The Hero's Lot picks up shortly after A Cast of Stones ends. The characters are still reeling from recent events and trying to heal their bodies and hearts. There is little time before the action begins again and readers are taken on a wild adventure to try and save the kingdom.
Unlike other series, this sequel does not lag in pace nor suffer from poor plot quality. The pace is fast-moving and does not slow enough for readers to catch their breath. Thankfully the author follows different characters on their journey and the story divides into different perspectives and separate adventures that allow readers to slow their heart rate for a moment at least.
Several characters were more deeply developed and some of their past experiences were revealed. This satisfied some of the curiosity I had about many of the characters that seemed puzzling and far too mysterious for my liking. One such character is Martin the priest. His life parallels many of our own - doing our best to live the way God wants and to do what is right and expected. The struggles he and we face as we come to realize the Holy Spirit has other plans than what we, with best intentions, have laid out, are refreshing. Martin is not some hyper-spiritual character, but one that is relatable and can teach us a thing or two about surrendering to God's will.
The Hero's Lot is well worth a read. The escape to another world in another time provides breath-taking adventures that leave you wanting more. Thankfully, the last book in the series, A Draw of Kings, will be released in February - I need time to reread the first two again before saying goodbye to these captivating characters.
I give this book 5 stars out of 5.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Hero's Lot is the second book of the series The Staff and the Sword. I loved the first book that chronicles Errol Stone's journey from a drunk orphan to a staff wielding hero. The second continues on as the threat of evil becomes even greater as the king is on his deathbed. They journey through perilous lands to fulfill the new compulsion Errol is under. This book is full of adventure and mystery. The only criticism I could give is the romance portion is lacking. I would rather there not be any romance as I find the interaction between the two childish. But other than that, I really, really enjoy this series and if you are into fantasy/adventure, this series is for you. I continue to look forward to the next release.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publisher's in exchange for my review.
The story begins with the evil Sarin Valon fleeing the city of Erinon. The compulsion the church laid on Errol compels him to the Judicia in the first place, and church leaders are bent on using him to their advantage no matter what the cost. As punishment for allegedly working with herbwomen, which the is considered nothing short of sorceresses, Errol is compelled once again by the church to find Valon in the enemy kingdom of Merakh. His friends Martin, Luis, and Cruk are sent off to find out Errol's importance and significance in the scheme of things by Archbenefice Canon to Errol's hometown of Callowford.
As with everything, nothing goes as planned. There are many dangers on the path for anyone on a righteous quest, and Errol finds discovers that nothing is what is seems. He is able to cast lots and read the results, but it appears that Valon also has many readers at his disposal and is staying one step ahead of him no matter how much Errol tries to anticipate Valon's moves. As for Martin and his band, danger follows their every step as well. Secrets of the kingdom are exposed that change everything. Will they be able to find Errol in time to warn him of what is to come? Or is too late to save the realm that will have no future without the successful completion of the quests of both parties?
Errol is off to another epic adventure, and I couldn't help but empathize with the poor boy with everything that gets dumped on him. No matter what he does or how hard he tries to do the right thing, his choice in the matter is forever taken with the church's compulsion. This second book in the Staff and Sword series was the best middle book I've ever read. There was no long, boring, filler chapters; it was all fast paced excitement that I remember from the first book, with all-new continuations of the tale. A wonderful story, and it's getting an enthusiastic five stars from me!
This book was provided by Bethany House Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.
A few months ago, I read and reviewed Patrick W. Carr's debut novel, A Cast of Stones, and I wrote, "[I]f the sequels are as good as the first book, then Carr is on his way to an outstanding writing career." Well, I just finished reading an advanced reading copy of Carr's second book in the series, and I can honestly say that I have not changed my mind.
The Hero's Lot picks up where A Cast of Stones ends. Errol Stone, now a trained fighter and a member of the nobility, is compelled to go on a quest to find and kill a dangerous enemy to the kingdomâ€”Sarin Valonâ€”a traitor possessed by evil. The problem of fulfilling his mission is that the traitor is deep within a neighboring land that plans to invade the kingdom upon the impending death of the king. Earl Stone must face many dangers along his journey, but he is not alone as his companions vow to protect and aid him on his quest. To complicate matters, Errol's true loveâ€”Princess Adoraâ€”has followed him after running away from the arrogant lord that her uncle, the king, promised her to in marriage.
Errol and his some of his companions find themselves followed by domestic enemies as well as thwarted by Valon's agents throughout the journey. Errol must learn who he can trust and who his friends are, some of whom he finds in unlikely places. He learns that he plays an essential role in the kingdom's survival, but he realizes that either he or the young man that seems destined to be the next king will die. He assumes that it is he who must die and resigns himself to that fate, but renewed hope and the will to live, for the woman he loves, gives him the strength needed to survive and escape captivity and death at the hands of the enemies that fear him.
Errol fulfills his mission and escapes, but on the way home, he and his friends realize that the king is dead. The story ends leaving readers wondering what is next in store for Errol and the kingdom as war is about to commence. Can he live up to his destiny? Will the rightful successor be placed on the throne? Or will enemies from within and from outside the kingdom prevail?
Patrick W. Carr's second novel is even more exciting than the first as Errol's story continues to unfold. The characters are interesting and believable as more of who they are is revealed. They are flawed, but they grow into better people as they make the nearly impossible journey. The settings are reminiscent of the real world of historical cultural although Carr's novel takes place in kingdoms and lands of his creation. Carr uses his characters and the world that he has created to allegorically explore the world we live in from historical and spiritual aspects as well as similarities in what is happening in the current timeline. The human condition is shown from introspective viewpoints along with the realization that individuals all have a part to play in the important events that affect thousands, even millions, of lives. I look forward to the third novel in the series.