On Tour with Prism Book Tours
While A CAST OF STONES starts off slowly, as most fantasies are wont to do due to backstory, it quickly picks up the pace and invests readers into the plight of main character Errol. Despite only being nineteen, Errol is already down on his luck, and can always be found drowning his memories away in ale. He works only to buy more ale, and is rarely sober. When a nuntius bearing "the most important messages in half a century" arrives, Errol sets out to deliver them over dangerous territory to Pater Martin, a priest who lives in a remote, hard-to-reach area. He realizes that what he carries is no ordinary message as an assassin appears and attempts to stop him from delivering the messages.
Pater Martin and his servant, Luis, are both far more than they appear to be, and they take Errol with them when they leave. Errol finds himself on a journey like no other as they are joined by Cruk the tavern-keeper and Liam, everyone's golden boy. No one is as they appear, and everyone harbors secrets, dark dangerous ones that threaten enemies wishing to change the future as the kingdom prepares to find a new king. The revelations at the book's end will leave readers eager for the second title in the series, THE HERO'S LOT, coming this July.
Patrick W. Carr's writing is perfectly-paced, never too fast or slow. Even though there is violence, it's never graphic or hard to read. Instead, readers find themselves pulling for Errol, the novel's sullied protagonist, as he struggles to shape up and make something of himself. We feel his jealously when comparing himself to the golden Liam, his desperation to please Pater Martin and Luis, his self-loathing that landed him a nightly date with the ale barrel in the first place. Errol comes so far from who he was at the novel's beginning by the end that he's barely recognizable as the same person. Readers will really root for him, and Carr has developed him well. A CAST OF STONES is categorized as both a fantasy novel and as Christian fiction, so it's clean, but never feels preachy. Instead, it's easy to focus on the kingdom's politics and struggle for power, which is one thing I love about medieval fantasy. There's a lot of unique world-building at play, and I'm eager to see where the series takes us next.