Thursday, January 24, 2013

BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr

 

An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love

In 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.

  
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Author Patrick W. Carr

Patrick 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.

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REVIEW
Oh, I loved this book! It has everything one could want, great characters, plenty of excitement, a great setting, and lots of twists and turns.  Interestingly, the main character, Errol won me over immediately, despite his drunkenness and the fact that he clearly expected nothing from life except  pain and another chance to get drunk.  I knew right off that Errol had suffered a devastating loss that he couldn't deal with and it had driven him to become addicted to ale.  I appreciated how realistic this was, he was unable to stop right off the bat.  But despite his seeming hopelessness he continued to fight to survive.  I also liked the other characters, Cruk, the tough former Captain of the watch, Martin, the rotund priest, Luis, the mysterious reader of lots, and Liam, the seemingly perfect young man that the others would do anything to protect. 

As far as plot goes, someone tries to kill Errol in the first chapter, so the action starts with a bang and it doesn't let up.  I enjoyed how the author slowly filled in the pieces of the puzzle as Errol learned things.  The reader doesn't know any more than he does, but it is clear from the beginning that Errol has a much more important role to play than any of them think, including himself.  I enjoyed watching Errol grow stronger and learn to stand on his own feet throughout the book while his faith in his friends and his God increase as well.  There is a great deal of religion in the book (it is Christian fantasy after all), but it doesn't overwhelm the story at all, at least I didn't feel like it did.  Both 'good' religion (sincere beliefs and practices that help others rather than harm) and 'bad' religion (evil beliefs and practices that harm oneself and others) are portrayed, but also prejudices fair and otherwise make a strong appearance.

I can't recommend this book high enough if you love a strong story with characters you can't help but love or hate. I can't wait to read the coming sequel (not until July, boo hoo.)





Blog Tour Giveaway

$10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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