Tuesday, March 18, 2014

CSFF Blog Tour: Patrick Carr's A Draw of Kings, Day 2

So, in my usual rambly way, today I’m going to start by discussing ...

Patrick Carr’s website. Yes. :-) I love poking around on author websites and seeing what other sorts of interesting things they do. In Carr’s case, he’s a mathematics teacher, which piqued my interest as a homeschooling mother of a teen currently doing geometry. I’m planning to show her his page for geometry contructs ...

He also has a nifty glossary for the series, which was handy since I had a fairly long time lapse between reading books two and three, and I’d unhandily forgotten who a few of the cast were.

I read A Cast of Stones and The Hero’s Lot one after another. I was left in such suspense after the first book (which as I mentioned already, I’d picked up free for Kindle on Amazon) that I just had to go purchase the next one. But then I had several months’ wait for the last book. Doggone it, anyway! Why is something that takes months and sometimes years to create and polish devoured in such a short time?

The first thing that intrigued me about the series (after some thought, I decided I can’t really separate the three books—they flow too smoothly one into another) is Errol’s transformation from drunken youth to hero. Others have discussed at length whether this works in the context of a Christian fantasy novel. I feel it works very well—for one thing, God doesn’t often call those who are already qualified. This was drawn in the parallel character of Liam, who is so beautiful and kind and perfect that of course everyone knew he should be the country’s Soteregia—the Savior-King.

And there’s the crux of our story. The first book opens with the growing knowledge that the king is dying, without an heir, and time is of the essence in finding and crowning a new one in order to keep an ancient evil from overrunning the kingdom.

Such information is usually gained, and decisions made, by the casting of lots—perfectly-carved spheres on which one of two answers will appear. Stone makes for a more accurate casting than wood, but takes longer to carve. And in their search for the Soteregia, two names surface with equal regularity: Errol and Liam. One has the obvious makings of a hero, but the other—well, he’s just a throwaway, an orphan, hopelessly addicted to drink.

And how many of us have had God pluck us out of just such a situation?

Errol’s journey to faith itself is a slow one, not really solidifying until the final novel, which I found more authentic for this story than a quick, clear-cut conversion. He is carried through the story, as so many of us are through the struggles of our own lives, by the faith and conviction of others—but then he reaches a point where he must claim that faith for his own, or die.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that, because it really doesn’t end quite the way one expects. (I guessed some things, but not others!)

More comments tomorrow, because the day grows late and I must get this posted ... a new puppy and a house closing out of state provided many distractions to finishing this!

In the meantime, continue visiting the other participants on our Most Excellent Tour.

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