Very rarely do I accept the challenge to review a book for pine needles and paper trails that I am not sure will be “full of treasure”. I made an exception for the The Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour because they have a wonderful track record of choosing stellar new fiction.
A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr, published in February 2013 offers a unique hero in Errol Stone. This first installment in The Staff and The Sword trilogy offers a main character who is an orphan, a drunkard, and seems, at the outset, destined to throw away his life. Since good character development is one of my most valued components in a novel , I was gratified by this unusual “anti-hero”.
In compassionate and realistic plot twists, Errol is not left alone to work out his recovery from alcoholism and his re-entry into productive life. Patrick Carr describes a set of supporting characters who join Errol in his quest to restore the failing kingdom.
As a world-maker, Mr. Carr satisfied my desire for interesting, yet believable culture, terrain, and history. Unfortunately, the first book had no map of “Illustra” which was a disappointment after J.R.R. Tolkien’s and C.S. Lewis’ efforts to show readers Middle-earth and Narnia in that format. I am the sort of fantasy reader who flips back to the map when the story takes me to a new location.
A Cast of Stones offers a glimpse into a world in which people are born with inherent gifts, a philosophy to which I adhere. I enjoyed seeing Errol Stone discover what was latent within himself and put it to use for good.
A Cast of Stones offers danger, combat, assassins, intrigue and lots of other thrills that should appeal to old and young, male and female. Many excellent book reviews abound from the CSFF Blog Tour on A Cast of Stones which you can access at the following websites:
Emma or Audrey Engel
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller