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Exhumation: An Epic of Existentia

(Acts of the Sojourner #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Previous cover edition for ASIN B075L7Q2FP
For alternate cover edition see here

In a city where deep resentments lie,
of kin banished to the shadows,
with no light in the sky;
a high tide of revenge,
draws ever nigh,
as a guardian still questions...
"who and what am I?"

In his position as the Prime Prefect, the Underborn Pious Argentum is responsible for the security and order of S
Kindle Edition, 476 pages
Published September 22nd 2017 by Amazon Digital Services LLC
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  62 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Jul 03, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
I’m going to set this aside for now. I’m really struggling with it; made it to about 25%. Obviously a lot of time and thought went into this story. It’s not a bad story. I just don’t understand anything in it. The words I understand are the prepositions, and I thought I was a bit of a smart cookie.

There are new terms for time measurements, dimensions measurements, and distance measurements. There is no clue as to what these mean. The government, occupations, creatures, and so on are all new wor
Daniel B-G
Feb 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was provided a copy of this for free by the author so that I could critique and review. Sadly, despite the authors clear love for the book, I can't recommend it. I made it to 10% before I bailed. Why so early? As far as I could tell, by that point, nothing had actually happened. The author take lengthy dips into history (personal and political) constantly, whilst in the middle of narrating, this created very disjointed scenes that kept hitting the pause button. Enough about content, what about ...more
Veronica Richard
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
At first, I had a hard time following this book. S.A. Chapman creates an entirely new universe in his first book “Exhumation.” In creating a new world, he uses terms and names that are unfamiliar - which reminds me of when I first read the Lord of the Rings series. At first I was confused with all the character names and places, but once you get into the story, and use the glossary, it’s an enjoyable read. That’s the same with “Exhumation.” I was confused at first, but once I got deeper into the ...more
Heath Banyai
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a previous review said, this book takes a while to get into. Simon Chapman spends the first quarter or so of the book doing some fairly heavy exposition and world building. Every page contains a simply huge amount of new terms, social orders, social classes, units of measurement, historical events, fauna, flora, minerals etc that it takes a while for the story to get rolling.

But stick with it. Once the initial expositionary stuff is out the way, the story really gets moving fast. Chapman has
Rachel Kamery / Never Enough Novels
In its simplest form, this novel is a fantasy tale featuring Pious, a man betrayed by his companions who then returns to fight against forces attacking his city. Along the way, he deals with his memory loss/hallucinations and struggles to understand whether the life he’s built is real or whether he’s been fed lies all along. This book is rather difficult to describe in any detail since there’s literally nothing recognizable in the text. The species, the character titles, the buildings, the relig ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Ok, listen.
"Difficult to get into" is an understatement for this book.
You will want to read it because there are so many exciting and important things going on, but there are also many important cultural devices that are not properly explained within the story itself.
Luckily, the author graciously includes a note at the beginning addressing this and directs readers to the back of the book where most of these missing elements are mapped out in greater detail.
Rather unfortunately, I came across a
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great Story! Found a bit of incongruity in dialog. And I tend to run out of patience when there's a long glossary and I have to look things up, especially when reading an eBook. Was never clear on vocabulary regarding time. Couldn't relate it to hours/days/seasons/years. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series ...more
Donald Unger
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Building a fictional universe is a tough job; one strives to find “the sweet spot,” between problematic poles: explain too much and you’ve created an unpalatably lumpy expository oatmeal that no one wants to finish; explain too little and readers become dizzy and confused—as well as discouraged, and sometimes grumpy—overwhelmed by the plethora of things they’ve been left to more or less figure out on the fly, and on their own.

At one extreme readers can feel infantilized and condescended to; at
Tony Parsons
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The war between the Elysian Concordat & the Shaydean Alliance reduced the population of Aurania to 1/3rd.

The Tribunal of Focal Powers (government) is supposed to rejuvenate resources.
Prime Prefect of the Praetorium Pious Argentum cannot predict the future for the PPL.
Everyone vows for the Existentia (Womb Realm) to take over.
Cedric Pervigil (9°, High Inquisitor Initio & Advocate of Lumerus, 3rd. Cycle of Purity) has just given his lecture.

