Sunday 7 April 2013

Book Review: A Cast Of Stones Patrick Carr

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)
 From The Back:
An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers
Will Love!

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.

My reflections:

Errol is a young teen boy who is consumed with the desire to acquire ale. When he delivers letters in exchange for his vise, he is faced with obstacles no young man should have to deal with. Errol is covering for a troubled past, trying to drown out his hurt. He has no clue, however how his little deed will impact his tender young life.

He is met with disaster around every corner, including the malicious man in black. Errol must fight for his very life against the darkness that is threatening his very existence.

This book is action packed, and laced with rich literary terms and engaging characters!
It is a gritty read due to the time period, but does envelop the reader into a story line that is imaginative yet intricate in detail and depth. Saying that the language used is simple and easily understood. Very well written you would not guess this book is Carr's first novel.
It is quite an entertaining read, definitely not something I am usually apt to take on as I tend to lean towards romance novels and Amish fiction!

 If you are looking for a medieval tale filled with fantasy and action this is your book!

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my review, from Bethany House Publishers. Thank you Bethany House!

I am excited to introduce my guest reviewer: Victor Penner age 12. He is exceedingly talented, and very well spoken!
I look forward to hearing more of what this Young adult has to say.

                The only thing that young orphan, Errol Stone does is drink. He`s either drunk or working for money to buy ale. He works for the herbwoman, gaining knowledge of both healing and poisonous plants. Seeking more coin for more ale, Errol is enlisted by a messenger to deliver an important and urgent letter to a hermit who lives in the wilderness outside of the small village that is Errol`s home. He thinks the task easy, until he finds himself hunted by the Watch, the most elite and deadly assassins in the kingdom. Errol is hurled into a mystery. The men who he has known all his life are not as they seem, they have secrets on a scale Errol can`t even comprehend that will throw the fate of the kingdom, and Errol`s own life, in danger. Errol discovers that he is a Reader; a being both blessed and cursed with magical abilities. He is forced to flee and begins a journey that will take him to the other end of the kingdom. He is pursued by a Malus, an evil demon who feeds on pain, and Ferrals, savage wolf-men who are bent on his death. Errol struggles to overcome his addiction to ale and abandon the pain and grief of the past.  Over the course of the book, Errol matures and gains confidence in himself. He learns wisdom, courage and hope.  The knowledge he has gained and his unnaturally powerful abilities as a Reader place him in danger. Errol has unearthed dangerous secrets, now his enemies will do anything to silence him. He must learn to fight and discover who he can trust in this world of lies and treachery.
                 Overflowing with vivid description, intense action and even humor, The Cast of Stones is a literary masterpiece filled with inconceivable detail and depth, yet imaginative and lively. The novel is realistic in every aspects of life, if you ignore the magical abilities of a Reader and the fell monsters hunting him. It gives an extraordinary mindset of Errol, exposes why he does what he does, showing him weighing out every decision. The novel shares all of Errol’s fears and hopes, his opinion of every situation he`s in, what brings him joy and what revolts him. The first chapter has a member of the Watch stalking him through treacherous terrain and shooting poisoned arrows at him: every chapter has a sword duel, an intense chase, a poisoning or a mystery in store for Errol. Each character has his own distinct personality, his own habits and attributes; even minor characters are given depth. Patrick W. Carr has envisioned a detailed fantasy world with its own religion, government and different people groups. He uses literary devices, emotions, well-developed characters and powerful word choice to create a brilliant novel.
Victor Penner, age 12


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