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Cast of Stones, A (The Staff and the Sword Book #1) [Kindle Edition]

Patrick W. Carr
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (449 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Fate of the Kingdom Awaits the Cast of Stones

In the backwater village of Callowford, roustabout Errol Stone is enlisted by a church messenger arriving with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Eager for coin, Errol agrees to what he thinks will be an easy task, 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 nears its end and the selection of the new king begins--but in secret and shadow. As danger mounts, Errol must leave behind the stains and griefs of the past, learn to fight, and discover who is hunting him and his companions and how far they will go to stop the reading of the stones.

"With an engaging, imaginative world that bristles with danger, characters that keep you guessing, and a story that sticks with you, A Cast of Stones will keep you devouring pages until the very end. I highly recommend it!" --John W. Otte, author of Failstate

"Carr's debut, the first in a series, is assured and up-tempo, with much to enjoy in characterization and description--not least the homely, life-as-lived details." -Publishers Weekly

This fast-paced fantasy debut set in a medieval world is a winner. Both main and secondary characters are fully drawn and endearing, and Errol's transformation from drunkard to hero is well plotted. Carr is a promising CF author to watch. Fans of epic Christian fantasies will enjoy discovering a new voice.

"Like the preceding series title, Inescapable, this tale of suspense offers a colorful cast of characters, small-town drama, and a hint of romance. A sure bet for fans of Hannah Alexander." --Library Journal

"[Good fantasy books] 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... Cast of Stones has found itself firmly in that list of books. I absolutely, one hundred percent loved this book." --Radiant Lit

About the Author

Patrick W. Carr teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his incredible wife, Mary, and their four awesome sons, Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Learn more at

Product Details

  • File Size: 903 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0764210432
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
When it comes to fiction, especially in the realm of Fantasy, I think that it isn't always the easiest to come by. Marcher Lord Press produces some of the best, while seasoned writers such as George R.R. Martin continue to make impressive marks, always impressing readers. I was quite intrigued to see that there was a new man in town by the name of Patrick W. Carr. But I wondered if he would be impressive. Well, he's impressed the likes of Jill Williamson and John Otte, 2 Marcher Lord Press masterminds praise this man's work, and I was extremely eager to see what Carr had to offer. I wasn't disappointed in the least!

Stumbling drunk, barely able to function, is how we meet the boy, Errol Stone, as he is kicked out of a tavern. Not the most of impressive introductions, is it? Well, Errol probably doesn't think himself so impressive either. But he is sent on a mission, with the promise of payment, as long as he delivers a message to a priest, because he knows how to reach this priest, and he's proved that he's rather quick through the woods and paths. It isn't too long before Errol finds himself being followed, hunted, and wanted. Why? The answer is soon discovered!

This boy, who doubts his own self-worth, discovers talents that he never knew existed, and from those talents, royalty will be addressed. Errol quickly learns how to fight, and while easily challenged, never forgotten by those who oppose him. And with the ability to exceed all expectations, it seems that this boy, who only in the beginning, wanted a drink, is learning a thing or two about himself.

This past Summer, I happened to read "The Word and the Void" trilogy by Terry Brooks, and as experienced as Brooks may be, he isn't nearly as impressive as Patrick W. Carr.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read January 19, 2013
Great storyline! Carr does a good job, putting just enough in to keep you wanting to turn the page and see what Errol will do next. There is that air of Errol being just a little bit to good to be true, but it is a fantasy story after all.

I can't wait to read "The Hero's Lot" when it comes out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL MEDIEVAL FANTASY December 14, 2013
By Juliet
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love fantasy, especially medieval fantasy. However, in my opinion, it’s not easy to find really good fantasy. And then I stumbled upon Patrick W. Carr’s, The Staff and The Sword trilogy.
What a great storyline! Errol Stone is the town drunk – at least until he volunteers to deliver a message to a priest. Along the way he is hunted by a mysterious assassin and nearly killed. He, the priest, and a few others end up running for their lives and, along the way, Errol gives up the bottle, learns to fight with a staff, and transforms into a true hero.
This was a wonderful novel that held my interest until the very end. Carr has an excellent writing style, the plot was well-developed and, most importantly, the characters were multi-dimensional. I’ve already bought the next book in the series, The Hero's Lot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mix of history and fantasy October 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good read that will hold your interest to the end. If you like medieval stories, tied in with some history and fantasy, you will find this story engrossing. The writing style is easy to read and flows along with well-developed plot and multi-dimensional characters. Would highly recommend. Planning to buy the Hero's Lot next.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Medieval Fantasy that will keep you turning pages! January 21, 2013
This is an interesting medieval fantasy about the transformation of a young man and his possible future role in the kingdom. Errol Stone is a drunk who is pretty much ignored in his village of Callowford when he volunteers to deliver a message to a priest who lives in a treacherous woods for a fee. He's almost killed by an assassin and has to run for his life with the priest and a few others. Along the way we discover important insights into his past, meet people who would try to influence him for good or evil, and watch him mature into a true hero.

