Errol Stone doesn’t really have an ideal life. In the small village of Callowford, he’s known as the town drunk. He gets kicked out of the local tavern on a regular basis and everyone in the village knows that if he gets any money, he’ll spend it on ale.
So when an urgent message arrives for a hermit priest who lives in the hills, Errol isn’t exactly at the top of the list to deliver it. However, the church’s messenger needs it delivered quickly and Errol is the only one who can make his way back to the priest’s cottage in good time. The messenger promises to pay him – and pay him well. With this income, Errol should be set for ale for a good long time. Unfortunately, his quick trip into the woods results in far more than he’d imagined. An assassin, assigned to do something about the message he carries, leaves Errol fighting for his life. And once he does finally make it to the priest’s home, things only go downhill from there. Some might say uphill from there as Errol sets out on a journey that seems more like a dream than reality.
I’m a huge fan of fantasy books. I love when you can dive into a fabulous new universe and learn about customs and characters and follow on exciting adventures. A good fantasy book will accomplish this as well as knit your heart to the story in such a way that it becomes a part of you. I also tend to be really hard on fantasy books. They 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. Some of my favorites are Jill Williamson’s Blood of Kings books and Stephen Lawhead’s Silver Hand series. These books are like friends that I can revisit again and again (and I have!) and find something new and delightful each time. Cast of Stones has found itself firmly in that list of books. I absolutely, one hundred percent loved this book.
The writing style was full of just enough description to entice the imagination without overburdening the reader in too many details. The plot moved quickly and took many surprising turns, but it was never too cumbersome or elaborate to bog the reader down. (This is a common failing of epic fantasies such as this.) Before I was even finished reading, I had written to my contact to find out how I could get the next book because I knew that I was already a fan. I need the next book!
Word on the street is that this is Patrick W. Carr’s first book. I have a really hard time believing that. (Or that he teaches MATH? Seriously? There’s not a dry, boring moment in this book? How does a math teacher do that?? Sorry…back to the review at hand.) I will say that I am fully, completely, and one hundred percent in the Patrick W. Carr fan club. I would be happy to be the president of the fan club if he’d let me. (Confession: I don’t know the man and yes, I am mildly worried that this review could cause him to be somewhat frightened of my exuberance for his craft.) Needless to say, I cannot wait for the next book to be released and am geekily excited to see where Carr takes us next.
Rated PG-13: There’s some heavier topics in here. I’d recommend it for at least 13 and up.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!
Note: This review originally appeared here at Radiant Lit.