A Cast of Stones – Patrick W. Carr
A Cast of Stones – Patrick W. Carr
A Cast of Stones
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.
Top Ten Fantasy Books
1. The Belgariad by David Eddings. This is a 5 book series that starts with “The Pawn of Prophecy.” Anyone who wants to write warm-hearted fantasy needs to read this. Eddings facility with characterization and dialog are excellent and worthy of study.
2. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson. This is a 3 book series starting with “Lord Foul’s Bane.” What Eddings is to dialog, Donaldson is to description. In addition, Donaldson’s mastery of the English language is worth the admission price all by itself. I like to think I’m a fairly smart guy, but I had to look up some of the words.
3. Magician by Raymond E. Feist. It’s supposedly two books, but you can get it all as one hardbound edition and it’s certainly worth the investment. I bought it for my youngest son this past Christmas. He has great characters and a great story.
4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. You can’t become a fantasy writer unless you read this. He set the standard by which fantasy is measured. He is possibly the smartest fantasy writer that ever lived. If you can’t make the commitment to read the book, watch the extended movies by Peter Jackson. They are very close to the book.
5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Awesome books and they provide great lessons on how to weave symbolism into the narrative. Plus, there are a few bits in them that are quite funny.
6. Tigana by Guy Kay. Kay is a fantasy author that doesn’t get a lot of props because his style is almost literary. He’s penned quite a few books worthy of attention, but I’ve chosen Tigana because the ending is the biggest two-by-four to the head I’ve ever read. Most people can’t take me by surprise that way, but he did.
7. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. This is a 14 book series. No, that’s not a typo, but if you can wade through it, it’s worth the effort. In my opinion, if this had been edited down to 7 books, I think it might have gone down in history as the greatest fantasy series of all time. It’s still an amazing piece of work. It was published over a 23 year span. I read the first book in 1990 and the last one was just released this year.
8. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. This is definitely one of the edgier books on the list, but it’s very well written and is a great example of excellence in world-building.
9. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. I joke with people in my writers group that if I submitted her first book as my manuscript, no agent would touch it because of all the passive verbs in it. However, what Rowling does as well or better than anyone is create memorable characters and tell an amazing story. Remember, story trumps all!
10. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. It’s really hard to categorize this one. If you’ve ever read classic Raymond Chandler detective novels (The Big Sleep is the most popular), then you’ll recognize Butcher’s first-person voice right off the bat. But his detective series pulls in just about every supernatural element you can think of. He uses vampire, werewolves, fairies, you name it. I’m not usually a big fan of those types of books, but his first person narrative is superb. However, this is pretty gritty in parts so reader caution is advised.
Author Patrick W. Carr
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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