2014 Carol Award Winner for Speculative
The Fate of the Kingdom Awaits the Cast of Stones
In the backwater village of Callowford, roustabout Errol Stone is enlisted by a church messenger arriving with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Eager for coin, Errol agrees to what he thinks will be an easy task, 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 nears its end and the selection of the new king begins--but in secret and shadow. As danger mounts, Errol must leave behind the stains and griefs of the past, learn to fight, and discover who is hunting him and his companions and how far they will go to stop the reading of the stones.
"With an engaging, imaginative world that bristles with danger, characters that keep you guessing, and a story that sticks with you, A Cast of Stones will keep you devouring pages until the very end. I highly recommend it!" --John W. Otte, author of Failstate
"Carr's debut, the first in a series, is assured and up-tempo, with much to enjoy in characterization and description--not least the homely, life-as-lived details." -Publishers Weekly
This fast-paced fantasy debut set in a medieval world is a winner. Both main and secondary characters are fully drawn and endearing, and Errol's transformation from drunkard to hero is well plotted. Carr is a promising CF author to watch. Fans of epic Christian fantasies will enjoy discovering a new voice.
"Like the preceding series title, Inescapable, this tale of suspense offers a colorful cast of characters, small-town drama, and a hint of romance. A sure bet for fans of Hannah Alexander." --Library Journal
"[Good fantasy books] have to be excellent. Good storytelling and exceptional characters with circumstances that are easy enough to follow and wrap your brain around but keep you entertained and guessing... Cast of Stones has found itself firmly in that list of books. I absolutely, one hundred percent loved this book." --Radiant Lit
Errol's life is an alcoholic scrabble through village tedium until the day a church messenger asks him to convey important letters to Martin, the local hermit, as only Errol has the wilderness skills to reach the priest quickly. When Martin realizes Errol has the gift of sight, the priest and his enigmatic servant, Luis, force Errol to join them on an urgent trip to the church's seat in Erinon, where the king's successor will be chosen. Life is no longer a drunken stupor, but unless Errol embraces his gifts and his calling, it's likely to be brutally short. Carr's debut, the first in a series, is assured and up-tempo, with much to enjoy in characterization and description not least the homely, life-as-lived details but the plot is convention-bound, set in a standard white male fantasy world with standard virtues and flaws. Understated Christian elements are somewhat undercut by the church's reliance on assassins and fortune-tellers, but non-Christian fantasy fans will take it all in stride.
Awesome book! Couldn’t hardly put it down. Unlike most books today, I didn’t have to stop reading it because of profanity. Nice to read a good, clean book. Can’t wait to start the second one in the series!
Riveting story like nothing else
Maybe things aren't as they seem. This is said to be the first book from this author. From the captivating story, the characters and the fact that I couldn't put the book down (twice, I'll explain), I do wonder how this could be. I read this over a year ago. I finally got book 2 and thought that reading book 1 again was a good idea since I'd forgotten some of the details. It was a wise idea. The second time, I picked up more details than the first. Warning- if you are anything like me, you might read the first chapter or 2 and think "this book is not for me". Push on as it is a story you will never forget. Brilliant storytelling!
Cast of Stones
I couldn't put it down. I've never read anything like it. The storyline was intriguing and also the thread of redemption was so engaging. I can't imagine how fulfilling it must be to write like this.