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A Cast of Stones
(The Staff and the Sword #1)
An Epic Medieval Fantasy
In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.
Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.
I received this book through Netgalley for an honest review, and boy am I ever glad I did!!
Finally a high, medieval fantasy - my favorite - that is told RIGHT, or rather SHOWN properly. A character on a journey, personal and external, without the typical cliché of the fantasy genre. Let’s dive right in.
Yummies: World building with an authentic feel. Characters who nab your attention & empathy, refusing to loosen their hold. Pacing. Action. Suspense & mystery.
The best part? The story telling itself. Mr. Carr is a ‘show don’t tell’ master. He swept me up with vivid visuals and kept me clicking the kindle late into the night because his voice is active. Exciting. Every character & situation was portrayed with indications (actions) of emotions / reactions rather than being told to us in boring prose.
I loved too that there’s no distinct villain. Yes, there are the ‘bad’ people / race, but Errol, the MC faces personal struggles & constant threats on his life from unseen sources, ones we can only guess at.
Perhaps I was too swept up in Errol’s tale to nitpick plot issues & believability. Yes, for me it was THAT good. The whole casting stones & reading has potential for disaster in that believability issue, but Mr. Carr cleverly covered his bases and thought this magic through.
Yummies: Um … none. Ok, well maybe that it’ll be way too long until the next stinkin’ book comes out - The Hero's Lot (The Staff and the Sword #2).
Recommend: Need I state the obvious? Best fantasy of 2013 IMO - other than my own Eye of the Soul (Pool of Souls #1) releasing in October of this year!! hehehe Yes I know it’s only Jan, but I’m going to predict it right now. Given enough exposure, Mr. Carr & his Cast of Stones is going to be a hit.
I’m his newest fan and will do everything in my power as a fellow fantasy lover & author to help promote his work. I hope you will too!
Author Patrick W. Carr
Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.
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