Fiction Review: Patrick W. Carr’s “A Cast of Stones”

I’m in a conundrum.

I want to hand this book to my friends, telling them “Read this! Read this NOW.”

But I’m torn, for at the same time I want to keep it with me, so I can read through it again!

The way Mr. Carr describes his lands, the people from each nation, and the spirit entities that are at war reminded me of C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, specifically Perelandra.

I could see the land around me – I skittered across the Cripples, trailed down into the dungeon of the abbey, and followed the merchant’s caravan with Errol. I listened to the people bicker and laugh around me, and watched the passage of each land we travelled. It was total immersion, and it was done well.

It took me a while to get the image of a 19-year-old protagonist in my mind. The back cover synopsis, and the first few chapters where we get to meet Errol and get a sense of his life and his choices, at first give the impression of someone quite a bit older. Then, when the other characters call him “boy” and make references to how little he knows of the world and regular life, we get someone much younger. It distracted me a little, but I was too busy being pulled along by the plot and the world around me to give it more than a passing glance.

As this is fantasy, one must take on “suspension of disbelief” at the door, and thus, any nit-picking of details would be in poor form. What gives this story its strength is a plot which is woven well – no gaping holes or ragged edges.

It’s been a while since I have sat and read a novel from cover to cover, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish, as I could not pull myself away. And it’s been even longer since I’ve had a book that upon completion, I wanted to turn back to page one and start again. It was refreshing, a true highlight of my day.

Mr. Carr, you have my attention. I am eagerly awaiting your next work!

I received a free copy of this book through the Bethany House Reviewer Program

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