A Cast of Stones
An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love
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.
The woman took another, slow step toward him, her smile stretching the cuts and bruises on her face. “I don’t care who kills you boy, but do you really want to die by the borale arrow?” She laughed. “Do you relish feeling it rip and tear its way out of your flesh leaving you to die from blood loss, screaming in pain?” She nodded back toward Balina. “The captain has a sword, freshly sharpened. He can make your end quick and painless.”
“Don’t believe her boy,” Merodach said. He pitched his voice to carry over the flood below. “A malus never kills quickly. They feed on pain. Come with me. I can take you to safety.” He took a step.
Errol’s tried in vain to watch everyone. The pounding of his heart merged with the flood waters. He cast the briefest of looks down, fought to keep from sobbing. The roiling depths were too far away to survive a jump.
He was going to die. All that remained was to choose between the arrow, the sword, and the water.
Without turning his back to Merodach or the malus-possessed woman, he climbed the railing.
The three of them inched forward.
“Come, boy.” The woman’s voice crooned. “There’s no need for such a death.” Her voice grew mocking. “Don’t you want to be buried in your faith? Don’t you want the priest to bless your grave?”
“Errol, don’t.” Merodach’s voice cut across the woman’s.
For a moment, something in the assassin’s voice penetrated the fear that clouded his thinking. Could he be telling the truth? If he’d wanted Errol dead, he could have simply fired. It would be impossible to miss at this range, but that would leave Merodach open to counter-attack by the malus and her guard.
He didn’t want to die. Errol took a tentative step toward the assassin, tried at once to ignore the arrow aimed at his chest and brace for its impact that would kill him.
An animal-like snarl erupted from behind him. Merodach raised the bow, drew.
He launched himself into space, heard the whine of the borale’s arrow merge with a cry of rage and pain.The water rushed up at him.
I opened this book and was immediately sucked into the tale of mysterious assassins, magical mysticism, dark spirits, and a reluctant hero that exceeds the expectations of all, even his own. Each page brought anticipation of what would come next, and hopes of answers to the many strange occurrences swirling around our young hero.
This debut novel is a great start to what, I'm sure, will prove to be a breathtaking fantasy saga. Carr's vivid, detailed world shows a thorough understanding of how different cultural beliefs, backgrounds, political and religious governments, and environments can affect a person. The clear grasp on how a world works, not just by one or two kinds of people, but by countless cultures blending, was brilliant. The descriptions of each place, people, and dialect were well thought out, and clearly shown. I was instantly drawn into Carr's world--without being inundated with unnecessary details and lengthy descriptions that took away from the compelling plot.
I loved how Carr showed the detailed organization of the Church of the three's government, and its individual offices. It brought a touch of reality that grounded the story in a way that made it feel possible. Of course, this carefully organization was balanced with a healthy dose of mystery and mysticism that kept me on the edge of my seat and the pages turning until the very end.
The reluctant, and unlikely, hero, Errol Stone is reminiscent of Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins. Like Bilbo, young Errol is thrust, most unwillingly, into a world of danger and adventure that forces him to question everything he believed about himself, and to dig deep within to find an inner strength he never thought he possessed. I found him deeply engaging, and likeable, as I sympathized with the many overwhelming challenges he faced time and time again, and rooted for him as he found the skills to overcome against impossible odds. I was right there with his frustration and desire to interpret the hidden looks, and conversations of those around him, and his desire to be more than what he was.
The answers to his, and the reader's, questions are scattered, like bread crumbs for starving birds, throughout the tale in tantalizing tidbits that had me salivating for more. Even the end, which left me more than eager for the release of the next book this summer, had a surprise that will leave readers crying, "It can't end there!" That's all I will say on that subject for fear of revealing too much. ;)
For you fantasy nerds like me, I suggest you check out this stunning new tale of magic, mystery, and hidden greatness. You definitely will not regret the time spent with this book.
Author Patrick W. Carr
Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway