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Posted September 22, 2013
Posted August 10, 2013
OMG, wow, this book was captivating, and i stayed up to finish it late into the night. You will find yourself falling in love with the characters and the courage to stand up for eachother and form lasting bonds of friendship. When you read it, you'll be able to see the story play out. In my opinion, this series is equal to or greater than the percy jackson series. You won't regret reading it, and Errol, such an unexpected hero
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Posted May 24, 2013
By: Patrick W. Carr Published By: Bethany House Publishers Age
By: Patrick W. Carr
Published By: Bethany House Publishers
Age Recommended: YA - Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Book Blog For: GMTA
Series: The Staff and Sword # 1
"A Cast of Stones" by Patrick W. Carr was good fantasy read with some Christian based and the first of this series of 'The Staff and Sword.' You will find it a very interesting and exciting novel. This read starts out with a drunken young teen boy named Errol and believe it or not becomes the hero of this story. We will find that Errol get caught up into something that he never dreamed existed, "he is challenged, stretch and even forced to make decisions that will change his life forever." We find from the read...' On Errol way to deliver the messages, someone tries to kill him. It's definitely not the last time through out the book that someone tries to murder him, but the question is why? Why are there so many people after a simple 19 year-old town drunk?" This is where I say you must pick up this read to find out what is going on. Be ready for a very captivating and mysterious story as the boy will leave "his village and go to the city of Erinon to help his king and kingdom." The plot consisted of a lots of twist and turns, with a descriptive scenery and characters were all so real and well portrayed.
If you like very creative medieval fantasy then you have come to the right place for: "A Cast of Stones" will take you there and I would recommend this read.
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Posted April 5, 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013 A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr, ©2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr, ©2013
Travel along as their journey begins ~ or ends somewhere in between. It calls for an extra special gift bestowed upon him, invaluable to the outcome of the quest. Danger mounts as a dynasty nears its end... And an unlikely hero embarks on a perilous quest to save his kingdom. You are in for an adventure!
An Epic Medieval Fantasy Saga
Errol Stone, the main character in The Staff and the Sword, may seem an unlikely hero at first glance. But, says Carr,
“I believe we all hold within ourselves the capacity, not only for evil, but for great nobility. This theme stretches across all three volumes of the trilogy.”
With a successful blending of high action and a spiritual quest, A Cast of Stones is the thrilling tale of an unconventional band of men trying desperately to save their kingdom.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
As I am almost exclusively a Historical Fiction Reviewer, here we go with a Fantasy ~ new to me!
I am diving in because I have enjoyed reading the promos for this novel. Especially, since I am half-Irish Kathleen and there is a castle on the cover!
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.
I am amazed at Errol's prowess in dodging impending doom on all sides. He delivers a letter packet with the messages obliterated before arrival. Being consumed by poison while on the return trail, advancement is stopped only by quick thinking and seeking help where he knows he will find it. He begins to reach out because of physical need and ends being the guide himself to avoid peril on the journey he would never have imagined in his safe narrow world.
Anya ~*~ She smiled, her blue eyes gleaming beneath flaxen hair. She resembled her father the way a beautiful sculpture resembled the slab of marble from which it would be carved.
--A Cast of Stones, 58
Is that beautiful prose or what! Description of an indeed charming Irish lass for sure. Errol has gone ahead of his two traveling companions to secure lodging from the innkeeper, Anya's father. Errol is well-known; his reputation has gone before him. Ale being more important to him than the means to pay. His travelers whisk him away to another sleeping place to remove his imbibing.
Did you notice the mention of assassins following to attack? Errol slimly escaped being killed on his first trip and now on the return road, he doesn't fare much better! Fortunately, for him, he is rescued. He is not certain what his role is; is it the company he is with that is bringing his slow demise?
"Why do I have to go? Why would you even want me to go? I can't ride. I don't know anything about fighting." He waved toward Cruk, who sat in his chair like a giant sack of grain. "Ask him. The only things I know how to do are gather herbs and drink."
Prerequisites, you ask? Or qualifying the qualified?
