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A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)
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A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword #1)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  1,536 ratings  ·  307 reviews
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 b...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers
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I've finished this trilogy today and decided to post my full review of all 3 books here (spoiler free) since this is where it all started.

This is one of the best trilogies I've ever read. It's definitely in my top 3. I even decided to put a new category in my bookshelves for "favorite trilogies" just because of this book.

People! You need to trust me and read this.
Because it has everything a reader of fantasy/fiction loves. (Well, at least for me)

Mature writing. T...more
A Cast of Stones is a Medieval-style fantasy with a Church, priests and monks as a major power in the kingdom. But other than the similarities to the religious background of Medieval Europe, the history and the magic of casting divine lots is unique enough that I felt like it took place in an unknown fantasy world. Although much was standard high fantasy fare (e.g. unknown peasant protagonist), this was still different enough to feel fresh to me.

The main character is a 'boy' of 18 who has been a...more
Adam Collings
This story centers around a very unlikely hero. Eroll is a drunk. His life consists of earning enough coin to spend his nights in the ale barrel. When he is unexpectedly thrust into a dangerous game of crown and church politics he is forced to rise above his weaknesses and become a new man.

I loved the protagonist of this book. We spend the entire story deep in his point of view, which makes him immediately sympathetic, despite his many flaws. Seeing his growth and transformation is a lot of fun....more
When I first picked up saw this book, I thought it sounded interesting. When I won a copy through goodreads first reads, I was super excited. Some time between winning and getting my book, a friend told me the publishing company published religious books and I should beware because blah blah blah. Immediately I was thrown off balance. I have no problem reading books by religious authors -no matter their chosen religion- or even books about religion if in the mood for them. But I get very annoyed...more
Paula Vince
Wow, what a journey!

Everyone recognises Errol Stone as the village drunk, and he's not yet nineteen years old. His one ambition is to earn a bit of money for his next fix of ale, so he won't fall apart. When a strange messenger wants a secret parcel delivered to Pater Martin, the reclusive priest, Errol is quick to volunteer. He knows the pay will keep sobriety at bay for at least another week, but comes to wish he hadn't bothered.

He never expects to be plunged, unwittingly, into the dangerous t...more
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.

I enjoyed this book! Mr. Carr is a very talented writer. The story was imaginative and kept a nice pace, not too slow and not too fast and an easy read. The story line was easy to follow – maybe a little too easy (not really any surprises and was a little predictable). I was a little worried after receiving the book, reading that Mr. Carr was a member of a Christian writing group and that it was listed as a Christ...more
Megan Wilson
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

A Cast of Stones honestly had me torn. Part of me enjoyed it, and part of me didn't. When it first started out I was confused, to be honest, it read almost like a sequel and I was worried that I had signed up to receive a copy of the sequel. After the first chapter though it became apparent that it was indeed the first book and so I settled down to enjoy a good book.

Enjoy is exactly what I did for a w...more
Ariana Pedigo
Praises to Deas for Patrick W. Carr, for this excellent and audacious novel!

Errol, a boy who has wandered far from the path and is a habitué for ale drowning within the barrel, agrees to carry a letter to the hermit priest (Martin) in the hills, for a coin which he already plans to use on ale to keep himself glazed for a week. Little does he realize that this action would change his entire life.

So begins an adventure which covers 432 pages of excitement and invaluable lessons. Errol meets clever...more
Just Dee
When I got this novel, I was expecting to enjoy it at least a little. The setting and premise interested me, and once I began to read it, the story intrigued me.
However, I was not expecting the outstanding literary work I ended up reading. Carr has a fantastic writing style and a natural knack for storytelling.
There was not a dull moment in the entire novel. I found myself immersed in the world of the book and enjoying every bit of the aptly placed action and drama.

There's a reason I'm r...more
Burgandy Ice
On occasion I have the urge to gush over-much. On this particular occasion, I'm nervous of throwing so much confetti about this book that it looks promotional instead of critical. I shall attempt to sound dignified, but really... when I happen upon a book like this, it's like discovering a stash of chocolate. There's some sqee-ing.


I like the writing style. There's no extra words. There's just the exact amount of words necessary to portray the landscape as touchable and the characters... as...more
A little over halfway through the book I realized I was going to be upset at the end. Why? Because this was only book one of the series. Meaning things weren’t going to be completely resolved. To which I say Boo!

