Monday, July 29, 2013

The Hero's Lot Review

The Hero’s Lot
Riveting Sequel from Christian Fantasy’s Most Talented New Voice.
When Sarin Valon, the corrupt secondus of the conclave, flees Erinon and the kingdom, Errol Stone believes his troubles have at last ended. But other forces bent on the destruction of the kingdom remain and conspire to accuse Errol and his friends of a conspiracy to usurp the throne.
In a bid to keep the three of them from the axe, Archbenefice Canon sends Martin and Luis to Errol’s home village, Callowford, to discover what makes him so important to the kingdom. But Errol is also accused of consorting with spirits. Convicted, his punishment is a journey to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, where he must find Sarin Valon, and kill him. To enforce their sentence, Errol is placed under a compulsion, and he is driven to accomplish his task or die resisting.

Sweat, hot and salty, flowed into Errol’s eyes in the sticky heat of the early fall afternoon. He forced a quick blink to shed the distraction, not daring to risk the split-second it would take to wipe his brow. A welt as long as his hand burned his left ribcage. Its twin worked to numb his right shoulder. The staff in his hands blurred and buzzed like an angry insect, nearly invisible, but as yet he had managed only a single strike against his opponent.
And he was tiring.
The man opposite him, stronger and fresher, darted like a snake, the blade of his sword disappeared as his arms corded and he struck. Errol parried at the last moment and flowed into a counterattack. The clack of staff against sword filled his ears like the sound of a drummer’s rim beats.
For a moment he dared hope that he would penetrate his opponent’s defense, but the attack exhausted itself and he retreated to defend against those cursed whip-like strokes of the swordsman’s counter.
Pain blossomed in his side as the sword found its mark. It was no use. Four weeks of food and rest had almost restored him to complete health after Sarin’s attack against the kingdom. But ‘almost’ was insufficient against such an opponent.

My Review:
5 out of 5 Stars

Errol Stone returns in the second installment of The Staff & The Sword trilogy. This time around Errol finds himself accused of a crime he didn't commit in order to once again provide safety and protection for someone else. This turn of events only solidifies his distrust and dislike of the church. Placed under yet another compulsion, Errol finds himself traveling to a land full of enemies to hunt down Valon, the rogue priest. Along the way, Errol is joined by old allies and enemies turned allies, or so he hopes. New friends are met and lost along the way as the truth behind the salvation of the kingdom continues to unravel. Not knowing who to trust and faced with hard truths about his past and future, Errol begins to question his role in the fate of the kingdom. Will he decide to continue to let some unseen force govern his life, or will he finally be allowed to choose for himself?

What I liked. Carr is an expert storyteller. He weaves setting and character into his plot seamlessly. I find my heart aches for Errol's struggles. He continues to try to do what is right, but is hurt by all those he tries to trust. His hardness later in the book is believable, and made me furious at all those who continue to use him for their own purposes. I thought the relationship between him and the princess was very amusing, and realistic. The chaos of feelings and thoughts was exacerbated by their conflicting responsibilities. Once again, I found Errol's odd assortment of companions intriguing and amusing. They both hinder and help his progress towards his goals. More secrets are revealed, while yet more remain wrapped in mystery. This was a great follow-up to A Cast of Stone, and I look forward to the next book in the installment. I'm on the edge of my seat after the very nail-biting ending of The Hero's Lot.

If you love epic fantasy, read this book!

 Hero’s Lot is the Sequel to A Cast of Stones

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.

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.

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