Daybreak. What had he gotten himself into? Why did people insist on starting journeys before the sun got warm? It couldn't be healthy.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Thank you to author Patrick W. Carr for sending a copy of A Cast of Stones ~ The Staff & The Sword series, to review in my own words. The development of character is assuredly gripping as the story continues unexpectedly from one realm to another of the kingdom ~ facing truth ~ facing victory. Your attention and interest will be held and ready for The Hero's Lot.
The Staff and The Sword; Book Two
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Posted January 27, 2014
Posted August 22, 2013
Posted August 18, 2013
Posted May 9, 2013
I had very high hopes for A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr. I wasn’t disappointed. Sometimes a book comes along that you didn’t know you were waiting for until you read it, and somehow your world is more complete. A Cast of Stones is one of those books. A fresh fantasy concept, an intriguing cast of characters, and one of the best-written anti-heroes I’ve ever run across make A Cast of Stones a true delight to read. 6 stars!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2013
Errol's life has been one of pain and forgetting. Or rather, try
Errol's life has been one of pain and forgetting. Or rather, trying to forget. But try as he might, he has not found solace in the tankards and barrels he has clung to. When he unwittingly gets caught up in a life-or-death struggle he never dreamed existed, he is challenged, stretched, and forced to make decisions that will forever change his life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Patrick W. Carr has a wonderful voice and style that drew me in from the first and held me captivated to the last. As a writer myself, I appreciated the freshness of his work and the depth within the story. The plot and characters were well-developed, and both surprised me numerous times with this twist or that reaction. That is saying a lot, believe me, as I'm the person who figures out entire books within chapters. The setting as well was real and intriguing and provided a colorful backdrop to this tale. Yes, there were a few pet words and other small things here and there that my inner editor picked up on. But they in no way kept me from immensely enjoying the novel and passing it on to my teen sister, who devoured it as well.
I am very much looking forward to reading a sequel--and there better be one!
+My copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Posted April 10, 2013
Patrick Carr makes his debut with an epic fantasy that will enga
Patrick Carr makes his debut with an epic fantasy that will engage readers as they venture into the world Carr creates, one on the brink of destruction where adventure awaits a reluctant hero.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
In A Cast of Stones, Errol is the village drunk, not the sort of person you expect to do heroic deeds. Errol drowns his sorrows in ale, doing occasional errands to earn enough coin to buy more ale. He is hired by a church messenger to take an official communication to a recluse priest living in a rustic area. A simple delivery becomes deadly as an assassin hunts him down. He scarcely makes it alive to Pater’s home but the letters are too damaged to read. Errol, Pater Martin and Luis hurry to reach the church messenger in the village. They are poisoned from the bread Errol brought from the village. Errol barely manages to get help in time. That’s when their troubles really begin.
Once in the village, the church messenger gives Pater the message verbally. It requests that Pater travel to Erinon to meet with the others to cast the stones for the king’s successor. But they face danger along the way. Errol discovers he can read the stones Luis casts. His new talent requires him to serve the church as a reader. Errol gives up his taste for ale, learns to read and fight, as he journeys to his new life. But someone is killing the readers in the church.
Carr’s debut novel is filled with strong characters and a tightly-woven plot. Errol’s story continues in The Hero’s Lot (summer 2013).
Highly recommended for teen collections in public libraries and school libraries.
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Posted April 7, 2013
This book is inspirational for helping yourself out of addiction
This book is inspirational for helping yourself out of addiction and other life changing situations. I find that the main character Errol is funny and like every other boy I know except he is an alcoholic. At first I was thinking this book is predictable I know what's going to happen, then a major plot twist threw me off and I was forced to take that thought back.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2013
I¿m in a conundrum. I want to hand this book to my friends, te
I’m in a conundrum.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I want to hand this book to my friends, telling them “Read this! Read this NOW.”
But I’m torn, for at the same time I want to keep it with me, so I can read through it again!
The way Mr. Carr describes his lands, the people from each nation, and the spirit entities that are at war reminded me of C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, specifically Perelandra.
I could see the land around me – I skittered across the Cripples, trailed down into the dungeon of the abbey, and followed the merchant’s caravan with Errol. I listened to the people bicker and laugh around me, and watched the passage of each land we travelled. It was total immersion, and it was done well.