Reason #895 why I like to wait until a series is complete before I start it. I can be impatient on occasion and waiting isn’t really one of my gifts. Just ask my parents how awesome road trips were with me in the back seat. And now I have to wait for-ev-er until the next one comes out. U...more
♥ Unaeve ♥ Olga
A Cast of stones is a beautiful written story about all the great things we love in a good fantasy book.
We have a Hero who starts as a poor and week orphan boy,and grows into something much more with a little bit help from friends he meets on his travels.
We have a developing mystery ,we have the evil guys,we have the good guys,we have a little bit of magic ,a little bit of combat,a little bit of romance (could be more of this if you ask me)and a happy ending with a good promise for a next book.

Christian Fiction Addiction
If you are looking for a well-written fantasy novel, then "A Cast of Stones" may just be for you. It's a fantasy that even your grandma will approve of (there's not fifty shades of anything in THIS book).

Featuring a world conceived with great imagination, Patrick W. Carr's "A Cast of Stones" is an epic fantasy tale sure to delight savvy readers. Once I'd read enough of the story to wrap myself around the world the author has invented, I found myself pleasantly surprised with the pacing of the st...more
A medieval fantasy that has a lot to appreciate. I hope this novel garners recognition because it certainly deserves it. Within the first couple of chapters it’s readily apparent that the writing is definitely above average.
Errol Stone is a most unlikely hero. At the beginning if he’s not crocked he’s probably heading to his favorite watering hole for a beer but by the time the book ends he has been transformed thanks in part to a certain remarkable talent. I enjoyed the development of the main...more
I came to this novel rather late, and noticed that it has a lot of glowing reviews. People acquainted with me will know I can have rather high standards, but really I just did not like this book very much almost from the outset.
There were some original elements in the story- the notion of the stone `lots' for instance though this could be problematic. Not all of the characters seemed to be particularly well developed, though a few of them were likable.

There were other issues too- the most notab...more
A Cast of Stones is an awesome medieval fantasy story. Thankfully when I turned the last page, I realised A Cast of Stones is the first in a series –there is more to come!

Errol Stone, the village drunk, takes a message to a hermit priest in the hills. His motivation was the coin he would receive for his effort. Instead of returning before nightfall with enough money to stay drunk for a week, he is hunted by an assassin on route and almost killed before he could deliver the message.

Errol’s life...more
Dec 26, 2013 Ron rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ron by: Jon Moss
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
Excellent epic fantasy. Carr's "hero", Errol, is as unheroic as the village drunk--because that's what he is. Therefore he at least has an excuse for his early stupidity and unwillingness to get involved in the issues of the greater world. But, true to type, almost nothing is what it seems.

The entire narrative is written tightly from Errol's point of view. The reader may suspect more, but is told only what Errol sees, hears, smells and experiences. Unlike so much contemporary fantasy Carr provi...more
Mary Findley
Sometimes I write a book review because I promised I would. Sometimes I need to because I want to tell the world about a great story. Sometimes I just have to write a review, even though I feel like I am spiritually and mentally under attack every step of the way. That probably sounds arrogant and judgmental, since I am nobody, have no influence, and over five hundred voices already disagree with me about the book. I also don't think I've ever published a two-star review.
This book gets two star...more
I really enjoyed this 3-book series. This first book is written as a journey of the main characters and we are introduced to the kingdom of Illustra. Secrets unfold and the past is brought to the present. Why do people keep trying to harm Errol, a simple young drunk who seems to be randomly pulled into this journey? What do the church men know? What are they hiding? Why is the journey so important? How will Errol survive the compulsion placed on him? Will he be strong enough?

Once I finished this...more
Sara James
Patrick Carr now goes on my list of Christian authors who write fantasy that's just as good as non-Christian authors. I hate to say it, but usually the best fantasy is written by non-Christians -- Lewis and Tolkien being the famous exceptions. I am rarely as absorbed by a Christian author's fantasy, despite the fact that I am a Christian, too. Perhaps it's that CBA publishers haven't bought into the idea that Christians want to read fantasy and therefore don't attract better authors. But anyway,...more
Lisa Carter
Really, really liked this. In fact, can't stop thinking of the fictive world Carr creates and describes—which I think is the goal of every novelist.

Ya'll I don't even usually read this genre, but wow!!!! Kind of reminds me of the rich allegorical imagery of The Chronicles of Narnia.

So if you read in this vein—and even if you haven't until now—don't miss this epic medieval fantasy saga.

