Monday, March 17, 2014

A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr

When Errol, Adora and the others return to Erinon, they find the kingdom of Illustra in trouble. King Rodran died without a living heir and the evil forces are moving in. Time is running out. Casting for a new King has proved fruitless as the results are inconclusive. Duke Weir has taken control and tainted the other leaders. He must be dealt with in short order.

Those in the Judica do not believe that Earl Errol Stone has actually seen the book of Magis. The only way to convince them is for Errol to go and retrieve it. He, Captain Tek and a few others head to the land of the Ongolese, through treacherous seas from which none have returned.

Princess Adora, with Captain Liam, heads a group to the shadow lands. They need those who have been outcast to this area to fight for the kingdom. It is a race against time as the Merakhi are coming.

Martin, Luis and Cruk are off to the steppes through dangerous caves in the mountains with the task of finding Ablajin, a Morgol chieftain, and enlisting his aid.

The kingdom is in great danger as it looks like it will be attacked on several fronts by a number much larger than those able to form a defense. Will the kingdom be lost?

There is plenty of action in this novel as we follow the three expeditions, each essential to saving the kingdom. The suspense builds through the novel as we are reminded of the prophecy. Of Errol and Liam, one is to die for the kingdom and the other is to be King. The suspense hangs to the very end.

That disgusting priest Antil, who so tormented Errol, surfaces again. I so wanted him to receive what he deserved. While there are villains, like Antill, there are also great heroes. I really like Rokha, a tough woman if ever there was one. She has a sense of humor too. Princess Adora is pretty tough herself.

There are plenty great creatures too. There are the evil spawn, demon possessed, giant Merakhi, each possessed by a malus, and deadly sea creatures with human faces.

Several interesting themes run through this novel. A major one is honesty. Errol proved to be honest before the Ongolese, something that saved his life. And Martin was honest before the Judica, something that turned out to be a surprise for him. Another theme has to do with the character of God and specifically the Holy Spirit (Aurae). Is God knowable or beyond being known? The problem arises because the book of Magis has been missing and presumed lost for hundreds of years. The priests of Illustra have strayed from the truth in the centuries of oral tradition. This is a subtle analogy to the importance of reading God's Word, I think.

There is also the theme of forgiveness. And permeating the novel is the theme of sacrifice, that one must sacrifice life to save the kingdom.

Carr does an excellent job of creating the characters, the political situations, the battles (physical and spiritual), the romance, and the entire plot. I am not so much a fantasy fan but I have really enjoyed this entire series. This is a fitting end to it.

I am taking part in the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour of this book. You can read the reviews of other tour participants by clicking on their names.
Gillian Adams Jennifer Bogart Keanan Brand Beckie Burnham Mike Coville Pauline Creeden Vicky DealSharingAunt Carol Gehringer Victor Gentile Rebekah Gyger Nikole Hahn Jason Joyner Carol Keen Krystine Kercher Jennette Mbewe Amber McCallister Shannon McDermott Shannon McNear Meagan @ Blooming with Books Rebecca LuElla Miller Nissa Writer Rani Nathan Reimer Audrey Sauble James Somers Jojo Sutis Steve Trower Shane Werlinger Phyllis Wheeler Nicole White Jill Williamson

Patrick W. Carr is a graduate of Georgia Tech. After working as a draftsman, an engineer andin a printing shop, he now teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and four sons.

Bethany House Publishers, 464 pages. You can buy a copy of the book here.

In conjunction with the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy tour, I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My review is independent and honest.

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