There are 9 virtues (right)/Iniquities (wrong).
The Sh
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The first installment of the Epics of Existentia pulls you into a fantasy universe, rich with its own lore, denizens, flora, fauna and even concepts of weight, distance and time! It is filled with its own mind bending machines and imagination stretching monsters that work their way into an ever expanding universe that only continues to grow with the commencement of every new chapter.

It all starts with a footfall and a stumble, into a journey far more epic than the book's name can begin to imply
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anita Lock
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“It is the 165th Cycle in the Era of Purity, almost 162 Cycles since the end of the devastating war between the Elysian Concordat and the Shaydean Alliance…” In these realms, a shadow looms over the planet Aurania wherein they reside. Front and center in Elysia is Pious Argentum, the principal protector of Sanctuary, “the grand and fortified capital city of Elysia,” and who is the only person with abilities to collect Evershade Moss, an essential healing plant that Master Alchemist Zosim request ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Exhumation is an adventure that follows our amnesiac hero Pious as he battles with demons both inside himself and threatening his home of Sanctuary. Mythic beasts, forest creatures, magic, fallen heroes, sword fights, quirky alchemists, healers, warriors - this book has all the fantasy trademarks!

As others had mentioned, the book starts out painfully slow. Even the 2nd edition with its paired down beginning had me wanting to call it quits a few times. The only thing that stopped me was reading r
It takes quite a long time for the relevance of the first chapter (hunter versus beast) to be made clear. At first, I wasn’t sure if the story was part of Pious’ injury induced hallucinations or if he was simply remembering something he forgot earlier. His later conversation with one of the monsters he’s fighting indicates it’s a memory. The whole chapter amused me but didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the story for a long time. After all, this novel mostly chronicles the adventures of Piou ...more
Kat Kennedy
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
EXHUMATION: AN EPIC OF EXISTENTIA (ACTS OF THE SOJOURNER BOOK I) by S.A. Chapman is an Epic tale on the scale of Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. In other words, this isn’t a book for those who like to play around with their epic journeys. It is a read that you will have to commit to. One that will frustrate the reader who isn’t a true fan of the genre. Having said that, it did surprise me. Because, full disclosure, while I enjoy fantasy, I tend to like my fantasy in movie form. Yes, I enj ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Exhumation, at times, can be a difficult book to get into. But once you do, you are in for an interesting journey. At times reading like a true history of an existing Republic history, the story will pull you in, and keep you turning pages. The tale centers around a young man named Pious, who was taken into the armies of Sanctuary, a city state open to a variety of races and customs. A central religion exists, as does a singular military mindset, which appears to be similar to the old Roman hier ...more
Cade Judd
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Epic Fantasy Lovers
"Exhumation: An Epic of Existentia" by S.A. Chapman follows the Epic story of Pious Argentum as he struggles to defend his home city of Sanctuary. The hallmarks of an Epic fantasy story are here, such as: a huge world with a long history, characters with unknown and mysterious backgrounds as well as hints of a conflict to span this gigantic world. Chapman fills this book with interesting world-building that hints at things to come and provides the reader with plenty of speculation fuel. Which is ...more
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
The book is difficult to get sucked in to due to the fact that the author spends a large amount of time focused on world building instead of having us connect to the characters, or at least integrating the two. The book also felt like a set up for future books and that's not the way books are supposed to be. They should all have their own plots that are wrapped up but subplots can carry out and become main plots. Also, the amount of new words and history of the world is completely distracting an ...more
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good build up for what lies ahead for this series

