Cast of Stones Book CoverIn 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.

I’m not sure this book is one I would have picked up in a bookstore. On a whim I requested it for review and am thankful I did.

The Staff and the Sword: A Cast of Stones  by Patrick W. Carr is a medieval fantasy that had me hooked from the first pages. The main character is so very human, his struggles are so much like our own – of his (and our) own making, and his depth of character is surprising. There are many twists and turns in the story and I struggled along with the main character about who to trust.

While not a big fantasy fan, this one was perfect! There was not too much “fantasy” and a whole lot of medieval – a great balance. The church has too much power, the kingdom hangs in the balance and the battle for power takes a toll on the people. The stones and a stone reader’s abilities were a fascinating portion of the story and I can’t wait for book two to find out how the story continues. Thankfully, the wait won’t be long. The Hero’s Lot will be released July 2013.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.