The Sword and The Staff

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Overall it just felt that there was too much focus in areas like that, and not enough in building the story world. Apr 09, Paula Vince rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy-and-sci-fi-stories. Wow, what a journey! Everyone recognises Errol Stone as the village drunk, and he's not yet nineteen years old. His one ambition is to earn a bit of money for his next fix of ale, so he won't fall apart. When a strange messenger wants a secret parcel delivered to Pater Martin, the reclusive priest, Errol is quick to volunteer. He knows the pay will keep sobriety at bay for at least another week, but comes to wish he hadn't bothered.

He never expects to be plunged, unwittingly, into the dangerous t Wow, what a journey! He never expects to be plunged, unwittingly, into the dangerous tension of church and politics. Opening his mouth to remark that he can see writing on a strange carved stone is his first big mistake. He is whisked away as a pawn in some weird game he can't understand, along with Liam, the village good boy, who seems perfect in every way.

While he can understand why Liam, who can apparently do no wrong, may be desirable, he's at a loss to figure out why he's being dragged along too. It's satisfying to see a main character develop from a pathetic alcoholic and self-proclaimed waste of space to a sharp and quick-witted young man who must remain on his guard every moment. Every time I picked up the book and said, "I wonder what Errol's up to," it was bound to involve intense intrigue, adrenaline and many secrets. There are the secrets he kept himself, which gradually unfold helping us to understand why he became a drunk at the age of Then there are other secrets which he remains clueless about.

Even the friends who want to train him up to be a reader of cast lots don't know. We don't know either. It seems only the baddies know. The great question keeping us turning the pages is often uttered from the mouths of many different characters. At a loss to answer, Errol doesn't have a lot of time to think about it, between having to defend himself from vicious murder attempts.

At the finish, my first move was to get hold of the second book, 'The Hero's Lot' on my kindle, as quickly as possible. It feels as if I'm under a compulsion, as Errol was to get to the city of Erinon. This book should come with a warning, "Don't start unless you're prepared to put time aside for an epic trilogy. View 1 comment. Feb 25, Ariana Pedigo rated it it was amazing. Praises to Deas for Patrick W. Carr, for this excellent and audacious novel! Little does he realize that this action would change his entire life. So begins an adventure which covers pages of excitement and invaluable lessons.

Errol meets clever Praises to Deas for Patrick W. Errol meets clever and kind friends who help him along the way. And then there is a particularly tense section of the book when Errol is held against his will and made to cast lots for profit Errol faces danger at every corner, deadly assassins, a malus, horrific monsters ferrals which you can hear snarling in your ears as you turn each page of the book. The book, is filled with quite a bit of action, so it is understandable that someone who doesn't like action and violence, they would most likely not enjoy reading this book very much.

I loved the fact this was a Christian Fiction book, the churches, priests, abbots, and monks, were positively fascinating! Even if you aren't religious, I'd still say, this is a good book to read anyway, especially if you love fantasy fiction at all! There are so many twists and turns in the plot making you wish you didn't have to eat and sleep to stay alive, because the only thing you want to do is finish the book!

I kept waiting for an anti-climax to the story, but it didn't come! There is hardly a moment of this book in which any fantasy lover would not enjoy! I cannot wait for book two! Shelves: fantasy , ebook. Excellent epic fantasy. Carr's "hero", Errol, is as unheroic as the village drunk--because that's what he is.

Therefore he at least has an excuse for his early stupidity and unwillingness to get involved in the issues of the greater world. But, true to type, almost nothing is what it seems. The entire narrative is written tightly from Errol's point of view. The reader may suspect more, but is told only what Errol sees, hears, smells and experiences.

Unlike so much contemporary fantasy Carr provi Excellent epic fantasy. Unlike so much contemporary fantasy Carr provides meaningful motive for most of Errol's choices. And, even more rare, suitable guidance and opportunity to grow in the course of his high fantasy journey. There's good and evil out there, and choices matter. All the more notable as the author's first published fiction. A very good read. Excellent Christian Fantasy This fast-paced adventure centers around a most unlikely hero, chased by demons of his own making as well as those set against him by unseen enemies.

There is plenty of intrique to go with the action, so that you never really know what is coming next. This is a great read you won't want to put down--I am eagerly awaiting the next book! Aug 04, Lydia Redwine rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , favorites. This trilogy is my favorite trilogy of all time at least, when it comes to books. It is also my third favorite series of all time, so obviously on this reread I would give this book 5 stars and tell you why.

When I first heard of A Cast of Stones I pictured it as a typical Medieval fantasy book which is in some ways and thus wasn't super into reading it. BUT it was free on iBooks so I picked it up and well First are some minor issues I have with the story despite my This trilogy is my favorite trilogy of all time at least, when it comes to books. I can't even fathom why this book doesn't have a map. The church is a huge part of the way the main culture in the world runs but the roots of the church are kinda left on the sideline.

I would think that the author would represent it that way because that's how it was in Medieval times but I would have also expected maybe the main character to think more deeply about it. I would expect that in a world where the church matters much that the main character would at least have a moment to think somewhat deeply about its roots. It's certainly an interesting world with many places and neat names but it all seems somewhat underdeveloped and complicated in places where we do have information which is the main reason I chose to reread this.

I seriously considered drawing my own map but would have probably gone mad in the process. The word choice, sentence flow, and dialogue is all written very well. I'm not entirely sure this series is marketed as young adult, but I kinda assumed it was since the main character, Errol, is a teenager.

Well But it is important to have adult characters because hey, adults actually do stuff. They aren't always A useless or B tyrannical leaders or C there just so they can die to spurn the main teenage character on which is what a lot of YA novels would have us believe. My favorite side character is Rokah who is great because A she's kick-butt awesome B her sole propose is NOT to be the love interest for the main character. C she's cunning and smart. D she's witty and humorous.

And E she's surrounded by men but holds her own. He's a drunkard at the beginning of the story which is a rare but good representation to have in literature. His character development including his journey to forsake his addiction is superb. He is flawed and an impressive lead character. This would also be a good time to mention that he is my favorite male character. Hands down.

The STAFF. Multipurpose, Self-defence, Survival Tool (Scottish History and Myth)

He's also immensely adorable and doesn't quite know what to do around the ladies. He has a dark past that haunts him but he's not a brooding bad boy either. There's a prophecy about who's gonna be the next King and all BUT Errol's part in the story is very very very different and interesting. It was interesting and unpredictable as well as thrilling. But it's also difficult to explain so all I'll say is it involves A casting lots to tell the future.

B certain people who can cast and read lots. And C it has rules to it and plays a huge part in the story. I'll leave it up to you to discover the magic in its entirety. The names are my favorite part because literally every name of every place was great! ALOT happens in the last fourth and brings the book to a cliffhanging end. Jan 28, Melanie rated it really liked it Shelves: 10 , netgalley-read , review-books , hidden-gems. I did not expect to enjoy A Cast of Stones as much as I did. I tried reading this a while ago and couldn't get into it, so I set it aside.

I decided to try it again recently and this time around I really enjoyed it. Once I got a little bit into the story, I was intrigued and kept wanting to read more. I thought the fantasy world was written very well. I felt like the characters and setting were real and believable. The plot was interesting and held my attention. All in all, I liked A Cast of Stones a lot and recommend it. I'm looking forward to reading the next book. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Dec 01, Janelle rated it really liked it Shelves: 4-stars , christian , fantasy , fiction , logos-fiction-read. It's taken me a rather long time to get through this, though the fault for that lies with me, and not the book itself. I enjoyed the story, and liked the mc, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the sequels.

Nov 06, Burgandy Ice rated it it was amazing. On occasion I have the urge to gush over-much. On this particular occasion, I'm nervous of throwing so much confetti about this book that it looks promotional instead of critical. I shall attempt to sound dignified, but really There's some sqee-ing. There's no extra words. There's just the exact amount of words necessary to portray the landscape as touchable and the characters Lots of secret, malicious, creepy layers. No more. The world is so believable, I feel like archaeologists will explain how they know this kingdom existed this way.

The people Errol sees represent different parts of the world by their hair color or accent or something, giving me this grand scope of the old-style world. Errol is from a tiny village, though, so he sees details as if he's used to knowing every branch and rock and notes the differences in his travels. Errol is cool. He doesn't seem very cool on the first page and I loved all the surprises as he changes and grows This book - I don't care if there are pages - is not big enough to give me enough of Errol.

He learns a lot. Just say "no" to spoilers!! It's best to experience it all with him, from his intelligent, humble point of view. The spiritual side of things feels just right, some kind of old-school religious structure that was good when it was first created, but it being corrupted at the time of this story. As priests, it's extra deceptive because it feels like they should be trustworthy.

Some are. There's a dark side, too Spiritual things willing to take over someone's body upon request. The danger is very real and this book is more of an introduction to a very big picture than any resolution. Although, the story is complete in itself, for the most part. It left me feeling rather desperate for the next book in the series and wondering just how many there are?

My Rating: 4. Sep 27, Andi rated it really liked it. I finished this at in the morning. Which actually doesn't necessarily mean anything for the book, because that's usually a pretty typical bed time for me. But in this case, I seriously couldn't put it down. However, it wasn't always like that. Okay, so for the first half of the story this book and I had a very delicate relationship. I would be interested, and then I would cease to care altogether and not pick it up for another week or so.

I don't know why. Nothing was wrong with it. It appea I finished this at in the morning. It appeared that we just weren't compatible. Which was another great mystery to me - there was nothing in the book that I found annoying or off putting. But I guess it either grew on me, or my mood changed.

I don't know what. But something changed and I seriously couldn't put the book down. Not for my dog who constantly begged me to go back to sleep, not for my cat which simply wanted affection, not even to greet my sister as she slipped off to her room muttering about how my sleeping habits were insane. The main character, Errol, was one of the best young adult characters I have ever read. He was extremely flawed and extremely real.

He starts out as a character you morbidly pity, a character you do love, but only in a warped sort of way. You don't feel like that at the end. He grows up so much and it's not always easy and at the end you are just so dang proud of him. Or at least, I was. This book is extremely fast paced, which I found rather refreshing. It always kept me on my toes, and those last couple chapters when things were starting to come together and make sense had me all tense and on the edge of the couch. I'm pretty sure my face looked something like this: I'm even interested enough in this series that I'm going to read book two, which is a huge commitment for me.

If you find yourself not getting into it, at least read halfway through.

Series | Baker Publishing Group

It seemed to work for me. Because it gets really good, I promise. Feb 13, Christian Fiction Addiction rated it really liked it. If you are looking for a well-written fantasy novel, then "A Cast of Stones" may just be for you. It's a fantasy that even your grandma will approve of there's not fifty shades of anything in THIS book.

Featuring a world conceived with great imagination, Patrick W. Carr's "A Cast of Stones" is an epic fantasy tale sure to delight savvy readers. Once I'd read enough of the story to wrap myself around the world the author has invented, I found myself pleasantly surprised with the pacing of the st If you are looking for a well-written fantasy novel, then "A Cast of Stones" may just be for you.

Once I'd read enough of the story to wrap myself around the world the author has invented, I found myself pleasantly surprised with the pacing of the story and the intense action scenes that unfolded. The deeper into the story I went, the more engaged I was until by the end I was entirely caught up in the plot to see what Errol was in for next!

The author's descriptions are sharp and clear, and he displays a keen ability to bring a story to life, weaving together fantasy and mystery and intrigue. I love the character of Errol, one of those characters who you have immediate sympathy for, while also reflecting our own struggles in life to feel significant and that your life has worth.

The book is fairly long at well over pages, and perhaps could have been tightened up a bit although I also admit it's hard to imagine what the author would take out. Overall it is a grand start to the author's writing career, and is worthy entertainment indeed. I am definitely looking forward to what is coming next in the series.

I give this book a solid recommendation and award it 4 out of 5 stars. Apr 25, English rated it it was ok Shelves: christian-fantasy , netgalley. I came to this novel rather late, and noticed that it has a lot of glowing reviews. People acquainted with me will know I can have rather high standards, but really I just did not like this book very much almost from the outset. Not all of the characters seemed to be particularly well developed, though a few of them were likable. There were other issues too- the most notab I came to this novel rather late, and noticed that it has a lot of glowing reviews.

There were other issues too- the most notable being the writing style. I honestly have no intention of being nasty, making a personal attack on the author by writing this, and I apologize of it causes offense. In some places the book read as though it could have been written by a 15 year old. I know it was his first novel, and he did his best, but some of the descriptions of characters feelings and metaphors just left a lot to be desired.

Some of the religious elements of the story seemed a little dubious and questionable. To me, it seemed a little like visualisation and appeared as though the readers were almost able to project their thoughts onto the lots. I thoroughly enjoyed this single-point-of-view tale. It begins with the introduction of a staggering drunk as the main character—a not entirely likable character, but the reader can sympathize with him—and journeys with him to his surprising new position in the world.

He makes some incredible faux pas, and he also does exactly the opp I thoroughly enjoyed this single-point-of-view tale. He makes some incredible faux pas, and he also does exactly the opposite. Carr handles the mystery well, and the reader learns as Errol learns. The end is a little shaky, but not abysmal.

The intriguing epilogue definitely helped in that respect. There are a few typos and confusions about direction, number, and who a character is talking to — enough to make me read the passages twice, but not enough by any means to ruin the story. The book does have a virulent case of Comma Splicing, which I find annoying in general but, again, not enough to ruin the story. And… naming conventions are inconsistent, with some taken straight from our world, some slightly modified Morgols, Soedes, Basqu — and Finn Maccol , and some original.

What was going on there? Did I miss something? Those nit-picking concerns aside, the book is a wonderful page-turner. Clean, gore-free in spite of fight scenes , and an all-around good read. Feb 06, Retha rated it it was amazing. A Cast of Stones is an awesome medieval fantasy story. Thankfully when I turned the last page, I realised A Cast of Stones is the first in a series —there is more to come!

Errol Stone, the village drunk, takes a message to a hermit priest in the hills. His motivation was the coin he would receive for his effort. Instead of returning before nightfall with enough money to stay drunk for a week, he is hunted by an assassin on route and almost killed before he could deliver the message. A Cast of Stones is a glorious fantasy story with plots twisting in directions you do not expect; the most unlikely become heroes, the villains are devious and tricky, then there are the priests, the guards and of course the king.

There is enough danger and twists to keep you on edge, and enough wisdom to keep your hopes up. I highly recommend A Cast of Stones. A Cast of Stones is a great book to read by all fantasy lovers. I invite those who do not care for the fantasy genre, but enjoy a good plot and like to dream of heroes, to put your toes into the water and to read A Cast of Stones. The message I received from A Cast of Stones is —you are born with the calling God has placed on your life. No circumstances and no enemy will take your calling away. The enemy or circumstances can divert you from your chosen path, but it cannot destroy the calling.

View all 5 comments. Unique Story This is a good story for young men. There is no sex or language but a great deal of fighting and action. The way the author describes Errol's craft with the staff was so superb it made me want to go out and learn how to brandish a staff of my own. There are many different kinds of villains, from oafs to assassins to corrupt abbots to violent "ferrals" and demonic "malus. The author introduces dozens of characters that only serve a small role in the whole of the sto Unique Story This is a good story for young men.

The author introduces dozens of characters that only serve a small role in the whole of the story. I did not care for the many different love interests, but the romance was only hinted at and helped to show Errol's transition from drunken boy to mature adult. I had a very difficult time getting into the story, because I could not figure out what direction the author was heading. This is not entirely a bad thing. It kept me intrigued, as I am often faulted for guessing the plot too early and feeling let down when not surprised.

The main character was very difficult to like in the beginning, but his weaknesses only made me grow to respect him. This is no trite rags to riches story but instead the story of a man in the gutter who pulls himself into the light and learns to walk when other men would cower. Errol truly became a lovable character.

The fantasy elements in the story are extremely unusual. The whole concept of casting lots for information disturbs me, but somehow it fits into the story world. I will definitely read the next book, because it ended on a cliff hanger and I still cannot predict where this is going. Dec 22, J. A medieval fantasy that has a lot to appreciate. I hope this novel garners recognition because it certainly deserves it.

Errol Stone is a most unlikely hero. I enjoyed the development of the main A medieval fantasy that has a lot to appreciate. I enjoyed the development of the main character. The minor characters were distinctive but could have used a shade more depth. What stands out here is the quality of the writing.

The story is interesting and captivating but the author leans too much on the same plot devices. Minor imperfections aside this is an intelligent and well-written fantasy that fans of the genre should look into. I await the future books in this series. A Cast of stones is a beautiful written story about all the great things we love in a good fantasy book.

We have a Hero who starts as a poor and week orphan boy,and grows into something much more with a little bit help from friends he meets on his travels. We have a developing mystery ,we have the evil guys,we have the good guys,we have a little bit of magic ,a little bit of combat,a little bit of romance could be more of this if you ask me and a happy ending with a good promise for a next book.