This is the first book in a trilogy and it was interesting to follow Errol through his adventures and see how he changed throughout the book. I haven't read too many books considered to be medieval fantasy, so I wasn't sure quite what to expect. I found it a little hard to get into it at first, but as Errol changed and the action continued, I became more interested. I liked the different characters and the abilities shown were interesting to see. The church is a powerful force in the story, with some priests good and some evil. The Trinity is mentioned in the story and we clearly see good and evil, but a relationship with God isn't shown. There's a lot of action and hints of romance. I am interested to see where the next two go and if my guess about Errol's future comes true!

This book is available February 2013 from Bethany House Publishers.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was intrigued to read a medieval fantasy story written for the Christian market. It was the author's first novel so I cut him some slack when some elements of the story didn't line up.

I've read a lot of fantasy fiction, some of the best. The story line was good. I appreciate that the author stayed with a single point of view throughout. That provided continuity to the story since it had so many sub-plots in the developmental stage. It kept it less confusing that way. You also got a glimpse into the "coming of age" part of growth in the main character. I actually enjoyed reading most of the book.

However, I WILL NOT read anymore from this series or probably even this author: When you write a trilogy, you do not stop the book in the MIDDLE of the climatic scene and then pretend it didn't happen! I have never felt such a shock of being dropped in a bucket of ice water as I did when I finished chapter 31 and started chapter 32. It was AWFUL!!! This is not the way a trilogy of books is written. You finish the primary story line well so that your readers are satisfied ... and then you leave enough open doors of possibility that make your reader what to know what happens next. You had plenty of open doors to use - and you touched on them in chapter 32 and the epilogue. BUT PLEASE - DO NOT EVER STOP THE STORY IN SUCH A SHOCKING WAY. It is painful and disappointing. It is not building the tension - it is the opposite of that. I actually double checked the Table of Contents in my Kindle app TWICE to make sure I hadn't missed a chapter - it was that bad.

Bethany House - I hold you responsible for this. Your editors should know better - that's their job. Perhaps the deadlines were so tight that mistakes were made ... I don't know. But this leaves a really BAD aftertaste and a black mark on the emerging fantasy fiction arising from the Christian market. It had such potential. I hope you do better and learn from this mistakes. I wish you well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story
I just loved this series. Kudos to the author. If you read the Codex Alera series, you will love this story. Awesome underdog character that you just ache for. Read more
Published 7 hours ago by just me
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book!
This book was more of a fantastic adventure that I got to observe in a way! I'm glad I got this book on my kindle so I could look up words that are from Old English though. Read more
Published 1 day ago by M
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic adventure
I really enjoyed this book. The only distraction was some of the language for example "puked" didn't seem to fit in the time of the story but other than that i loved it and will be... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Lauren M
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Christian fantasy
Unfortunately, Christian fantasy tends to be synonymous with mediocre writing. Not so in the case of "A Cast of Stones. Read more
Published 1 day ago by alinasayre
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read worth the price by far.
I will definitely be buying the next book. The hero is chosen appropriately as the one who isn't quite perfect. Read more
Published 2 days ago by On
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly enjoyed it!
It made me want to turn each page. I did not get bored by slow points either. Will definitely read bk. 2 and its a escape!!
Published 2 days ago by Steve Sparhawk
4.0 out of 5 stars fast paced and exciting
A well crafted story set in a entirely believable world. I was surprised at how much I liked this story since it was free. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Esta G. Rosevear
5.0 out of 5 stars a really good read
the characters are realistic and can be easily identified with. the story line is compelling and moves at a good pace.
Published 5 days ago by Donna Shelton
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Kept me interested right from the beginning which is hard to do. This isn't the kind of books I read but I will continue with this series and this author.
Published 9 days ago by Ramona A. Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, epic story.
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... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Paula Vince
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More About the Author

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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I wish the price was lower.
It's free now (11/5/13).
Nov 5, 2013 by Jennifer Lanam |  See all 2 posts
Is this book appropriate for tweens & younger kids?
It depends upon how mature your children are and the type of books they like to read. I think it is still free. You may want to get it and see what you think of it. I keep looking for books for my 11 and 14 year old grandkids. They liked The Wormling Series and Estrel: The Rise of Mount... Read more
Aug 5, 2013 by sidebruoxie |  See all 4 posts
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