Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review: A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr

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Title: A Cast of Stones

Author: Patrick W. Carr

Series: The Staff & the Sword #1

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Young Adult

**3.5 stars**

A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr started out interesting enough ... it even really captivated me at certain points; but it ended up just not being the greatest fantasy read for me, personally.

It starts out with a young man, named Errol, getting thrown out of a tavern. He shortly thereafter meets a church messenger, and agrees to go on an errand for the man. After all, it means he'll be paid. And pay means more ale. However, Errol gets much, much more than he bargained for; in fact, his world is thrown into chaos.

It was quite a story. After all, our POV character is a drunkard. And the world of A Cast of Stones is obviously well thought out. There's so much going on. Mysteries and secrets and stunning revelations. Vicious fighters, and greedy men abound. The king grows weak, and someone needs to take his place before it's too late. There was a lot of character development, which was great. The fighting scenes were done well - enough to have you quite interested; but not get tired of one fight after another. The plot, themes, world ... were intricate.

Perhaps that was part of the problem for me. I love fantasy. But at times it just gets too in-depth, and I'm suddenly in over my head, like, What are they even talking about? Can we move onto something else? *Ahem* Yeah.

I find that I don't really prefer books with just a male POV character. Why? Um, maybe because I'm a girl? I just understand women better! Most of the time. Anyway, as much as I grow to adore a lot of main characters that are guys (even Errol wasn't so bad); I end up getting a little weary of not having any female companionship. I love when there's a girl character that I really understand her emotions, and actions ... I relate to her. I can put myself in her shoes. And there was just Errol in A Cast of Stones. As I said, he was a good character, and went on quite a journey. I would even like to see more of him! But I just connect better with books that have some female main characters as well.

That being said, I do not understand Errol and his reactions to girls. He goes here and ... Wow, what a beautiful, amazing woman! Then he leaves and goes someone else, and meets another beautiful, amazing woman! And by the end of the books, there's at least three girls who are either pining after him, or he's pining after them. I don't know. After awhile, I'm feeling like, Okay, young man, guard your heart ... and protect theirs! I know Errol was young ... erm, sort of? ... and was still growing in a sense; coming out of being a drunkard. But it still frustrates me when the guy forgets the pretty girl he kissed that fast, because a new pretty girl is in his life. Ah. Rant over.

This book has a Christian allegory to it, but so far none of the characters seem to have a relationship with God. I'm hoping that will change in the next book! The lot casting unnerved me a little at times. It's kind of hard to judge who's really a good person. And is the church good? Also, there was some violence and gore, and perhaps some frightening scenes.

Overall, this book made a 3.5 stars. After finally connecting, I thought I'd enjoy it more; but then the end kind of fell flat for me. I'd still like to see what happens with Errol, so I plan to finish this series someday! *smiles*


  1. This is such an interesting review! I have mixed feelings about books written from a man/boy's POV -- it's often hit-or-miss for me, because, yeah, I'm a woman. And this book sounds very complex! It's been on my TBR list for a long while, and I think I'll keep it there. I'm intrigued. :)

    1. Haha, thanks, Serena! :) It often seems that way for me too! Like, I love Jaye L. Knight's and Tricia Mingerink's books, which have a lot of man's POV. But other books, like this one, just weren't so much for me. But you may very well like it! It is a rather complex book! :D

  2. I really like reading books from a guy's prospective, I even tend to write more books from guys POV. Then again I grew up with two older brothers and have always been somewhat of a tom boy.

    The way Errol treated girl's bothered me to, but I think it gets addressed in the next book.

    1. Actually, a lot of my writer/reader friends are that way too! I kind of felt weird for awhile, because I preferred a girl's POV. But now I'm like, "Oh well, that's how I am!" :D

      I used to be a bit of a tom boy when I was younger, having both guy and girl friends. But for some reason or another, I just like girl POVs better, usually! Or at least like when there's a girl POV as well as boy! :)

      So anyway, I suppose we have a little different tastes. I'm still interested in finishing this series! :D And I hope that does get addressed in the next book! Because yeah, it was a bit disturbing.