It took me a while to get the image of a 19-year-old protagonist in my mind. The back cover synopsis, and the first few chapters where we get to meet Errol and get a sense of his life and his choices, at first give the impression of someone quite a bit older. Then, when the other characters call him “boy” and make references to how little he knows of the world and regular life, we get someone much younger. It distracted me a little, but I was too busy being pulled along by the plot and the world around me to give it more than a passing glance.
As this is fantasy, one must take on “suspension of disbelief” at the door, and thus, any nit-picking of details would be in poor form. What gives this story its strength is a plot which is woven well – no gaping holes or ragged edges.
It’s been a while since I have sat and read a novel from cover to cover, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish, as I could not pull myself away. And it’s been even longer since I’ve had a book that upon completion, I wanted to turn back to page one and start again. It was refreshing, a true highlight of my day.
Mr. Carr, you have my attention. I am eagerly awaiting your next work!
I received a free copy of this book through the Bethany House Reviewer Program
Posted March 9, 2013
Patrick W. Carr in his new book, ¿A Cast Of Stones¿ Book One in
Patrick W. Carr in his new book, “A Cast Of Stones” Book One in The Staff & The Sword series published by Bethany House brings us into the life of Errol Stone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
From the back cover: 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.
I think that any story where the hero’s name is Errol Stone has to be a winner and, since, “A Cast of Stones” has Errol Stone as its hero then I am correct. This is a story about redemption as Errol, an orphan and the town drunk, takes an assignment to deliver a message to the hermit priest. It never occurred to him that this would be the start of a grand adventure it was just a way to make some money for ale. However, the quest begins as assassins try to kill Errol and the priest. Eventually this journey will take him before the aging king and the kingdom leaders. This is grand storytelling that has many facets to it and is meant to be enjoyed and savored. Don’t hurry through the reading, even though you will want to, as there are many levels of story to take in. Plus Mr. Carr has great fun with the names he uses, I particularly like the mentor team of Martin and Luis, bu that is me. Patrick W. Carr is an amazing writer and, in “A Cast of Stones”, has given us a work that will have us thinking long after we have finished reading the book. I am really looking forward to book two.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”
Posted February 10, 2013
A Cast of Stones begins with Errol Stone, the town drunk, in sea
A Cast of Stones begins with Errol Stone, the town drunk, in search of his next drink. Little does he know, when he agrees to deliver a letter for a church messenger that his life will never be the same again.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Patrick Carr’s debut novel is full of action, danger, magic and some great characters. Errol is not your typical hero. At the start of the novel he is controlled by his vice and is full of self doubt, little self worth and has never journeyed beyond Callowford or the neighboring town of Berea. As the story progresses, he discovers his true value and realizes he is strong enough to handle the responsibilities placed on him, whatever they may be. There is also a strong cast of supporting characters who make the story that much better.
As a fantasy addict I knew I would enjoy this novel and I was not disappointed. The writing was fantastic and the story kept me up well into the night. A Cast of Stones is a must read for fantasy fans and I’m looking forward to the sequel, The Hero’s Lot!
***I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own***
Posted January 27, 2013
On occasion I have the urge to gush over-much. On this particul
On occasion I have the urge to gush over-much. On this particular occasion, I'm nervous of throwing so much confetti about this book that it looks promotional instead of critical. I shall attempt to sound dignified, but really... when I happen upon a book like this, it's like discovering a stash of chocolate. There's some sqee-ing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I like the writing style. There's no extra words. There's just the exact amount of words necessary to portray the landscape as touchable and the characters... as full of hidden layers. (Lots of secret, malicious, creepy layers.) No more.
The world is so believable, I feel like archaeologists will explain how they know this kingdom existed this way. The people Errol sees represent different parts of the world by their hair color or accent or something, giving me this grand scope of the old-style world. Errol is from a tiny village, though, so he sees details as if he's used to knowing every branch and rock and notes the differences in his travels.
