaging new venture by Johnson, 14 Feb. 2016
By GAA on

This review is from: Solem (Kindle Edition)

Having read all Johnson’s previous books in the Dica series, I was eager to see where he would go with this first book in a non-Dican setting. Solem is a fascinating new venture; in my opinion, it’s his best book yet.

The style of writing is highly engaging and the character development excellent. I followed the adventures of Janeen and Craith with complete absorption. Their different character arcs complemented each other beautifully. As ever, Johnson’s visual descriptions bring the world of ‘The Green’ vividly to life. I do not want to give too much away with spoilers, so will just say that the main plot of the book, to discover Janeen’s true nature and how that impacts the world around her, is strongly supported by a delightful romantic sub-plot and some hilarious comedy sequences.

Although this book is quite different to the Dica series in terms of setting and plot (and to some extent characters too), the narrative voice is still as distinct as ever, and it’s interesting to see some of the themes explored in the Dica series re-emerging in new and different ways in Solem. All in all, a great read and I highly recommend it.


Worth the Price of the Ticket, 5 Feb. 2016
By REgina on

This review is from: Solem (Kindle Edition)

I’m a huge fan of Mr. Johnson’s style of writing. I traveled every single mile of each and every journey he walked us through in his Dica Series, so a few months ago when I saw he had posted the first chapter for a new book, Solem, I devoured his words and wanted more. Of course that only whetted my appetite, so it was with great and impatient excitement I waited for Solem’s release.

When it was finally born I was not disappointed in the least in Mr. Johnson’s new creation.

This new story once again took me on a wonderful journey of personal struggle and growth. Mr. Johnson drew me in and made me care about his charming characters. There is a sweet undertone of a love story that teased and made me cross my fingers in the hopes that Craith and Jeneen would overcome all the odds and find happiness.

While Solem is by no means a romance, I really did love the way it was written into the story. It was almost an intangible thing. I think that was what made it more powerful to me. I’m certain each reader will carry away something different from this book, but that’s only because Mr. Johnson is gifted enough to layer his stories so they will mean something different to each and every one of us.

Mr. Johnson is a master wordsmith. His journeys of the heart are worth the price of the ticket.

J Tommo

A truly enchanting tale, but where's his desk?, 14 Feb. 2016
By J Tommo on

Verified Purchase
This review is from: Solem (Kindle Edition)

I sometimes wonder where an author writes, sad, I know. For Pratchett, it would have been a log cabin that clung to a cliff next to a magical waterfall and overlooking an ancient forest. Zelazny had an austere desk that sat upon a cloud from which he looked down and observed. With Clive, I can’t make up my mind. His desk should be where ploughs and rakes are littered after a hard day’s toil; or maybe by a cozy, inglenook fire – a front room or country inn.
Such is the earthy feel of Solem.
It is a beautiful tale of love, a journey of discovery, and a comment on belief. I will not reveal much about the plot, suffice to say the book didn’t pull me along; more let me float atop its river of words; the meanders slowly revealing a whole, new, created world. That land is painted with, for those that have read Dica, Clive's usual exacting prose. There are demons, there are fears, there are answers and there are questions, but above all, there is a story that is great. Isn't that what it is all about?
Craith demands a special mention – what a fantastic character. He should get his own book…

Amazon Customer

Like all good fantasy novels, 16 Feb. 2016
By Customer
Verified Purchase

This review is from: Solem (Kindle Edition)

A compelling read about a strange world, intricately imagined, Solem, like all good fantasy novels, offers insights into our world and our own relationships and dilemmas. With its quest theme and the sense of ordinary individuals saving the world against dark forces, it has shades of Tolkien and Mervyn Peake, while retaining its own original force. A great read for all ages, offering both escape and illumination. Recommended.


Another Terrific Story, March 3, 2016
By BongoMan on
Verified Purchase

This review is from: Solem (Kindle Edition)

As I was totally absorbed by Clive Johnson's Dica series, so too did I lose myself, wandering through the country and meeting the people in "Solem." There are four authors that really get me involved in their worlds, immersed in their natures. Clive Johnson is one and he is in good company with Tolkien, Sanderson, and Jordan. Thank you, Clive, for another gem.

angela mortimer

Wait for it...wait for it. Verified Purchase

Clive's books are original. Each reader might see a different world and Solem is no different. I felt very uncomfortable in this new world world he'd created and I wasn't sure why? It was beautifully written, of course, but somehow the characters were odd and perhaps even in that first chapter I'd put my finger on it? However, as Clive leaves it to the reader's imagination I couldn't be sure. As always with his excellent books I was looking for a reason for my feelings and I like that. I like to think and with the authors books you are always wondering what is this really about? When I got to the end I wasn't disappointed and knew exactly why I didn't fit in. Excellent.