An Unlikely Hero – Review of A Cast of Stones

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:

Julie Bihn
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Laure Covert
Pauline Creeden
Emma or Audrey Engel
April Erwin
Nikole Hahn
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Rachel Wyant

Categories: Fantasy, Inspiration, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “An Unlikely Hero – Review of A Cast of Stones

  1. Scathe meic Beorh

    You may want to have a look at my latest novel BLACK FOX IN THIN PLACES to be released by Emby Press before Christmas 2013. My design in writing was to continue the Tolkien and Lewis legacy.

    Scathe meic Beorh

    • Thanks for commenting. I will certainly look at your novel with its intriguing title! The legacy left by those dynamic duo (Tolkien and Lewis) is a wonderful on. Kudos to you!

      • Scathe meic Beorh

        Thank you for your kind reply! Enjoy the story! It is historically set in 17th century Ireland. The main character is a teenaged girl called Sionnach Varela.

  2. Rachel

    I think it is so interesting that you look at the maps, because I rarely do. I always wonder who, if anyone, looks at the maps. I didn’t even think about it until you mentioned missing one.

  3. Excellent review. And thank you for pointing out the map, or rather, the lack thereof! I, like you, turn to a map as I read.

    After I finished my review, I thought I should have mentioned how a map would have helped me in the second book. I had, for some reason, pictured the land where the enemy was, in the north. I went most of the book thinking they were traveling north. Imagine my surprise when somewhere toward the latter half it became obvious they’d gone south. It took some reorienting on my part. 😕


    • I am a fan of good illustrators and feel sad to think we adults do not have the benefit of their visual gifts in our reading. It seems all we get is a pretty book cover! Alan Lee was an exception with his beautiful illustrations of the Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.

  4. Glenn

    I love the way you write. You Draw me in and then I see the world in a much bigger better way. Thank you!!

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