A Cast of Stones / by Patrick W. Carr. (The Staff and the Sword, 1)
Bethany House Publishers ISBN 978-0764210433
HS, grades 7-12, rating: 5. Paperback.
Pre-Publication Review (February 1, 2013)
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.
In A Cast of Stones, Errol is the village drunk, not the sort of person expected 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 Pater Martin, 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 and Pater Martin soon find themselves hunted by deadly assasins..
Pater learns that he has been summoned to meet with the others to cast the stones for the king’s successor. But they face danger along the way. Errol discovers he has a new talent that requires him to serve the church. Errol gives up his taste for ale and learns to read and fight, as he journeys to his new life. But his new calling makes him a target for the church’s enemies.
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.
Carol R. Gehringer
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