A Cast of Stones
series: Staff and the Sword, The
2014 Carol Award Winner for Speculative
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.
"What a rare delight to find such wonderful writing! This is an engrossing and epic fantasy adventure. Errol is a sympathetic lead who we long to see succeed in the world. The originality of the method of casting lots by priests was fascinating as was Errol's choice of a staff as a weapon. Carr has created an extraordinary beginning to what promises to be an extraordinary saga."
--Jill Williamson, Christy Award-winning author of By Darkness Hid
"Patrick Carr's debut novel A Cast of Stones is sure to be a hit! With an engaging, imaginative world that bristles with danger, characters that keep you guessing, and a story that sticks with you, this book will keep you devouring pages until the very end! I highly recommend it!"
--John W. Otte, author of Failstate
"Carr's debut, the first in a series, is assured and up-tempo, with much to enjoy in characterization and description--not least the homely, life-as-lived details."
This fast-paced fantasy debut set in a medieval world is a winner. Both main and secondary characters are fully drawn and endearing, and Errol's transformation from drunkard to hero is well plotted. Carr is a promising CF author to watch. Fans of epic Christian fantasies will enjoy discovering a new voice.
"[Good fantasy books] have to be excellent. Good storytelling and exceptional characters with circumstances that are easy enough to follow and wrap your brain around but keep you entertained and guessing... Cast of Stones has found itself firmly in that list of books. I absolutely, one hundred percent loved this book."
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