I A Cast of stones is a beautiful written story about all the great things we love in a good fantasy book. I know all this sounds a bit like cliche but when it's waved together in such a artful and skilled writing , you will enjoy it nonetheless. And i know by know that compering every new author with Brandon Sanderson or Patrick Rothfuss is a cliche as well ,but if you liked the work of those writers,you will probably like Patrick W.

Car's books too : Looking forward to read the next part in this series! This Book was provided to me by Netgally in exchange for a review. It appears on my blog "Una dressed in Books" and will be on Amazon. Shelves: reads , favorite-fantasy , well-thumbed-books , fantasy-sci-fi , underrated-books. An unexpected 5 stars! I only give 5 stars if I know I would read the book over and over again.

This is one of the most underrated books I have the good fortune to read. The hero reminded me so much of Cazaril from The Curse of Chalion.


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The type of hero that feels human. A hero you would root for and inspire you to be better. I would like t An unexpected 5 stars! Dec 30, Lisa Carter rated it really liked it Shelves: inspirational. Really, really liked this. In fact, can't stop thinking of the fictive world Carr creates and describes—which I think is the goal of every novelist.

Ya'll I don't even usually read this genre, but wow!!!! Kind of reminds me of the rich allegorical imagery of The Chronicles of Narnia. So if you read in this vein—and even if you haven't until now—don't miss this epic medieval fantasy saga. And this is Patrick Carr's debut, people!!! Can't wait to finish the trilogy.


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  • Jul 29, Jo rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi , ya-books-challenge , scribd , library. First, the females in the story are just there for romantic interests. Otherwise, they are conveniently absent. Second, the world building was intricate, but it wasn't explained very well. I would have liked more information a little sooner in the story. All in all, it was a good read,and I would recommend to someone who enjoys a clean, action packed fantasy. Sep 30, Schuyler rated it really liked it.

    At least the 4th time through. The thing that struck me this time is the clear learning arc Errol goes through throughout the book. There are no handouts. He has to work hard, keep practicing, keep looking after his weapons, and learn new things. Yet again, a wonderful journey. See my blog archive for full review at www.

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    Mar 09, Akan Michael rated it it was amazing. Simply amazing. The character development is a true work of a master I cant believe i almost didn't read it.. You cant help but love Errol. He has become one of my Favorite protagonist To Patrick W. I say thank you To everyone else Get a copy immediately. Was he the sort of born hero who dies easily if he dies well?

    The Hero's Lot (The Staff and the Sword)

    Had he so built his life around one purpose that he had nothing else in it? Liam is left an unplumbed mystery. It would have been a very different series, and quite possibly a longer one, if Liam had been raised to a similar level. The books always paired them opposite each other. At the beginning, it was Errol the hopeless drunk and Liam the promising young blacksmith; later, the solis and the omne, the savior and the king, the staff and the sword, the everyman hero and the warrior from a legend. Perfect , several characters thought of Liam. Untouchable , Rokha called him.

    You need distance to maintain that. When you get near something, it grows more flawed. But also more loveable. The kingdom of Illustra is faced by a two-front war. Or a three-front war. It depends at how many different points the foreign hordes can force their way into the country. Illustra needs to find their soteregia , their savior-king. Then they will crown him. Then he will go and fight for them. Then he will die, and save them.

    Every time they cast the lots to find the savior-king, the lots say Errol and Liam , each name as many times as the other. So Illustra prepares for war, and goes out to battle, all the while waiting for something to reveal the truth, to untwist the Gordian knot. Who is soteregia , and why does the cast of lots fail? Carr handles a large cast of characters, and honors all the principals with a true part to play in the story. The narrative is complex, as the characters divide into three storylines, for a while widely divergent from each other. There was a little confusion to this at the beginning, when it took Carr several chapters to return to one storyline.

    Two missions actually began on a ship, and at one point I forgot they were different ships. I remember when I figured this out. Even at the beginning, I appreciated the multiple storylines, where the characters pursued the same goal with different quests and in different theaters. It also allowed Patrick Carr to display the vastness of the world he has created, from Ongol to the steppes to Illustra herself.

    Finally, the different storylines gave the assemblage of characters space to work and to shine. The most important part of any story is the end. Ending a story that has sprawled across three books and a thousand pages is especially hard, and hardest of all is ending a story you yourself have tied into a Gordian knot. But Patrick Carr succeeded in crafting a satisfying ending, in cutting through his Gordian knot, and it is this success, of all his successes, that is most impressive.