Sunday, April 14, 2013 00:48

Review 149. Patrick W. Carr – A cast of stones.

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)Title: A cast of Stones.
Author: Patrick W. Carr.
Pages: 432.
Published: February 1st 2013.
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Sort: Part 1 of ‘The staff and the sword.’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
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 travellers, 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.
Rating:

I haven’t read a fantasy book in a while and A cast of stones definitely reminded me of my love for adult fantasy.  I was surprised when I saw that it’s a Christian fiction book, according to Goodreads. There is a special system when it comes to the Church, but the influence of Christendom never bothered me. The book did started a bit slow, but the pleasant writing-style was good enough to grab my attention.


This story follows Errol Stone, an alcoholic who is willing to do anything for some money. When he volunteers to deliver a message to the priest Martin and Luis, he is up to the adventure of a life time. He is hunted by deadly assassins and Errol is forced to flee together with them. When Luis finds out that Errol has the gift of sight, he binds the boy to the Church. Readers are special, because they can casts lots. These wooden objects can help the reader to make a decision in great matters. Errol almost dies when he is separated from the group. A family takes care of him and he finds out that he is good in fighting with the staff. When it’s time to leave, Errol decides to join a caravan to work as guard. This will takes him to Erinon, head of the city, where he must fulfill his task.

Erinon is the place where the Church is established. Readers are being killed by an unknown enemy and the King is dying. It is time to cast in order to name the new King, but there is someone out there who is trying to sabotage the outcome. It is up to Errol and some other characters to put the rightful king on the thrown before the barrier falls; their only protection against their dangerous enemies.

First of all, I really liked Errol. He is a mess in the beginning of the story, but his development is incredible. We get to learn the reason behind his drinking problem and the way he slowly deals with it. He is a very likable character and I respected him. There are a lot of other side characters, like Martin and Luis, and I had the idea they all played a role in this story. The world-building is good. The information is revealed piece by piece and that made me anxious to keep reading. Errol doesn’t know a thing about readers, picking a new King and politics, so it was fun to learn everything through his eyes. The twist at the ending surprised me and I liked the slight wrap-up. I’m intrigued to read part two, The hero’s lot.

If you are looking for some good old fantasy, this is the book you want to pick up!
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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

20 comments:

  1. I've never heard of this one before, but the cover and your review really pulls me in! I'm glad you enjoyed it; wile I don't read adult fiction (much less fantasy!), with a likable main character and good world-building, you can't go THAT wrong, can you? ;) I know I haven't read many good YA fantasy books, apart from Shadow and Bone and Harry Potter, so I think I need to increase my list of "good old [fantasies]," as you put it!

    Fabulous review as always, Mel!

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    1. I think this can work for you, since Errol is 19 :) The transition from YA to Adult isn't that big.

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  2. Sounds like a good book! Anything with assassins in them appeal to me :)

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    1. You'll like this, there are quite some scenes with assassins :)

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  3. I don't know that I've ever read an adult fantasy novel, but this one definitely sounds interesting! I can appreciate incredible character development and I love a good twist ending!

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  4. Sounds really interesting-I don't usually delve into fantasy but I like hearing that it has Christian elements that don't intrude too much. One to keep on my radar.

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  5. What a pretty cover! This sounds like a pretty good book. I like that you said that Errol had great character development. I've been pretty disappointed lately with some of the books I've read lately because of the characters. Great review! I'm going to be adding it to Goodreads. :)

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    1. It's a shame when characters disappoint you, but I promise you this will not be the case here :)

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  6. I haven't read an adult fantasy novels in years, though I really like the sound of this one. It doesn't bother me when there is a slight religious influence in books. Great review, Mel! I'm glad you liked this one. :)

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    1. I used to read many adult fantasies, so I'm happy I found my way back to them :D

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  7. I want to check this one out now!

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  8. I honestly don't think I have read an adult fantasy novel, but this one really sparks and interest. I like how you said it has good character development and I love that in books! I think i might check this one out, thanks for sharing your great review Mel,

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  9. I can't believe I've never heard of this one before o.O It sounds really brilliant! I love fantasy reads more than anything and your review really leads me to think I'll enjoy this one too :) Thanks so much for the great review, off to add this to my Goodreads shelf!!

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    1. If you love fantasy, I think you will like this one!

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  10. Oh a high fantasy and Christian? I'm not sure this one would be for me. But I guess it depends how the religious aspect is handled. Sounds like it has great Character growth though with Errol. I like that the books seems to have different topics like alcoholism. Great review, muffin!

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    1. I actually liked the subtle religious tone. It wasn't forced, rather necessarily for the story line.

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  11. I haven't heard of this book before. It sounds really different and interesting though, with the Christian themes blending with the fantasy genre and all. Great review!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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  12. I have grown to love fantasy and this one sounds good! Great review!

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