The Hero's Lot
Riveting Sequel from Christian Fantasy's Most Talented New Voice.
When Sarin Valon, the corrupt secondus of the conclave, flees Erinon and the kingdom, Errol Stone believes his troubles have at last ended. But other forces bent on the destruction of the kingdom remain and conspire to accuse Errol and his friends of a conspiracy to usurp the throne.
In a bid to keep the three of them from the axe, Archbenefice Canon sends Martin and Luis to Errol's home village, Callowford, to discover what makes him so important to the kingdom. But Errol is also accused of consorting with spirits. Convicted, his punishment is a journey to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, where he must find Sarin Valon, and kill him. To enforce their sentence, Errol is placed under a compulsion, and he is driven to accomplish his task or die resisting.
I’ve been dying for this book since I gobbled up the first, A Cast of Stones, back in January. You can find my 5 star review HERE.
In book one we were introduced to Errol Stone, a young village drunk, who as typically in fantasy stories goes on to be some one of great importance to the kingdom. I’m not a fan of giving plot points away in reviews, so I’ll just say that Mr. Carr wove the story in a fresh, new way that had me clicking away on my kindle until ‘The End’. Couldn’t get enough of his character, of the young man’s plight, and his flight across the country.
In The Hero's Lot, Mr. Carr once again takes the reader into a well thought out world, one full of intrigue and details to create and roll a movie though the mind. Without fluff or purple prose, Errol’s country comes alive. The characters are consistent and more than one tugs on the heart strings.
On occasion, fantasy sequels bring about one problem after another in order to make up a series, often feeling forced. Not so with The Staff and the Sword! Book two is a perfect continuation of the conflict from book one. There is a natural progression that is pleasing and comfortable for someone as nitpicky as I am.
In The Hero's Lot, the focus is on two journeys, and I have to be honest and say that Errol’s took a back seat to Martin’s, the priest, for me. The emotions Martin deals with, the choices he is confronted with moved me much more than Errol’s. Yes, our MC is once more facing danger and death, but *spoiler alert is a must here* an element of romance is brought in that fell flat and felt forced for me. There is zero emotional development between the two – nix that. There is some on the female’s side, but we’re not given enough insight into Errol’s thoughts concerning her beyond his confusion. I’ve never met a male as clueless as our Errol, and for me that’s a big believability issue, which you all know I’m a total stickler for.
For that reason, book two started out slow for me. Yes, I was interested, but I had no problem putting down my kindle when I got tired. Just wasn’t as compelling as book one until about the ¾ mark. THEN we got rolling. The problem is, is that once that climactic moment hit, there were a lot of scenes that were summed up – told in a way that lowered the tension. When a group of people are escaping death, I want to taste and feel their fear for as long as possible.
Now it could be that some scenes were skimmed over in order to keep the word count at a decent number, but I would have enjoyed this book much more had the first half been skimmed and what should have been heart-pounding ending drawn out until I sweated.
All that being said (can we tell I was woken up early this morning and only had ½ cup of coffee??) I really did enjoy this book. It is complex, well thought out, and well worth the read.
Will I read book three? I heard Mr. Carr has finished writing it, but it won’t be available soon enough in my opinion. Can’t wait.
Writing in the Margins
by Patrick. W. Carr
The question, many times, is not “Where do you come up with your characters?” No, more often it is “How do you do it?” Co-workers, family, and friends stare at me, their eyes wide with disbelief as if I had some potion or technology that could somehow cheat the sweep of the second hand. I published a blog some months dispensing advice on how to write and have a full-time job. In it, I said the things most everyone would have said: manage your time, make the commitment, think like a writer, and write whenever you can, even if it’s not for very long.
To be honest, looking back a few months after penning that blog, I feel a little hypocritical. Life has a way of spinning out of control and sometimes writing has to wait. I’m sitting at my dining room table here in Nashville where day-after-day of heavy rain has revealed a leak in the roof that will have to be fixed, one of many house projects that comes with owning a home (and that I’ve ignored for too long). About a month from now I will be starting grad school in an effort to further my career as an educator. That of course reminds me that in three weeks, I will return to the classroom where I will be introducing another group of students to the joys of Geometry and Algebra.
On top of this, I have the most important duties of all: To be a husband to my incredible wife, Mary, and a father to my amazing sons, Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Did I mention that they’re incredible and amazing? I think they deserve a spouse and dad who is emotionally present as well as physically. Plus, they’re just a lot of fun!
Do I want to write? Oh yeah.
Will I be able to? No idea.
The truth is, my last name isn’t Rowling or Patterson or King or any of the other top writers who are successful enough to write full time. I have an idea for a detective series that I desperately want to explore, but for the next couple of years, it’s going have to compete for my time and mind share. Oh how I wish I had more time. I may have to settle for 15 minutes here or there to do a character sketch, refine a piece of an outline, or even do some actual writing. But that’s okay.
Because I remember this one guy, supposedly very bright, who wrote: For every time there is a season…
You know how the rest of it goes, but as sure as I’m writing this, things change, not always for the better, but not always for the worse either. Perhaps God and circumstance will provide an avenue that I can’t envision. I think the key is to find a balance between our passion and our patience. Now that would make a great blog, but I am so not the guy to write it.
But perhaps you could. Drop me a line. I’d love to hear how you’ve achieved the balance the two.
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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