Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Book Review: A Cast of Stones
By Patrick W Carr
Bethany House, 2013
English, 432 pgs
An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers
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.
I will do my best to not include spoiler information, but that may be difficult. Fair warning.
The book is about Errol Stone. He's the town drunk. He has nothing else on his mind but ale. He's given a chance to make money to get more ale and he takes it. Bet he regrets that decision...
He takes a message to a recluse priest and his servant, with a few dangers on the way. But that's just where his story begins. In the process, he escapes death a few times, overcomes his thirst for ale, gets stronger in body and mind and begins a journey for the kingdom.
The story moves pretty fast. One chapter they're in the city, running for their lives, and the next he's in the country barely alive. It's well explained though and really feasible in the plot lines. His time with a merchant caravan is interesting because we see him really becoming someone else in this time.
On the one hand, he tries to fight his "compulsion" to the church, but on the other I think it gives him something to reach for and hold as his own.
I'm not a huge fan of fantasy, I've really only read a little of it, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were parts of the story I thought touched on the books I have read (the ferrals are similar to Trollocs in Wheel of Time) but it's a pretty original story and concept. I'm excited to start the series with this first book and cannot wait until the next is available!
I received a copy of the book from Bethany House in exchange for a review and was not required to write a positive review.