Errol is cool. He doesn't seem very cool on the first page and I loved all the surprises as he changes and grows... so I don't want to give anything away... except... This book - I don't care if there are 400 pages - is not big enough to give me enough of Errol. Nope. He learns a lot. DO NOT SPOIL THIS BOOK by peaking ahead at everything he learns in this story!! Just say "no" to spoilers!! It's best to experience it all with him, from his intelligent, humble point of view.
The spiritual side of things feels just right, some kind of old-school religious structure that was good when it was first created, but it being corrupted at the time of this story. As priests, it's extra deceptive because it feels like they should be trustworthy. Some are. There's a dark side, too... the malas are downright freaky. Spiritual things willing to take over someone's body upon request. *shudder* There's things with teeth, too.
The danger is very real and this book is more of an introduction to a very big picture than any resolution. Although, the story is complete in itself, for the most part. It left me feeling rather desperate for the next book in the series and wondering just how many there are? 'Cause the scope is definitely (trilogy) epic.
Posted January 24, 2013
Oh, I loved this book! It has everything one could want, great c
Oh, I loved this book! It has everything one could want, great characters, plenty of excitement, a great setting, and lots of twists and turns. Interestingly, the main character, Errol won me over immediately, despite his drunkenness and the fact that he clearly expected nothing from life except pain and another chance to get drunk. I knew right off that Errol had suffered a devastating loss that he couldn't deal with and it had driven him to become addicted to ale. I appreciated how realistic this was, he was unable to stop right off the bat. But despite his seeming hopelessness he continued to fight to survive. I also liked the other characters, Cruk, the tough former Captain of the watch, Martin, the rotund priest, Luis, the mysterious reader of lots, and Liam, the seemingly perfect young man that the others would do anything to protect.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
As far as plot goes, someone tries to kill Errol in the first chapter, so the action starts with a bang and it doesn't let up. I enjoyed how the author slowly filled in the pieces of the puzzle as Errol learned things. The reader doesn't know any more than he does, but it is clear from the beginning that Errol has a much more important role to play than any of them think, including himself. I enjoyed watching Errol grow stronger and learn to stand on his own feet throughout the book while his faith in his friends and his God increase as well. There is a great deal of religion in the book (it is Christian fantasy after all), but it doesn't overwhelm the story at all, at least I didn't feel like it did. Both 'good' religion (sincere beliefs and practices that help others rather than harm) and 'bad' religion (evil beliefs and practices that harm oneself and others) are portrayed, but also prejudices fair and otherwise make a strong appearance.
I can't recommend this book high enough if you love a strong story with characters you can't help but love or hate.
Posted January 24, 2013
A Cast of Stones blew me away! I was not expecting to love it as
A Cast of Stones blew me away! I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. The secondary characters are just as deep and well-developed as the primary ones. Each setting is rich and distinct. The plot moves so fluidly that you feel you are right beside Errol throughout his journey.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Nineteen year old Errol Stone is living his life at the bottom of the ale barrel when he is summoned to deliver a message to a recluse priest and reader of lots who live just outside of his village. Although the message is ruined and unreadable due to strange circumstances on Errol's journey, the fact that the message has been sent is enough for them to leave their private lives and re-enter the kingdom.
Errol is so much more than the town drunk. He is more than he ever imagined himself to be. He must take this journey along with the priest, the reader, and others. Errol's journey is an epic journey filled with characters who change his life in a way he could never imagine.
A Cast of Stones is Good versus Evil played out in a sweeping epic journey. Its plot will draw you in from the first chapter and will keep you engaged throughout. You will meet characters that jump off the page and drag you into the book with them. You will travel through dark, evil places. You will feel Errol's pain and his triumph.
Patrick W. Carr has certainly made a fan out of me! I am so looking forward to the continuation of this series in The Hero's Lot.
Posted January 20, 2013
I was hoping the story would be good. I did not expect it to be
I was hoping the story would be good. I did not expect it to be this good. I found myself unable to put it down and finished the book after two sittings. The plot is excellent, but what really drives this story is the development of the main character, Errol. I can't give anything away, but if you love fantasy you owe it to yourself to read A Cast of Stones. Can't wait until The Hero's Lot comes out!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2013
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Posted January 3, 2014
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