And this is Patrick Carr's debut, people!!!
Can't wait to finish the trilogy.
I enjoyed reading Patrick Carr's Cast of Stones.

Errol Stone, an orphan with a mysterious past, is the town drunkard at 17, dousing himself with ale in the effort to forget an horrific event some years ago that shattered his childhood. His world changes one day when he takes an important message to the hermit Martin and his servant Luis. He is pursued by assassins, learns of talents he did not know he possessed, faces death, capture and worse, and finds his way out of the ale barrel into service...more
I have to admit that I didn't care for the main character (Errol) at the beginning, and I was quite some pages in before I found myself on his side. Once I was, though, I was definitely in his camp.

I personally liked the voice of the author, and I thought he handled the action scenes well (and there are plenty of action scenes). I liked the set up of the world and, although it wasn't hugely unique, it was interesting.

Anyone who has read my reviews knows that I'm not that easy to please so when I...more
Jordan Mierek
I received a copy of A CAST OF STONES by Patrick W. Carr from Bethany House, one of my favorite publishers. The book is the first in the Staff & the Sword series. While I love fantasy novels, this one didn’t quite do it for me. There is plenty for a fantasy lover to enjoy – magic, kingship, a quest. All were very cool and well thought out, but it just wasn’t a page turner. Many of the sentences seemed simplistic enough to be geared toward a children’s book, although the content was definitel...more
Kar Achondo
Patrick Carr’s debut novel, A Cast of Stones, is the first book in The Staff and the Sword series. It is an epic medieval tale of a boy who turns into a man and learns about himself while going through an dangerous odyssey.
I'm a difficult reader to please within the fantasy/medieval genre, because I'm not really into it. It is pretty hard for me to wrap my mind around new worlds so full of things I've never heard about or that are completely made up. Before, I only had fully accomplished that wi...more
I saw this book on a blog tour invite months ago and as much as I wanted to join the tour and get the chance to review the book, I just couldn’t add another book to my massive review pile. Weeks later I saw that it was free on Amazon Kindle so I grabbed it without hesitation. I didn’t get to read it until days later and that was only because my sister read it and said it was really good. I trust in sister dear’s good taste so I veered away from my review pile for a moment and read the book. I’m...more
I have been a fantasy buff for as long as I can recall, and lately I have come back from my forays into the fantasy realm unhappy. This book changed all of that and I was shocked to find out this is a new author. The writing is truly so superb you would never guess this is a first book.

I don't usually make comparisons between authors or books, but what made me love this as much as I did, was that it reminded me of the tight, wonderfully descriptive writing of David Eddings, who has long been my...more

By: Patrick W. Carr
Published By: Bethany House Publishers
Age Recommended: YA - Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: 5
Book Blog For: GMTA
Series: The Staff and Sword # 1

"A Cast of Stones" by Patrick W. Carr was good fantasy read with some Christian based and the first of this series of 'The Staff and Sword.' You will find it a very interesting and exciting novel. This read starts out with a drunken young teen boy named Errol and believe it or not becomes the hero of this story. We will find...more
Pam Funke
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for the purpose of review. The review is my honest opinion and I was not paid for this service.

A Cast of Stones is an unique Christian fantasy novel that will draw you into the story from the very first page. The author has done a marvelous job writing this novel. I'm not a big fantasy reader, but the story was really interesting. It is a cross between Lord of the Rings and King Arthur. There are characters in the story that you will...more
Immanuel Jegan
The book felt like a really odd read due to the pacing. I know writing so that you have good pacing is not an easy task, but that's what you need to accomplish in order to be part of the best.

The book starts off with the main character being a near hopeless wreck, and as it progresses on he slowly becomes less hopeless. Then all of a sudden, the author decides that it was time to make him into a man, and writes this power up sequence that reminds me of shounen manga, except it takes place like i...more
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Christian YA Readers: July Read: Cast of Stones 5 17 Jul 17, 2014 05:46AM  
Christian Fiction...: ❀Dawn and Megan❀ A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr 1 11 Jun 03, 2013 06:59AM  
JLA Addicts Book ...: The Staff and the Sword 2 14 Mar 04, 2013 09:22AM  
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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 w...more
More about Patrick W. Carr...
The Hero's Lot (The Staff and the Sword, #2) A Draw of Kings (The Staff and the Sword #3) The Legend's Granddaughter (Not Quite Super, #1)

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