Creating a truly invigorating and timeless fantasy tale is a master effort as I'm sure most fantasy authors can attest to and S.A. Chapman made valiant efforts in the conquest of such. Exhumation, the first in a five part series, has all the makings of a potentially riveting story of Pious and his epic trials to protect and save his beloved city. Chapman spends much of the beginning of his story building and explaining the background and cultur
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
"A long time ago in a galaxy far far away ...". The iconic opening lines of Star Wars could just as easily serve as an introduction to this book. The mix of references to other planets, interaction of species on an equal level, dramatic battle scene, and vaguely medieval world structure make this story seem like a fantastical mashup of Star Wars and Game of Thrones. An entertaining fantasy story in the truest sense, this book is filled with interesting characters and exciting details. One critiq ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I do agree with other readers that "Exhumation" does take a little bit to get into to, but once you get past the hump, you won't want to stop reading. The world that S.A. Chapman creates is epic fantasy to the core though it is hard to follow at times. As someone who has been reading a lot of fantasy lately, I felt that "Exhumation" wasn't another stereotypical novel either. Chapman created his own world and his own characters with such precision and heart. I found his main character Pious Argen ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, giveaways, 2019
I really struggled with the story at the beginning, I could tell a lot of time and thought went into this and I really wanted to give it a fair chance. I had to set this book aside for a little bit.
There are new terms for time measurements, dimensions measurements, and distance measurements. I admit i'm still lost as to what these mean. The government, occupations, creatures, and so on are all new words. I did find a glossary and I’m going to have to do some serious studying before returning to
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book took me by surprise!

It took me a bit to get into this book but once I started I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The world was very well developed and I enjoyed the main character Pious a lot. The main plot point, once it became obvious to me, really captured me and took me in. It's the type of book that I couldn't wait to see what happened at the end and I'm glad I read it. It's been a while since I've read a fantasy novel like this, and I would definitely recommend.
Katherine Parsons
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pious is a brilliant character, in equal parts heroic and mysterious, determined and frustrated. His lack of consistent memory forms a very interesting part of the book, as he becomes a character who is not only seeking the truth of the world around him, but also of his own part in it. This journey of self-discovery is excellently written by Chapman.

The world of this story is also well created. Many aspects of it can be likened to similar fantasy stories--as with many books of this genre, it owe
Sharon Gallup
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This folks was one of my wins on the giveaway list. It took me a bit to read this book as it was deep out of this world novel. The story line was excellent but i had a hard time with the names and the world between light and dark. If you are a star wars , or star trek lover then you would really enjoy this book.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways

This was an absolutely fantastic book! An epic tale sure to draw in all lovers of the fantasy genre. Complete with a glossary of terms, maps, and other useful bits. My only reason for giving only 4 stars instead of 5 is a couple spelling and grammar problems that I couldn't easily overlook.
Mark Smith
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Exhumation starts its series with a confusing mix of fantasy, action, and mystery. The book’s plot isn’t presented until the second and third chapters, and the first chapter seems rather irrelevant to the rest of the story. S.A. Chapman’s focus on hallucinations and the tortured mind of Pious, a tormented soldier torn between the truth and love for his home, does remind readers of actual PTSD in war veterans. While the story has good points, Chapman’s tale is a little long and could be divided i ...more
Brandi Perry
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Exhumation by S.A. Chapman is extremely hard to get into but once you do it’s a pretty good book! The first chapter took forever to explain the theme of hunter versus beast and then you realize it’s about the self-discovery of main character, Pious Argentum. The ability to create an entirely new universe takes a lot of talent, organization, and skill, all the things that Chapman has to possess. Even though I loved the strong details and the reading that made me feel as if I were studying a real ...more
**I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I feel like I’m underqualified to review this book. I barely read epic fantasy, and I went into this book expecting something different.

To summarize, it’s a “betrayal and battle” story, though there is only one betrayal and one battle. It’s 476 pages long, but I’d be hard pressed to say what took up all that page-time. I do remember a lengthy exposition, introducing us to the characters and the world. Anyway, it felt slow.
Faith Rivens
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: indie-reader
The extent of the worldbuilding here is rather impressive but the exposition it requires to create it in detail detracts from the pacing at the beginning. And the story drags for it. But once the action kicks in, the story really takes off, centred around a man named Pious, Prime Prefect of the Sanctuary, who strives to protect his city against the war and deceit that threaten it. Fantasy readers are sure to enjoy this book for its ambition and the groundwork well laid for the series to follow.
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Hello good folk,

My name is Simon Andrew Chapman. I am a man of many hobbies and interests. My primary profession is that of a Security Consultant - with an emphasis on Aviation Security as well as the management of Insider Threat. My other profession is that of an Author - but I loosely use the term profession, as that would entail making money. HA!

I began my writing 'career' in primary school wh

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