The redemption of an unlikely hero: A Review of A Cast of Stones

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ll be honest—I was scared to read this book but it sounded SO interesting! I know you’re all probably wondering why I was scared but I haven’t had the best of luck reading books by debut authors. This one was a very pleasant surprise! I’m very shocked that this is the first published work by this author. This story is a fantasy story but it reads more like a knight’s tale rather than out and out fantasy. That isn’t saying it is not a fantasy setting but I think that a person who may not enjoy the typical wizards and magic may actually really enjoy this book.

Errol wishes to drown his sorrow in a barrel of ale and often does so until an attempt is made on his life. This is where things got very interesting. There was a fantasy twist but it read more like a medieval tale. As Errol is trying to overcome his fondness of ale—he is thrust into a role of being a “reader” by the church. This is pretty darn confusing to Errol as he doesn’t know how to read a letter, much less how to cast a mystical lot that only he can read! The idea of the lots was an interesting one to me. Some people it seems were born with the ability to carve a round sphere while forming a question and answer in their mind—once cast and drawn the lot would reveal the correct answer to the reader. Something is special about Errol’s ability as a reader but even he is unaware of how valuable he is. This story was one of self-discovery and overcoming odds to be the best person you can be. It provided an unlikely character the hope of becoming a great hero and should serve as a reminder that all heroes are ordinary people that have overcame extraordinary odds. If you’re looking for one fantasy story to read this year I would say this one is it. I gave this book a 4 star rating—really it was closer to 4.5 but alas, good reads recognizes only whole stars. The only reason I went with a 4 star rating is because it took me awhile for me to really get into it. Once I did though I really did enjoy it very much so don’t let my 4 star rating deter you in any way!
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Author Patrick W. 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.

I received this book free from the I Am A Reader, Not A Writer blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Please visit the following links to view the blog tour and giveaway as well as my interview with the author

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