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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 6 August 2013
It's an excellent read, well paced, good storyline.This book contains everything you should find in a good fantasy novel. You can find the magic, demons and characters with superhuman abilities and of course the battle between good and evil. I highly recommend this book.
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on 13 March 2014
An intriguing plot with strong characters takes the reader on a journey where the unexpected becomes the norm. Maybe good things happen too quickly and too easily, but that in no way detracts from the enjoyment of the read. How a drunken sot with no income or standing becomes a tea totalling weapons expert defending king and country in six months is beyond me, but didn't prevent me from reading it as quickly as I could. I will certainly be going for the next installment in the series. The storyline has kept a couple of very interesting characters in the margins ready to bring into the developing story. There should be many a twist in the tale to come to keep the reader guessing and involved. Credit to the author, a very good book and I'm looking forward to see how Errol copes with the budding romance and the many foes that will no doubt plot to end his young life.
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on 8 April 2014
This was a well-written and enjoyable book of roughly-medieval fantasy (with that tell-tale American influence on the wilderness and towns), with a magic system with one central gimmick and some obvious (and advertised) Christian influences. I liked the characters well enough, and it kept me suitably gripped, but all the way along I couldn't escape the feeling that it was just missing something critical to push it to the next level. Perhaps the fantasy world was not quite fantastic enough, while at the same time lacking some of the fundamental realisms that fully-developed worlds give you. Without going into possible spoilers I won't say much more but that it's no more evangelical than, say, the Narnia books (probably less, to be fair), if you (like me) are slightly concerned about fiction with too much blatant politics or religion in it...

Above average for free ebooks, certainly, and worth a look. I'm a harsh rater, I know.
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on 29 September 2013
This story is well written with all the key ingredients - heroes villains underdog comes good. I thoroughly enjoyed it
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on 17 September 2014
A really enjoyable foray into "Christian Fantasy".

Found this book on a whim having finished Robin Hobb's latest book. I was instantly hooked, a very rare occurrence for me. This definitely a unique spin on the fantasy genre and I like the religious & paranormal? aspects of the story.

The storyline is gripping although I did get confused with the religious vocabulary, at times. I also felt that sometimes the story progressed way to quickly? As soon as we get used to a character they seem to disappear. Reminiscent of R.R Martin - hopefully they don't all die! Give this a try!
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on 25 June 2016
This is a curious item. It starts out far too slowly, but picks up interest after we leave the village and get to the town. The magic system is interesting and original. The writing is not great - this is a first novel - but I made my way through it all, and it got better over the novel. (Those worried about the Christian publisher need not - there's nothing overt in here, and it's basically a medieval-style world). The next one, tho, was really bad. Pity.
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on 5 December 2016
Patrick Carr is fast becoming one of my favourite fantasy authors. Fast paced and riveting, it's a story of intrigue, power, honour and challenge. All the characters are written in a way that makes them feel like people you know, and want to know better.
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on 27 April 2014
Errol Stone, the village drunk, suddenly finds himself embroiled in an adventure he could never have imagined. A nobody, he is dragged into the danger and politics of church and country, all to protect the golden boy, Liam, who is (not so secretly) destined to be king.

First of all, thank you Patrick W. Carr for reminding me that there are some absolutely amazing books out there, it is such a relief after suffering so many disappointing, frustrating and... you know what, I can't believe I downloaded it for free, it has instantly gone into my top ten books.

*cough* Right, British sensibleness restored.
As you may have guessed, I loved this book.
Errol is only about 19 years, but has already established himself as the village drunk. After his father's death, all he cares about is finding a way of getting another drink. Which leads him to agree to deliver a message from the church to the local hermit. Needless to say, things don't go to plan, and soon Errol finds himself racing towards the capital with a small, mismatched band of people he thought he knew.
Errol is a brilliant central character. He drags his heels through the whole adventure, making it obvious that he would much rather go back to the pub. But despite the drink, he is very intelligent, and has a sense of humour, regardless of danger. It is impossible not to like him, and root for him as the story goes on.
There is a wide array of characters that are all fully-fleshed out with their own secrets and drive. There's not a single one that is wholly hated, or loved, they are all humanly flawed; making it so believable.

The different groups, the church, nobility, the watch, and even the traders are all realistic in Carr's world. No group is designed as evil, but do house a few bad individuals. The politics are gripping and multi-layered.

I don't want to say anything, I'm afraid to give anything away, because every little thing that happens is worth finding out first hand. What I can say is that this book was the cause of a few late nights, and neglect to my own writing as I hurried to finish it! I loved how it ended, and I can't wait for the next in the series!

Oh yes, and it is still free to download from Amazon, so get on it!
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on 6 December 2013
When I get a book from the top 100 free bestsellers, I'm happy if the story's engaging enough to finish it. I can normally forgive a lot in a free book.

this book stood up to that test and more. I would be happy (in hindsight) to pay full price for this story. The characters are developed in a reasonably comfortable space, the universe is revealed at a pace consistent with the story, the writing skill of the author is excellent.

The story follows the reluctant hero model - idiot boy goes on quest, etc, etc. What makes this book so good is the writing style, which just drew me in and had me living in this world for hours. I'd compare this to Gemmell's Druss books. Very different worlds, but the quality is as good. Errol is fascinating as a character and his gradual change through the book is excellent, especially as he as a person doesn't change much at all - he retains the essential 'Errol-ness' that defines him at the start. I think at the end, I was expecting a bit more nouce from him, but then I remember he is still barely an adult, so some naivety is understandable.

I had to buy the second in the series immediately on finishing this book. Don't waste time, just buy up everything you can see by this author!
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on 19 March 2014
Cast of stones is a really well written book with strong characters development and a really good storyline. Who says you get what you pay for - as a free book it is a find!
The story centres on a dying king with no heir; a church with processes for electing the next king but where all is not what it seems; a group of characters interlinked with the selection process - A priest ( who is more than he first appears), his companion, Luis, a reader holding a senior position in the church; a drunkard (Errol) with more substance but a lot of sorrow; a potential successor (not to be named as might spoil) and a handyman who is also more than he seems.
Following the arrival of a church messenger Errol is asked to take a letter to the priest and the story unfolds for there.
A story with lots of action, interesting and unusual themes and characters who are multifaceted. A really good read which I found hard to put down. Cannot wait to read the next in the series.
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