A Cast Of Stones

Sunday, February 10, 2013

“Can you shoot?”
He nodded. “I know how it’s done, but I’m not a very good shot,” he confessed.
Cruk sighed, squeezed his eyes closed, “Don’t you do anything well besides drink?”
“I never really needed to learn. Nobody’s ever tried to kill me before. Now it’s happened twice in one day.”

Book: Cast of Stones, A (The Staff and the Sword) by Patrick W. Carr, Bethany House Publishers, 2013

Genre: Fantasy/Allegory
Target Audience: Boys 13+
Subjects: Showing love to others, alcohol
Summary: He’s the village drunk for goodness sakes! The local priest has put him in the stocks plenty of times. The citizens of his town rely on his craving for ale. They know how predictable he is. Errol never intended to get mixed up in the Church. He simply agreed to deliver a message one day. The man who gave him the message was paying him well and he knows the trails better than anyone. And his desire to spend his earnings on drink will guarantee his return. Yet, the next thing he knows, he’s under a compulsion to turn himself in to the Church to present himself as a reader – a highly important role in the kingdom! A number of near death escapes later puts him at an old farmhouse learning to use the staff. A number of battles later eventually get him to the city to obey the compulsion put on him. When he arrives though, he finds nothing is as he thought and he is a pawn in a deadly game of survival. What’s at stake? Nothing less than the entire kingdom itself!
Notes: The first in a new series promoted as an “epic medieval saga fantasy readers will love”, A Cast of Stones, tells the story of a young man’s rise from the status of town drunk, to one of the most important people in the entire kingdom. A reluctant hero, Errol simply fights for survival and freedom. What he most longs for though is companionship – family and friends. There are definitely spiritual references in this book. A number of the main characters serve the Church and swear by or pray to “The Three”. At one point, the story of God’s sending Christ to earth and His death for our sins is allegorically told as they share the kingdom’s history with Errorl. The best spiritual reference is actually the night Errol stays with the priest he delivered a message to. Not having gone this long without a drink in years, he is sick the whole night through, but rather than the judgment and condemnation like he receives from his local church leader, this priest shows compassion and grace, promising and following through on the promise, to help Errol through the night. I don’t, however, see a strong lesson that is being taught. The spiritual elements are more a part of the culture for the characters, sort of the setting.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 3/5
Quality and Enjoyment Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 Peter 2:5 – You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book to review. 

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Cast of Stones
by Patrick Carr
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected Publication: February 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers


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