In this sequel to Cast of Stones (see my review here), the kingdom is still in danger. Errol is accused of being part of a conspiracy to usurp the throne. Too keep them from being executed, friends in the church hierarchy manage to get Errol convicted of consorting with spirits. As his punishment, he is put under compulsion to find Sarin Valon, the one who would overthrow the kingdom. Knowing he must travel to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, he convinces a few of his trusted friends (and one possible enemy) to go with him. Others of Errol's allies are sent to his hometown in an attempt to find out why Errol is so important to the kingdom. As the novel progresses, Carr alternates the stories so we follow both sets of characters in their adventures.
The epic adventure for Errol Stone continues in this sequel. If you have not read the first in the series, you will need to do so. So much of the story line follows what was introduced in the first book you'll be lost otherwise.
This book has all the elements of good fantasy. There is a three person God in whom many believe and try to understand. There are those who hear from Deas (God) and can direct the saving tasks of others. There are evil men within the church who would ruin the kingdom. There are great warriors who will protect Errol and the kingdom with their lives. There are monsters who would attack those traveling in the shadowlands at night.
We see Errol develop into a young man, with the help of his many friends. He adds to his fighting skills using the sword. He begins to learn the way of leadership. And he is in head over heels with the princess who manages to finagle her way onto the journey with Errol and his companions. Now, if Errol can just keep his wits about him as the adventure, and danger, intensifies.
And the end of this novel? My goodness, Carr absolutely leaves us impatiently waiting for the next book!
Patrick W. Carr teaches high school math and lives with his wife and four sons in Nashville, Tennessee. Find out more at www.patrickcarr.com.
Bethany House, 446 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.