THERE MUST BE A SEQUEL!
"Smells of earth and dung drifted slowly past the fog in Errol’s brain. His skin prickled with cold. Water and ooze soaked his threadbare garments and he shivered. Cruk had thrown him out of the tavern. Again."
So begins A Cast of Stones, the most intense, captivating novel I've read in ages. The clear, descriptive words assaulted my senses yet riveted my attention. Bethany House has found a treasure in Patrick W. Carr. I find it hard to believe that this is his first novel. Carr has a flair for description that is spectacular. There were so many twists to the plot, as soon as I thought I knew who the bad guy was, I found myself second guessing myself. The characters were so vivid they seemed alive. The setting resembles medieval England, exploring the powers of the church, the politics of the kingdom, and the stark contrasts between the haves and the have nots. Hopelessness, shame, fear, hope, courage, honor and redemption are themes woven throughout the tapestry of this tale. No bad language or intimate situations save a kiss. If you like fantasies with a Christian allegorical bent, you'll enjoy this one. Time disappeared as I read. Since the subtitle is The Staff & The Sword, I expect a sequel. All I can say to Mr. Carr is, "Write write write!"
Here's what Bethany House has to say about this 432 page epic fantasy:
"The Fate of the Kingdom Awaits the Cast of Stones
In the backwater village of Callowford, roustabout Errol Stone is enlisted by a church messenger arriving with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Eager for coin, Errol agrees to what he thinks will be an easy task, 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 nears its end and the selection of the new king begins--but in secret and shadow. As danger mounts, Errol must leave behind the stains and griefs of the past, learn to fight, and discover who is hunting him and his companions and how far they will go to stop the reading of the stones."
Wet your appetite with this excerpt.
*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
*"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."